Chris Roberts, head of industrial robotics at Cambridge Consultants, gives Robotics and Automation News an exclusive interview
For those of us fortunate enough to spend our time shopping, and perhaps think of ourselves as discerning shoppers, one of the more pleasant experiences when buying fruit is evaluating them on a number of factors, such as colour, texture, firmness and aroma.
This final selection process tends to happen at the store, after the fruit supplier has already played its part in initially choosing the most suitable produce for the shops it supplies.
Stenner Pump Company, a maker of water treatment pumps, tanks, injection systems and more, is leveraging Rethink Robotics’ two-armed Baxter robot in its manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, Fla. to increase flexibility and efficiency, allowing for quicker product development and delivery.
The team at Stenner Pump is deploying Baxter in a production cell to complete two tasks using each arm simultaneously. Baxter uses one arm to package and place finished parts from an injection molding machine into a bagging machine for final production.
Using the other arm, Baxter begins a three-step machine tending and assembly task by placing a strainer into a fixture and ensuring proper part orientation. Baxter then places a weight into the strainer and waits for the lid to be pressed on to the strainer; finally, the robot removes the finished part and places it into a bin of finished products. Continue reading Two-armed robots: Baxter helps Stenner meet increased demand
Organisers of one of Europe’s most important conferences on robotics and automation are calling for papers and articles from experts in the field in the run-up to its conference in the middle of next year.
The 13th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics – organized by Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC) – will take place from 29 to 31 of July 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The total surface of Planet Earth spans some 510 million square kilometres, and the ocean accounts for more than 70 per cent. If there’s one man who would be familiar with these kind of numbers it’s Eamon Carrig, co-founder and chief roboticist at Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS), a US robotics startup which could scarcely have more compelling origins.
AMS was started by three aerospace engineers – Carrig, T.J. Edwards, and Walter Holemans, although Holemans has since left the company.
“We had all been working together on spacecraft mechanisms – TJ and Walt mostly mechanical, me mostly electrical and software – since 2006,” says Carrig in an exclusive interview with RoboticsandAutomationNews.com.
Cloud robotics are enabling robots to access large amounts of computing power that their bodies do not have the physical space to accommodate. Hundreds if not tens of thousands of servers are potentially at the service of small robots which can be in remote locations well away from the nearest supercomputer or data centre, only being connected by, for example, Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
This allows robots to call on powerful, cloud-based applications, such as speech recognition and language, when they are interacting with their users.
At the moment, most cloud robotics systems are linked to specific robots. So, for example, SoftBank’s Pepper robot is linked to the cloud robotics artificial intelligence system developed by Cocoro, another SoftBank company.
Pepper has about 25 onboard sensors to collect a wide range of information – sight, sound, touch and movement. That covers three of the five senses that human beings generally use, the two missing are taste and smell.
Robotics enthusiasts, or makers as they are often referred to, is a global community that is growing all the time. Along with it, the demand for chipsets specifically designed for robots is also expanding.
Compared to the large number of makers out there, there’s not many chipsets specifically designed for robots – Arduino and Raspberry Pi being the most well known. In fact, a quick search on Google yielded very few results of new chipset makers, and most of them talked of plans but no actual product in existence right now.