Energised by smartphones, sensors are driving the automotive industry

dsp concepts auto-measure

One of the main reasons why highly-sophisticated sensors have come down in price to affordable levels in the past few years is smartphones. 

The economies of scale achieved through having to produce literally billions of sensors for smartphones has established a strong manufacturing base for sensing technology.

And from that base, sensors are now driving many different markets, perhaps most interesting of which is the automotive market.  Continue reading Energised by smartphones, sensors are driving the automotive industry

Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

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German industrial giant Bosch is building a massive semiconductor production plant which would represent the single largest investment in the company’s 130-year history. 

The high-tech facility, to be located in Dresden, would employ around 700 staff working on 300-millimeter semiconductor chips which Bosch says has growing applications in the automotive market, smart cities and on the industrial internet, all strong markets for Bosch.

The construction of the high-tech factory is to be completed by the end of 2019, says Bosch, and production is expected to begin at the end of 2021 after a start-up phase. Overall, the investment volume for the site is estimated to be around $1.1 billion.  Continue reading Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Audi has demonstrated its autonomous car – which it calls “Jack” – in a road test featuring a humanoid robot called Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics.

Audi’s head of concept development, automated driving, Klaus Verweyen, was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, while Sophia was in the passenger seat.

Verweyen chatted away to Sophia as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Meanwhile, Jack drove itself from Audi’s facility onto a main highway and back again.  Continue reading Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Collaborative robotic system makes ‘monotonous and physically demanding tasks’ at BMW easier

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A worker at BMW Dingolfing, with the Kuka collaborative robot

The employees at BMW Group’s Dingolfing Plant have a new, highly responsive assistant: an LBR iiwa lightweight robot from Kuka, which they say takes over “monotonous and physically demanding tasks”. 

Previously, BMW employees had to lift a differential case which weighed up to 5.5 kg, and had to manoeuvre it with millimeter-precision, in the assembly of the front axle.

Now the robot is taking over this “ergonomically demanding work”.  Continue reading Collaborative robotic system makes ‘monotonous and physically demanding tasks’ at BMW easier

Quality control of rubber seals on the basis of height measurements

poscon hm

The measurement of object height is an important aspect in quality control applications. With the PosCon HM light-section sensor, Baumer says it offers a unique, compact measuring device for this kind of task.

The smart, pre-configured profile sensor offers five measurement modes for different measurement tasks. An exact positioning of the measured objects is not required.

The PosCon HM provides reliable measurements even on shiny and very dark surfaces. In conjunction with its high measuring accuracy of up to 2 μm, it is suitable for a large number of applications in at-line, off-line and in-line control.  Continue reading Quality control of rubber seals on the basis of height measurements

ATI Industrial Automation to hold technology fair in Michigan

ati industrial automation

ATI Industrial Automation will hold its Annual Technology Fair on August 10, 2017 at its Orion Township, Michigan facility.

The one-day educational event will focus on “Applications Advancing Automation”, providing attendees the opportunity to learn more about ATI’s products and hear from the industry-leading experts that use them every day.

The event will feature educational seminars hosted by ATI’s distinguished customers, as well as live robotic demonstrations of ATI’s tool changers, multi-axis force/torque sensors, robotic collision sensors and robotic deburring tools.  Continue reading ATI Industrial Automation to hold technology fair in Michigan

NarrativeWave claims first of its kind IIoT platform

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Today, large industrial assets, such as airplane engines and gas turbines, generate data through sensors.

In fact, there are around 6 billion connected sensors in the world today and by 2020, more than 20 billion sensors will be connected worldwide, according to Gartner.

During a commercial airline flight, data such as the engine’s health and status is sent to diagnostic engineers to be closely analyzed.

Approximately 1,000 gigabytes of data are generated per flight and with over 100,000 flights per day, this equates to over 100,000,000 gigabytes of commercial flight data every day.

That is what you call BIG data.

While big data can be a curse to manage, it is becoming the most critical asset. Continue reading NarrativeWave claims first of its kind IIoT platform

Industrial automation technologies for 2017

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Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of obsolete equipment supplier EU Automation discusses a few key technologies that will shape industrial automation in the year ahead

Innovation is the driver of progress in industrial automation.

From the conception of the programmable logic controller in 1968 to the introduction of the collaborative robots we see in industry today, technological developments continuously shape the industrial automation landscape.  Continue reading Industrial automation technologies for 2017

Bosch launches ‘smallest, high performance’ barometric pressure sensor

Bosch BMP380 sensor
The Bosch BMP380 sensor measures 2 by 2 by 0.75 mm

Bosch Sensortec has launched what it says is the company’s smallest and best performing barometric pressure sensor, with a compact size of 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.75 mm.

The BMP380 sensor is aimed at the growing markets of gaming, sports and health management, as well as indoor and outdoor navigation.

By measuring barometric pressure, the sensor enables drones, smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices to accurately determine altitude changes, in both indoor and outdoor environments.  Continue reading Bosch launches ‘smallest, high performance’ barometric pressure sensor

Tata Elxsi showcases advanced Automotive technology solutions at CES 2017

tata elxsi auto tech

Tata Elxsi will be unveiling its latest automotive technology solutions driven by emerging industry requirements for cyber-security, safety, comfort and user experience at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The company will be at CES 2017, booth number 6223, at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

Tata Elxsi, a global design and technology services company and a leader for automotive electronics and software engineering services, is showcasing key solutions addressing Autonomous Vehicle, Connected Infotainment, Automation, IoT and Artificial Intelligence at CES 2017.  Continue reading Tata Elxsi showcases advanced Automotive technology solutions at CES 2017

Connected asparagus: Bosch outlines vision of a future with connected factories and robotic farmers

Bosch Apas workstation, which includes a cobot the company claims is “the first collaborative robot to be certified as an assistance system”

One of the world’s largest engineering companies, Bosch, has outlined its vision of the future, which includes a world full of smart factories, robotic farmers and connected asparagus. 

Bosch made its views available to Robotics and Automation News in a series of documents sent to us this week.

The company believes two main areas of technological development stand out from the rest: connectivity and sensors.  Continue reading Connected asparagus: Bosch outlines vision of a future with connected factories and robotic farmers

Intel commits $250 million extra to autonomous driving technology

intel connected car

Intel will invest an additional than $250 million into developing autonomous driving technology, says CEO Brian Krzanich.

Intel plans to help make fully autonomous driving a reality, acknowledges its decision signifies “how critical the automotive market has become for the company”.

Krzanich, who made the announcement at the LA Auto Show recently, says the new investment is part of the company’s ongoing work with automakers and system suppliers to help integrate advanced technologies into cars.  Continue reading Intel commits $250 million extra to autonomous driving technology

Opinion: ‘How data science and machine learning will save lives on the roads’

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Toyota is recalling 5.8 million cars globally to replace potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata, according to the IBTimes.co.uk

By Sundeep Sanhavi, CEO of Data RPM, who claims data science and machine learning will save lives in this exclusive article for Robotics and Automation News

Recalls happen all too frequently, often as a result of some horrendous accident or incident. But there are ways in which the predictive qualities of data science and machine learning can relegate recalls to the annals of history. 

“A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph,” explains the Narrator in the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.

“The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.”

Edward Norton’s chilling performance aside, vehicle recalls are a persistent problem. Their persistence – given the increasing availability of improved technology and insight – is baffling.  Continue reading Opinion: ‘How data science and machine learning will save lives on the roads’

Industrial internet: Connecting motors to the Internet of Things

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Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of industrial equipment supplier EU Automation discusses how new developments help bring legacy systems forward

In the last few years, fitness tracking technology has been increasingly popular, with a range of devices available to help you become healthier, improve your fitness performance and ultimately live longer.

These devices use non-invasive, easy to use sensors that connect directly to your smartphone or computer, giving you instant results to track your progress. At this year’s Hanover Messe, a new ABB demonstrated a new fitness tracker. Only this time, it’s a fitness tracker for industrial motors.

At this year’s Hanover fair, ABB revealed that it has developed a smart sensor that can monitor the condition of a Low Voltage (LV) motor. This development consists of two parts; the sensor and the software.  Continue reading Industrial internet: Connecting motors to the Internet of Things

Collaborative robot: Human-machine harmony

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An illustration of CanisDrive, a new range of compact hollow shaft servo actuators launched by Harmonic Drive

Richard Hurst, product manager at Harmonic Drive looks at the latest technological advancements, such as high precision gears, that are allowing these trends to move from the periphery of the industry into the mainstream

The biggest trends in the robotics industry include collaborative robots (CoBots), a move towards high precision applications and the rise of the Internet of Robot Things (IoRT). 

Between 2010 and 2014, robot sales reached 171,000 units globally, a rise of 48 per cent on the previous four years and representing a compound annual growth rate of 17 per cent.

This is according to research by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), which also identified China as the world’s biggest buyer of industrial robots with a 25 per cent share of the worldwide market.  Continue reading Collaborative robot: Human-machine harmony