New robotic painting system saves ‘significant’ resources, claims Fraunhofer

An automated painting system, involving an industrial robot, is claimed to save significant resources by its developer, the Fraunhofer Institute.

The robotic system – called SelfPaint – is said by Fraunhofer to offer reductions of 20 percent in paint use, 15 percent in energy consumption and 5 percent in production time.

These are “significant advantages” compared to manual painting operations, which have previously been the preferred option, adds Fraunhofer.  Continue reading New robotic painting system saves ‘significant’ resources, claims Fraunhofer

Baumüller prepares to showcase new solutions at Drinktec event

Baumüller will introduce what it describes as “complete solution packages and industry-specific components” at Drinktec 2017, the drinks packaging industry event. 

From September 11-15, 2017, Baumüller will participate in drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry in Munich.

In hall B3 at stand 321, the Nuremberg-based drive and automatization specialist will present its specific industry solutions for the beverage industry – from a drive with an aseptic surface for transport tasks in the food sector to compact local drive technology for minimum wiring effort.  Continue reading Baumüller prepares to showcase new solutions at Drinktec event

Interview: Robotic Vision Technologies boss eyes growth of global collaborative robotics market

Interview with Rick Weidinger, CEO of Robotic Vision Technologies

A human eye transmits data to the brain at a rate of approximately 10 million bits a second, which is about the equivalent of the capacity of some Ethernet connections. 

This was the finding of a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and while that may be debatable, and perhaps doesn’t tell the whole story of the complexity of the human eye, it’s probably a widely accepted idea that our eyes collect and transmit more data than do our other “sensors”, if they can be called that – the ones for sound, touch, smell and taste – which, with sight, make up our five human senses.

Robots, of course, only have senses because their makers want to integrate sensors into them.  Continue reading Interview: Robotic Vision Technologies boss eyes growth of global collaborative robotics market

Neousys launches ARM-based IoT gateway

neousys igt-20

Neousys Technology has launched an industrial grade ARM-based gateway, which it calls IGT-20.

The company says unlike System on Module (SoM) that’s commonly provided as a barebone component, IGT-20 is based on AM3352 from Texas Instrument’s Sitara AM335x family and will be shipped as a ready system pre-installed with Debian.

The industrial nature of IGT-20 means it is in compliance with common industrial certifications such as CE/FCC, shock and vibration.  Continue reading Neousys launches ARM-based IoT gateway

Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability

Pick-to-Light

By Thomas Cutler

Until now pick-to-light equipment has represented a significant fixed capital expense with little consideration for variable use, often driven by seasonality, warehouse/distribution variance, and project management flux.

From manufacturers to 3PL (third-party logistics) companies, these swings in low or high usage represented a level of waste as purchased lights went unused and wasted.

Pick-to-light is a fulfilment technology which uses alphanumeric displays and buttons at storage locations to guide the manual picking and recording of items for shipment.  Continue reading Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability

Work starts on ‘largest’ fully automated parking structure in the US

autoparkit

Creative Office Properties and Dasher Lawless Automation broke ground last month on a subterranean, 277 stall AutoParkit System.

It is the largest fully automated parking structure below grade in the US It is longer than a football field and features multiple load bays to service both tenants and guests.

The system also exclusively features automated electric vehicle charging stalls and automated bicycle storage.  Continue reading Work starts on ‘largest’ fully automated parking structure in the US

Harman introduces Sherlock AI system to help its designers and engineers find and put things together more quickly

Harman International, a design and engineering company which supplies a range of products and services to automotive companies, has introduced a new artificial intelligence system into its company.

The AI system, Sherlock, is described as a “virtual colleague” for Harman employees, and is said to have completely redefined the innovation management workflow in some of the company’s divisions.

Armin Prommersberger, senior vice president technology, lifestyle audio division, at Harman, says Sherlock offers a level of insight into the business that would be impossible to gain without it.  Continue reading Harman introduces Sherlock AI system to help its designers and engineers find and put things together more quickly

ADAS: Features of advanced driver assistance systems

This is a long list of features of advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS as it’s called in the automotive industry. 

ADAS is an umbrella term. Its individual technologies are basically small autonomous systems.

Taken together, ADAS is essentially a self-driving system, but it’s not promoted as such because of regulatory reasons.  Continue reading ADAS: Features of advanced driver assistance systems

Smart tool dispenser systems finding their way into industrial settings

Thomas Dicks, head of e-business and marketing at Lerbs
Thomas Dicks, head of e-business and marketing at Lerbs

Smart automatic vending machines are becoming increasingly widely used in industrial settings, according to Bedrunka+Hirth

The German company supplies what it calls “intelligent consumable and tool dispensers” which have hi-tech features such as ID card and PIN code verification access management.

B+H says the machine knows exactly who is allowed to receive a measuring device and when it must be calibrated. It logs the number of times when a milling cutter was taken out and knows when the stock is running out.  Continue reading Smart tool dispenser systems finding their way into industrial settings

Husarion launches new robotics development board

husarion core2
The basic Core2 is shown on the left, while the ROS-enabled Core2 is on the right

A company called Husarion has launched a new development board specially designed for robotics. 

The Core2 is described as a controller with a variety of interfaces which are useful in robotics, and it can be connected to the Husarion cloud, enabling remote control of robot systems over the internet.

Among the use cases Husarion highlights are:

  • industrial robot arms;
  • telepresence robots;
  • logistics robotcs;
  • drones; and
  • exoskeletons.

One flavour of Core2 uses the Robot Operation System, and is now available for pre-order through CrowdSupply.com. The controller itself is being offered for less than $100 while  Continue reading Husarion launches new robotics development board

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

bmw dingolfing kuka robot
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

Harvest Croo Robotics field tests autonomous strawberry-picking vehicle

harvest croo strawberry picking robot interior view

Harvest Croo Robotics is field testing an autonomous vehicle designed to help plant and pick strawberries, according to a report on ThePacker.com

The new vehicle looks rather unlike your typical farm vehicle, and is designed to straddle six strawberry beds as it moves along. It uses GPS navigation, LiDAR vision and carries 16 robots which will do the actual planting and picking of the strawberries.

The robots will use a proprietary vision system which will identify which strawberries are ready to be picked (probably based on colour as robots can’t smell or taste yet as far as we know). Picked strawberries will then be moved to the platform level for further inspection and grading.  Continue reading Harvest Croo Robotics field tests autonomous strawberry-picking vehicle

Honda aiming for Level 4 automated driving capability by 2025

Honda says it is targeting the year 2025 for the introduction of vehicles with highly-automated driving capability – or autonomy – in most driving situations (SAE Level 4).

Full list of SAE levels of automation, or autonomousness, available here.

This new goal builds upon earlier-announced plans for Honda and Acura vehicles to have highly-automated freeway driving capability (SAE Level 3) by 2020.

Honda says these are “critical steps” in its commitment to contribute to a “collision-free society”.  Continue reading Honda aiming for Level 4 automated driving capability by 2025

Robotic Vision Technologies and Universal Robots introduce 3D cobot packaging application

robotic vision technologies

Robotic Vision Technologies will be a co-exhibitor at EastPack 2017, on June 13-15, 2017 with the world’s largest collaborative robot maker Universal Robots.

RVT will be demonstrating its new collaborative 3D vision guidance software on a Universal Robot UR5. The 3D cobot packaging solution can be seen at EastPack ATX 2017 in East Booth 2529 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

RVT, a leader in vision software for industrial applications, has been integrated into Universal Robots’ cobot arms to demonstrate precise pick-and-place items off a conveyor in 2.5D and onto a movable tray in 3D.  Continue reading Robotic Vision Technologies and Universal Robots introduce 3D cobot packaging application

SAE’s full list of levels for autonomous vehicles

This is the full list of SAE’s autonomy levels:

Level 0 – No Automation: The full-time performance by the human driver of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems.

Level 1 – Driver Assistance: The driving mode-specific execution by a driver assistance system of either steering or acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Level 2 – Partial Automation: The driving mode-specific execution by one or more driver assistance systems of both steering and acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Level 3 – Conditional Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task with the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Level 4 – High Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Level 5 – Full Automation: The full-time performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task under all roadway and environmental conditions that can be managed by a human driver.