Harman introduces Sherlock AI system to help its designers and engineers find and put things together more quickly

Harman International, a design and engineering company which supplies a range of products and services to automotive companies, has introduced a new artificial intelligence system into its company.

The AI system, Sherlock, is described as a “virtual colleague” for Harman employees, and is said to have completely redefined the innovation management workflow in some of the company’s divisions.

Armin Prommersberger, senior vice president technology, lifestyle audio division, at Harman, says Sherlock offers a level of insight into the business that would be impossible to gain without it.  Continue reading Harman introduces Sherlock AI system to help its designers and engineers find and put things together more quickly

Swiss robots planning to build houses using 3D printers

ETH Zürich, a university in Switzerland, has unveiled a plan to build a three-storey house – dubbed DFab House – using robots and 3D printing. 

Structural engineers and sustainability experts from ETH Zürich have teamed up with business partners on the project, which is designed to bring numerous building technologies from research labs into the real world.

The project is overseen by the National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication, and its architects, robotics specialists, and materials scientists.  Continue reading Swiss robots planning to build houses using 3D printers

Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

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Pictures from BMW’s factory in Thailand

Managing an economy today is not easy. But managing it for tomorrow? Now that’s a real challenge. It’s one that the government in Thailand is tackling head on, with a raft of new policies aimed at future-proofing its workforce and industry, particularly in the automotive, robotics, and aerospace sectors.

The measures, known collectively as Thailand 4.0, are centered on incentivizing foreign direct investment and nurturing innovation for 10 key future-focused industries.

The goal is to foster an ecosystem that promotes emerging technology, innovation, and creativity within each of these sectors.  Continue reading Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

How China’s ‘copycat’ tech companies are now the ones to beat

made in china label

By Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng 

For a long time, Chinese companies have been known for copying market-proven products, brands and business models from the West and adapting them for the local market with only minor modifications. Such a phenomenon is known as shanzhai, a Chinese term that was originally used to describe a bandit stronghold outside government control. In today’s slang, it refers to businesses based on fake or pirated products.

Shanzhai has been prevalent in China in recent decades and this has earned China the reputation of being a “copycat nation”. Western media report that China’s preferential policies and regulations to restrict market access, such as the the “Great Firewall” in the internet industry, and the lack of intellectual property protection, give Chinese companies an unfair home advantage to create copies.

While shanzhai is common across a range of products and services, it is particularly prevalent in the internet sector. Chinese internet companies are often compared to their Western counterparts based on the similarity of their business models. For example, Baidu is known as the “Google of China”, Alibaba as the “eBay of China”, and Xiaomi as the “Apple of China”, just to name a few.  Continue reading How China’s ‘copycat’ tech companies are now the ones to beat

Echord++ produces new video showcasing its robotics research and development facilities

The European Coordination Hub for Open Robotics Development has been showcasing its innovation facilities through a new video.

The organisation likes to be known as Echord++ and offers funding to develop robotics technology for real use-cases.

The new video provides an insight of the group’s robotics innovation facilities, their technical equipment, application domains and services.  Continue reading Echord++ produces new video showcasing its robotics research and development facilities

MassRobotics opens shared robotics innovation space

massrobotics

Emerging robotics startups now have a space to call their own in Massachusetts.

MassRobotics, an independent, non-profit hub serving to inspire and bring robotics startups, initiatives and investments to life, is opening its initial office, laboratory and test space.

The collaborative workspace includes the labs and equipment needed to help young robotics companies develop and scale their concepts and prototypes.  Continue reading MassRobotics opens shared robotics innovation space

Woodside Energy to train Nasa’s Robonaut to work in oil and gas industry

nasa robonaut

Woodside Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched a new collaboration program under which the Australian independent oil and gas company will develop applications for Nasa’s Robonaut in its own operations. 

Under the partnership Nasa will loan Woodside an Anthropomorphic Robonaut System for a 60-month deployment in Perth. Together the two organisations will explore how the robotic technology could be used to improve safety, reliability and efficiency in the high-risk and remote environments where Woodside operates.

Woodside will contribute its advanced cognitive science technology, being developed in its Western Australian operations, and Nasa will share its expertise in Robonauts that are already being used for simple, repetitive, or especially dangerous tasks in places such as the International Space Station.  Continue reading Woodside Energy to train Nasa’s Robonaut to work in oil and gas industry

ABB to invest $90 million in new research centre in Canada

abb montreal

Engineering giant ABB is to invest another $90 million into a research and development centre in Canada. 

The Swiss company, which also is one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers, is to establish its new North American research and development facility in Montréal.

As a result of the investment, Canadians will develop next-generation solutions for electric vehicles, says the government in a statement. Continue reading ABB to invest $90 million in new research centre in Canada

MTA 2017 to spotlight new technologies with specialised zones

mta 2016 opening speech

In a global manufacturing outlook report, 49 per cent of manufacturers surveyed were reported to be investing six per cent of their revenues in research and development and innovation, in a push to transform their businesses.

Asian manufacturing companies surveyed exhibited the highest investment expectations, with a majority of respondents from China, Japan and India indicating they would spend more than six per cent of their revenues on technology and innovation.

Twenty-five per cent of the respondents have already poured investment in avant garde technologies such as 3D printing.  Continue reading MTA 2017 to spotlight new technologies with specialised zones

Industrial Vision Systems relocates to ‘fulfil ambitious expansion plans’

ivs harwell relocation

Company is expecting “year on year double digit growth” in machine vision, robotics and artificial intelligence over the next decade

Industrial Vision Systems, a supplier of machine vision solutions to industries including automotive, medical devices, electronics, food and drink, and packaging, has relocated into a new facility – custom designed to its own specification – in order to fulfil its ambitious expansion plans.

Having grown “significantly” over the course of the past 16 years, Industrial Vision Systems has now made the move to its brand new 10,000 sq ft premises at the prestigious Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire which will allow it to grow further and capitalise on new, emerging markets.

The relocation presents a new phase of business for IVS. The company is fully expecting year on year double digit growth in machine vision and robotics on the manufacturing floor over the next decade. Continue reading Industrial Vision Systems relocates to ‘fulfil ambitious expansion plans’

Renishaw hosts UK Prime Minister and Chancellor for visit focused on research and development

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From left: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds; Geoff McFarland, Renishaw’s engineering director; Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer; UK Prime Minister Theresa May; Sir David McMurtry, Renishaw’s chief executive

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond visited Renishaw’s headquarters site near Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire, last week for a tour of the company’s main research and development facilities.

Following a meeting with senior Renishaw directors, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer toured the company’s Innovation Centre where they witnessed new technology developments in the fields of precision measurement, metal 3D printing and healthcare.

The visit came in the week that the Prime Minister announced the first steps in a new Industrial Strategy for the UK that will include a long-term commitment to research and innovation, including an increase in government investment worth £2 billion per year by 2020 for R&D and a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to back priority technologies including robotics.

Continue reading Renishaw hosts UK Prime Minister and Chancellor for visit focused on research and development

Omron to showcase 16,000 factory automation products

omron

One of the world’s leading robotics and automation systems manufacturers, Omron, says it will introduce a total of 15,583 models in seven categories in its second wave of factory automation control devices built on a common design platform for unified product specifications.

Omron says it has been continuing to work for the innovation of making control panels which house and control factory automation devices on the production front line.

The company unified the design and size of factory automation devices, and introduced products in April 2016 which are built with the company’s proprietary wiring technology “Push-In Plus Terminal Block” for device and control panel makers in need of “downsizing and space-saving” of factory automation devices and control panels, “expedited delivery”, and “response to globalization”.  Continue reading Omron to showcase 16,000 factory automation products

Innovation launches RxCollect robotic prescription collation system

rxcollect fanuc

Automated collation system streamlines high volume workflow and increases prescription throughput

Innovation, makers of PharmAssist pharmacy automation solutions, has launched RxCollect, a robotic prescription collation technology that automates the collection of patient-specific group and multi-vial orders in central fill and mail order pharmacies employing single piece flow processing.

Tom Boyer, COO, Innovation, says: “When it comes to increasing efficiency and reducing waste in high-volume prescription environments, lean manufacturing’s single piece flow typically wins out over filling prescriptions in batch mode.

“With that in mind, we invented RxCollect as a downstream automated collation solution for high-volume pharmacies filling patient orders in a continuous, single piece flow mode of operation.  Continue reading Innovation launches RxCollect robotic prescription collation system

Obama to leave the future of the US in the hands of robots

obama kuka robot

President Barack Obama says robots can help the US grow its economy by leading to higher total factor productivity (TFP) in the future. 

The president made his remarks in his annual economic report to the Houses of Congress. Extracts from President Obama’s report:

“One area of innovation that can help the United States to boost TFP growth in the future is robotics.  Continue reading Obama to leave the future of the US in the hands of robots

DHL opens supersize logistics centre featuring 130 robotic shuttles

dhl singapore, robotics, automation
DHL’s new robotics center features $14 million worth of advanced robotics and automation technologies

Company plans to use more robots and automation technologies across its global operations

Logistics giant DHL has opened what it calls an “Advanced Regional Center” in Singapore.

The $120 million, 90,000 sq m facility features a $14 million multi-customer automation system featuring advanced robotics.

DHL has been on a mission to roboticize and automate its entire global supply chain. The company claims to be the largest logistics company in the world.  Continue reading DHL opens supersize logistics centre featuring 130 robotic shuttles