Honda to launch new concept robots at CES 2018

As well as being a globally well-known automaker, Honda is the maker of what is probably the most recognizable humanoid robot in the world – the famous Asimo – it’s the one that looks like an astronaut and runs in a funny way. 

But the company hasn’t really made many headlines in recent times for its ongoing work in robotics. Now it’s in the spotlight again.

Honda Robotics is preparing to unveil what it calls its “3E – Empower, Experience, Empathy – Robotics Concept at CES 2018, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, US, from January 9th to 12th. (See video below.) Continue reading Honda to launch new concept robots at CES 2018

Robots and artificial intelligence are coming soon to your work, home, and cars

Article contributed by John Hawthorne, Industrial Quick Search Directory

We are becoming more accustomed to jaw-dropping video game technology, Amazon’s Alexa speakers, and nifty Android and iOS apps that seem to let us do just about anything.

While commercial technology continues to make leaps and bounds each year, what role does artificial intelligence play in all this, and how will AI and robots become part of our lives in the near future?

The following is an overview of several way that AI and robots are helping us through algorithms and physical functioning at work, in our homes, and in the way we move around.   Continue reading Robots and artificial intelligence are coming soon to your work, home, and cars

Material handling: An overview of a fast-moving market

Material handling refers to the movement of items within relatively small spaces, such as a warehouse. 

In that sense, it’s different from logistics, which refers to movement of goods over longer distances, from city to city or across countries and continents.

But material handling falls within logistics, obviously, and can sometimes be categorised within intralogistics – as in, movement of goods within a company’s network of warehouses and manufacturing facilities.  Continue reading Material handling: An overview of a fast-moving market

Yaskawa Electric reports stunning 150 per cent more profits with robotics and automation leading the way

Yaskawa Electric says it has achieved a staggering 150 per cent growth in net profit for the period from April to September, compared with the same period last year, according to a report on Nikkei

Nikkei says Yaskawa’s profits for the period were $184 million, beating its own previous records.

Yaskawa, which also owns the Motoman brand of industrial robot, says most of the growth was due to increased orders for automation equipment from China, Japan and the US.  Continue reading Yaskawa Electric reports stunning 150 per cent more profits with robotics and automation leading the way

Final call for Instructables ‘Design for Robotics’ competition

Instructables is probably the most popular website for the maker community, and contains thousands and thousands of guides on how to make things. 

The website was bought by the Autodesk group, which owns the AutoCad and Fusion 360 range of software, and is offering free software to the education sector. 

A few weeks ago, Instructables launched a competition which it called “Design for Robotics”, in partnership with GE Appliances, which makes washing machines and similar household goods.  Continue reading Final call for Instructables ‘Design for Robotics’ competition

Robots in the cosmetics industry: Complex tasks for sophisticated machines

Like most business sectors, the cosmetics industry is a growing market for industrial robotics and automation suppliers. 

At the moment, it’s a relatively small market compared to automotive, electronics, and other sectors, but according to a study by Alltake Market Research, unit shipments in the sector will grow more than 20 per cent by 2022.

However, Alltake combines cosmetics and pharmaceutical into one category for its projections.  Continue reading Robots in the cosmetics industry: Complex tasks for sophisticated machines

US trade boss warns of oversupply of bad robots because of Chinese government subsidies

 

China’s appetite for industrial robots is big and growing. Already the largest buyer of the machines, domestic companies are being encouraged by the Chinese government to build more robots locally, not just import them from overseas. 

Such high-powered encouragement has led to the establishment of numerous robot manufacturers in the country, some of which take advantage of government subsidies.

This has prompted criticism from US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross (main picture), who grumbled about a range of issues, but singled out China’s burgeoning robotics industry, which he apparently believes is built mainly on government subsidies.  Continue reading US trade boss warns of oversupply of bad robots because of Chinese government subsidies

Spanish farm produce supplier reduces human workers from 500 to 100 using robots

 

Spanish farm produce supplier El Dulze has reduced its human workforce from 500 down to just 100 with the use of robots, according to a report on FruitNet.com

The company is said to be using Fanuc robots – LR Mate 200iB models – which use vision systems to even out the production line so the vegetables are not bunched up too close together for packing.

The robots also appear to be picking heads of lettuce and placing them in containers, or plastic packaging.  Continue reading Spanish farm produce supplier reduces human workers from 500 to 100 using robots

Opinion: How assistive robots will transform the workplace and elderly care

By Dr Antonio Espingardeiro, member of the IEEE

Robots can bring significant benefits to the workplace, positively impacting productivity, efficiency and quality.

There are challenges to realising these benefits – not least the complex subject of the degree and quality of human interaction that we want or need robots to deliver.

However, robotics offers tremendous scope for helping humanity, so the field will continue to develop the advanced technologies that make it possible.  Continue reading Opinion: How assistive robots will transform the workplace and elderly care

Nidec to launch factory automation robots

Nidec is to start selling factory automation and robotics systems some time this year, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review

Japanese company Nidec already has a strong presence in the industrial space, and is a huge supplier of motors.

In the company’s own words, it specialises in and handles motor application products based on “everything that spins and moves”, and says its business is “centred on motors”.  Continue reading Nidec to launch factory automation robots

Technically speaking, South Korea just introduced world’s first ‘robot tax’

It was kind of funny when the idea of asking robots to pay their fair share of taxes was first floated, but it seems some are taking it seriously. 

Bill Gates was one of the first to talk about it, but not many probably took him all that seriously.

But then, not many people take the universal basic income idea seriously either, but some countries have already introduced it.  Continue reading Technically speaking, South Korea just introduced world’s first ‘robot tax’

Kawasaki gloating over appearance of its robots in latest Transformers film

 

Kawasaki is clearly very pleased with the appearance of not one but two of its industrial robots in the new Hollywood blockbuster film, Transformers 5: The Last Knight

The company has been crowing about its fame on its website.

The two Kawasaki RS010L robots make an appearance in the Transformers film.  Continue reading Kawasaki gloating over appearance of its robots in latest Transformers film

Market for logistics robots predicted to exceed $75 billion in 10 years

Mobile robotics in material handling and logistics will become a $75 billion market by 2027, according to a new report, which adds that it will be more than double by 2038. 

These staggering headline figures mask turbulent transformative change underneath: some technologies will rise and transform the fortunes of industries, fuelling growth rates far outpacing recent trends, whilst others will face with decay and obsolescence.

“We are at the beginning of the beginning of a transformative change, and the time to plan is now,” says the report by IDTechEx Research.  Continue reading Market for logistics robots predicted to exceed $75 billion in 10 years

Kiva Systems developers launch new company and their own logistics robot

Kiva Systems was a company that built a mobile robot for logistics operations, mainly for use in warehouses. It was a basically a small platform on wheels, and proved popular throughout the industry.

But then it got bought out by Amazon, which initially said it would still sell it to the rest of the logistics industry but actually didn’t. Instead it rebranded Kiva as Amazon Robotics and turned it into a business unit of its own.

The online retail giant now has one of the largest number of robots in operation of any company in the world.

But two former executives at Kiva Systems – Jerome Dubois and Rylan Hamilton – have now launched a new company and a range of new logistics automation solutions.  Continue reading Kiva Systems developers launch new company and their own logistics robot

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