Toshiba launches three new industrial robots aimed at automated picking applications

Toshiba Machine has launched three new industrial robots.

The three new models are part of the company’s TVM series of vertically articulated robots, and all have “high cost performance and reliability”, says Toshiba.

The TVM series is designed primarily for use in transfer and assembly processes in the automobile components industry and enables high productivity in assembly and transfer by combining with a wide array of system installation support tools.  Continue reading Toshiba launches three new industrial robots aimed at automated picking applications

Octopuz releases new version of industrial robot programming software

Octopuz has released the latest version of its industrial robot programming and simulation software. 

The company says Octopuz 1.7 is packed with new features and enhancements, including robot code importing, NC code importing, an all-new tool manager, and URP program generation for UR robots.

Octopuz has also added something called SmartPath, which provides automated methods of orientating the robot and making changes to solve conflicts.  Continue reading Octopuz releases new version of industrial robot programming software

PLC vs PAC: Similar but not the same

arnold machine

By Zach Arnold, founder, Arnold Machine

Programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, and programmable automation controllers, or PACs, are similar as they both perform the same essential functions. But with modern technology, their differences are becoming more blurred. 

The most notable difference between PLCs and PACs is their programming interface. PACs are more intricate, using C or C++. PLCs on the other hand, are programmed using ladder logic.

These programming differences create distinctions in the architecture and capability between the two computers.  Continue reading PLC vs PAC: Similar but not the same

Robotiq launches program templates for Universal Robots machines

robotiq 2F-85-Hand-guiding_Resize

Robotiq says its new templates simplify the implementation of many common applications in robotics and automation.

Robotiq says its new tools to help collaborative robots beginners save a lot of time, especially in programming their robots.

Program templates are now available and ready to be downloaded on Robotiq’s online resource center. The templates simplify the robot’s programming so it can be put to task in a record time, says the company.  Continue reading Robotiq launches program templates for Universal Robots machines

Fanuc launches R-30iB Plus robot controller

Fanuc R-30iB Plus robot controller

Fanuc is introducing its new R-30iB Plus robot controller at the annual Fanuc Open House event on April 10-13 at its headquarters in Japan.

The new R-30iB Plus controller features a new iPendant with an enhanced screen resolution and processing capability.

The user interface, iHMI, has an icon-based screen which provides a familiar and easy-to-use experience with intuitive guides for setup and programming.  Continue reading Fanuc launches R-30iB Plus robot controller

Kuka and VIP launch new system to teach industrial robots without programming

All Kuka robots can now be “easily and intuitively” guided by hand in the workspace using a new navigation system developed by Very Important Product

The VIP Navigator was developed in partnership with Kuka.

VIP is a special-machine engineering expert and is now offering what the companies call the ready-to-use package, “ready2_pilot”, through its Navigator product.

The new system enables “quick and easy robot programming” using intuitive guidance – physically teaching the robot – instead of computer coding.  Continue reading Kuka and VIP launch new system to teach industrial robots without programming

Universal Robots launches free online training in industrial robot programming

universal robots training
The UR Academy modules takes the student through basic tasks such as
programming the UR robot arm to place parts in a box arriving on a conveyor

“It’s unprecedented to make inter-active teaching material of this caliber free of charge – we’re basically the first in the industry to take this approach,” says Universal Robots spokesperson

Universal Robots has developed online training modules to enable users of its industrial robots learn more about their machines’ operations and applications.

The hands-on modules are offered free of charge, open to all, and built to deliver hands-on learning via interactive simulations to maximize user engagement, says the company.

Learning how to set up and program a collaborative robot – or cobot – no longer depends on real life access to a robot or a training class, says Universal.

Now everybody with a desire to learn the concepts of cobots can log in to the Universal Robots Academy and get the introduction necessary to master basic programming skills.  Continue reading Universal Robots launches free online training in industrial robot programming

Startup company launches DoBot ‘industrial’ robot at CES

DoBot Magician robot
The DoBot Magician robot from Shenzhen Yuejiang Technology

lockA Chinese startup company has demonstrated what it calls the “first industrial robotic arm for small business”, and has raised more than $400,000 on Kickstarter

The company describes the “DoBot M1” as a “professional SCARA based robotic arm” suitable for desktop use by small businesses, makers and hobbyists. Dobot was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.

Manufactured by Shenzhen Yuejiang Technology, the Dobot M1 is a robotic arm with a number of extensions. The robots can also connected together to form a multi-arm system.  Continue reading Startup company launches DoBot ‘industrial’ robot at CES

Delta launches new PLC series enabling ‘easy and advanced programming’

Delta AS300.jpg_ico500

Delta Electronics has launched a new series of programmable logic controllers which it claims enables “easy and advanced programming” for sectors such as electronics manufacturing, labeling, food packaging and textile machines.

The AS300 PLC series covers most automation applications at a very attractive price, says Delta.

Delta adds that the AS300 series Compact Non-backplane Mid-range PLC is a “high performance multi-purpose controller designed for all kinds of automated equipment”.  Continue reading Delta launches new PLC series enabling ‘easy and advanced programming’

Heidenhain makes industrial networking software available for download

heidenhain-software

Heidenhain is now offering the current version of TNCremo software package for communication between PCs and Heidenhain controls or programming stations via direct online download. Past versions were only available on DVD.

The new TNCremo version is now available in a new variant. Users can find the downloads on the Heidenhain.

TNCremo is a free PC software package for communication between PCs and Heidenhain controls or programming stations. Data transfer is carried out over the network or the serial interface.  Continue reading Heidenhain makes industrial networking software available for download

Visual Components going through accelerated growth phase

visual components

Visual Components is apparently going through a period of accelerated growth in which the company is attending numerous conferences and signing up a variety of partners from different parts of the world. 

Visual Components is an online 3D simulation platform which enables designers to create virtual factories and robotics and automation systems.

Started in 1999, the company’s platform integrates a robot programming application, an engineering tool and a sales tool, among other features.  Continue reading Visual Components going through accelerated growth phase

Stäubli to showcase new robots at Automatica

A range of Stäubli robots
A range of Stäubli robots

Stäubli is to launch a new range of products at the Automatica event, which takes place in Munich, Germany towards the end of June.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Paul Deady, Stäubli’s US automotive segment manager, says the new products are the company’s response to the growing interest in collaborative robots.

Deady says: “At the Automatica show, we will be commercially launching our CS9 robot controller and TX2 robot models.

“They’re our answer to the collaborative robots phase, and they comply with industry standards on safety and performance. They’re also compatible with the internet of things.”  Continue reading Stäubli to showcase new robots at Automatica

Kuka wins competition to find the most obscure board game ever invented

Professor Dr Martin Weiss (left) and Markus Webert working with the Kuka small robot KR Agilus. Source: Kuka Robotics
Professor Dr Martin Weiss (left) and Markus Webert working with the Kuka small robot KR Agilus. Source: Kuka Robotics

Becoming one of the world’s largest industrial robot companies takes time and a lot of dedication. Work, work, work. No time for play. And having got to the top, the most annoying thing for a company, like Kuka, must be to see a startup company, like DeepMind, which has yet to deliver a single commercial product, make worldwide headlines for building an artificially intelligent computer that plays an ancient Chinese board game no one understands.

So what does Kuka do to make its own headlines? Of course: find another obscure board game no one understands and teach one of its robots how to play that, and get students at a local university to do all the programming.

The board game in question is Settlers of Catan. While at least spome people had heard of Go, Settlers of Catan sounds like an old cowboy movie that no one saw because it was terrible.  Continue reading Kuka wins competition to find the most obscure board game ever invented

Industrial robots can now do their work uninterrupted thanks to the cloud and offline programming

fanuc industrial robot

Industrial robots are increasingly being connected to the cloud, where they can be managed centrally in some sort of control room, which means that a small number of human staff could theoretically manage hundreds, if not thousands, of machines.

Previously they were almost always operated in isolated circumstances within factories, inside a work cell, fenced off from human workers because of safety concerns. They were programmed individually, using a teach pendant, which is like a 20-years-out-of-date oversized mobile phone.

The teach pendant is still used for refinements and modifications after the machine goes online, into work, but nowadays most industrial robots are prepared for a life of work using offline programming. Continue reading Industrial robots can now do their work uninterrupted thanks to the cloud and offline programming