Safe positioning monitoring: Concepts for machine safety

By Martina Schili, Leuze electronic

As one of the technology leaders in the area of optoelectronic safety sensors for industrial automation, Leuze electronic offers effective personnel protection devices in accordance with international safety standards.

Machine safety is growing in importance and is, thus, becoming an integral part of machine design.

In addition to the moral obligation to protect and preserve the health of their employees, the topic of machine safety is also a matter of economic efficiency for employers and operating companies.  Continue reading Safe positioning monitoring: Concepts for machine safety

RIA partners with OSHA and NIOSH to create unpronounceable robot group

 

The Robotics Industries Association is partnering with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to create a new standards body for robotics and other relevant industries. 

RIA is the main industrial robotics association in the US and was established in 1974.

OSHA and NIOSH are both government agencies – OSHA is under the Department of Labour, and NIOSH is under the Department of Health and Human Services.  Continue reading RIA partners with OSHA and NIOSH to create unpronounceable robot group

TUV Rheinland outlines cyber security threats to industrial robotics and automation systems

tuv rheinland image

TUV Rheinland was invited to attend Shanghai International Industrial Automation & Robot Exhibition 2017 earlier this month, and held thematic lectures on the “New Engine of Smart Society – Robots and Inspection & Certification Services for Robot Systems” during the exhibition.

Shu Xu, unit general manager of commercial products of TUV Rheinland Greater China, officially released in the lecture a white paper on industrial robotics and cyber security, drawing considerable interest of many exhibitors, media and professionals in the world of robotics.

The white paper provides a detailed picture of various cyber security risks faced by industrial robots, as well as latest developments on technological trends, standards and product testing in the cyber security industry.  Continue reading TUV Rheinland outlines cyber security threats to industrial robotics and automation systems

Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

robot cars

Robot cars pose unprecedented risks to the American public, Consumer Watchdog warned in a report, Self-Driving Vehicles: The Threat to Consumers.

In a representation to the Senate, Consumer Watchdog says robot cars – also known as driverless, self-driving, autonomous or highly-automated cars – require mandatory safety, security, privacy and ethical standards.

The organisation also warned that getting Madd is not enough.

The Consumer Watchdog report is being issued in conjunction with a day-long program, Driverless Cars: The Legal Landscape, sponsored by George Washington University Law School and a hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee, Paving the Way for Self-Driving Vehicles.  Continue reading Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

BMW shows off its smart factory technologies at its plants worldwide

bmw worker with collaborative robot

Collaborative robots, smart glasses, exoskeletons and innovative work gloves are among the tech being integrated at plants across the group’s worldwide operations 

German automaker BMW has been providing a glimpse into the advanced manufacturing technologies at several of its factories – in Germany and the US. 

The company says it has been harnessing the potential of innovative automation and flexible assistance systems in production.

In doing so, BMW says it has modernized the work environment and increased the efficiency of its workforce.  Continue reading BMW shows off its smart factory technologies at its plants worldwide

Vehicle safety becoming ‘increasingly complex’, says ZF boss

Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF and John Plant, CEO of TRW
Picture shows Dr Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF (right), and John Plant, CEO of TRW Automotive. ZF bought TRW last year. 

Majority of vehicles will be driven autonomously in 20 years, he says

The boss of one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers says today’s road vehicles are becoming more sophisticated and ensuring their safe operation more complex. 

Speaking at an industry event, Dr Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen, also said the further development of safety systems would facilitate autonomous driving, and be an “enabler” for automotive “megatrends”.

Sommer said: “Demands to vehicle safety are becoming increasingly complex due to new vehicle architectures and flexible use of internal space. Meeting these demands is necessary for autonomous vehicles and e-mobility to gain general acceptance.”  Continue reading Vehicle safety becoming ‘increasingly complex’, says ZF boss

President Barack Obama appoints GM CEO Mary Barra to advisory panel on self-driving cars

General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra

US President Barack Obama has appointed General Motors chief executive Mary Barra to a newly created advisory committee on self-driving cars, and critics are already saying she should be the first person to whom the incoming president, Donald Trump, should say: “You’re fired.” 

Consumer advocates called on President-elect Donald Trump to make Barra his first firing and remove her as co-chairman of the newly created Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.

In a letter to Trump, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, John Simpson, the group’s privacy project director, and Joan Claybrook, chair of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, wrote: “As you know, robot cars, trucks, drones and other technology threaten to replace tens of millions of American jobs, pose a danger to the safety of our roads and public spaces, and come with significant privacy and security threats.

“We should not allow the robot makers alone to oversee the safety of vehicles coming out of robot factories, but the Obama Administration’s eleventh hour appointments do just that.”  Continue reading President Barack Obama appoints GM CEO Mary Barra to advisory panel on self-driving cars

Apple more or less confirms autonomous car project in letter to US government

apple autonomous car
An artist’s illustration of what the Apple car may or may not end up looking like

By David Shepardson, Reuters

Apple is wading in to the debate over regulation of self-driving cars, declaring it is excited about the potential for automated transportation and calling on US regulators not to restrict testing of such vehicles.

A five-page letter from Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the company’s most comprehensive statement yet about its interest in self-driving vehicle technology.

The November 22 letter followed more than a year of industry speculation about the computer and iPhone maker’s plans for expanding into transportation.  Continue reading Apple more or less confirms autonomous car project in letter to US government

Opinion: 5 reasons why a video intercom is a must for safety in the home

Five safety reasons for installing a video intercom in your home

In 2014 a charter school in Arizona took a big step towards bettering the security of their campuses: they implemented a video intercom system to help monitor entryways.

While there have never been any significant threats to AmeriSchool’s campuses, administrators elected to heighten security measures after the horrific events unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The school brought in engineers to install remote-controlled mag locks on all of the doors and a video intercom system at the entrances of each AmeriSchool. Doors remain locked for 30 minutes after classes begin and the 30 minutes prior to the final bell.  Continue reading Opinion: 5 reasons why a video intercom is a must for safety in the home

A different way to think about autonomous technology

By Megan Nichols, editor of SchooledByScience.com

Autonomous cars are the wave of the future, with more models released every year. These cars typically feature either a full auto pilot or driver assistance systems designed to make the ride safer and smoother.

Most of the technology we think of as autonomous or self-driving is already implemented in new cars as advanced driver assistance systems. These systems, like cruise control, lane sensing, blind spot alerts and more are all pieces of the self-driving car puzzle, found in most new car models.

For example, the basic concept of cruise control is not a new one. Ralph Teetor filed the first patent for a cruise control device in 1948, and it was installed on its first model just 10 years later. Today, adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems installed in newer cars take the basic idea introduced more than half a century ago and add features like automatic speed adjustment based on the location of other cars on the road.  Continue reading A different way to think about autonomous technology

Etalex increases sales by ‘40 per cent’ by using robotics and automation technology

Canadian company Etalex says it has achieved a 40 per cent increase in the past year, partly as a result of integrating collaborative technology from Universal Robots into its process

Founded in 1966 in Montreal, Canada, Etalex manufactures commercial interiors, specializing in metal fixtures, shelving, wood furnishings and heavy-duty racking systems. The company has 120 employees and has been mainly concentrating on the Quebec market. 

Etalex says it has introduced robotics and automation technology into its production and this resulted in increased competitiveness and a 40 per cent rise in sales last year.

As a result of its growth, the company says it is now ready to compete in the New York and Ontario markets as well.

  Continue reading Etalex increases sales by ‘40 per cent’ by using robotics and automation technology

US Department of Transportation issues new cybersecurity guidelines for vehicles

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Guidance covers cybersecurity best practices for all motor vehicles, individuals and organizations manufacturing and designing vehicle systems and software

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is taking a proactive safety approach to protect vehicles from malicious cyber-attacks and unauthorized access by releasing proposed guidance for improving motor vehicle cybersecurity.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says: “Cybersecurity is a safety issue, and a top priority at the Department.  Continue reading US Department of Transportation issues new cybersecurity guidelines for vehicles

Carnegie Mellon says autonomous car tech could bring social and economic benefits

Autonomous vehicles networking
Autonomous vehicles networking infrastructure will require new skills and training

Partially automated cars provide enough benefits to warrant widespread adoption of current safety technologies, say boffins 

Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering researchers have concluded that the public could derive economic and social benefits today if safety-oriented, partially automated vehicle technologies were deployed in all cars. 

The researchers examined forward collision warning, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring systems.

These technologies can include partially autonomous braking or controls to help vehicles avoid crashes.  Continue reading Carnegie Mellon says autonomous car tech could bring social and economic benefits

How motion systems transform airline seating from cramped into comfortable

actuators and airline seats

Promoted

As the demand for air travel keeps on growing, so does the needs of the passengers that come aboard.

Aero planes tend to have very limited space for which much of the facilities have to be fitted in and made to the standards that the customers are willing to pay for.

As such, engineers are tasked with figuring out how best they bring about that element without compromising on the size of the air craft and safety among others, while maintaining the economic aspect of the airline owners.  Continue reading How motion systems transform airline seating from cramped into comfortable

Protecting humans from robots in the workplace

fanuc industrial robot

In advance of the Next-Generation Collabrative Robots & Automation Technologies 2016 conference (August 17-18, Detroit MI), we spoke to Matt Epperson, compliance safety and health officer, Department of Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

With the industry now witnessing an influx of next-generation collaborative robotics and automation technologies, how important is it for the automotive industry and technology providers to come together and share best practices for driving safer, faster and more profitable manufacturing and maintaining a solid life-cycle?

It is more important now since there are many unknown variables related to this new technology. It is very important for industry to share ideas and best practices when it comes to protecting their workforce from workplace injuries.  Continue reading Protecting humans from robots in the workplace