Generalized Robots Inspired by Nature

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Visual Inspection

HERMITS: Mechanical Shells for Reconfigurable Robotic Tangible Interfaces

Assembly Line

Smart quality in advanced industries

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Authors: Álvaro Carpintero, Ulrich Huber, Evgeniya Makarova, and Heiko Nick

Topics: quality assurance

Organizations: McKinsey

Technological advancements have enabled a fundamentally new way of delivering quality. Under this approach, companies view the quality function as a partner and coach that delivers value, not just a business cost. This perspective helps them integrate quality and compliance into regular operations while enabling speed and effectiveness.

Read more at McKinsey

Survey: Data Analytics in the Chemical Industry

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Author: Allison Buenemann

Topics: manufacturing analytics

Vertical: Chemical

Organizations: Seeq

Seeq recently conducted a poll of chemical industry professionals—process engineers, mechanical and reliability engineers, production managers, chemists, research professionals, and others—to get their take on the state of data analytics and digitalization. Some of the responses confirmed behaviors we’ve witnessed first-hand in recent years: the challenges of organizational silos and workflow inefficiencies, and a common set of high-value use cases across organizations. Other responses surprised us, read on to see why.

Read more at Seeq

How Machine Learning Techniques Can Help Engineers Design Better Products

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Topics: machine learning, generative design

Organizations: Altair

By leveraging field predictive ML models engineers can explore more options without the use of a solver when designing different components and parts, saving time and resources. This ultimately produces higher quality results that can then be used to make more informed decisions throughout the design process.

Read more at Altair Engineering

MIT's HERMIT Crab Robots Can Do Anything You Shell Them To

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Author: @BotJunkie

Topics: robotics

Robots are well known to be specialists, doing best when they’re designed for one very specific task without much of an expectation that they’ll do anything else. This is fine, as long as you’re OK with getting a new specialist robot every time you want something different done robotically. Making generalist robots is hard, but what’s less hard is enabling a generalist to easily adapt into different kinds of specialists, which we humans do all the time when we use tools.

While we’ve written about tool using robots in the past, roboticists at the MIT Media Lab have taken inspiration from the proud and noble hermit crab to design a robot that’s able to effortlessly transition from a total generalist to highly specialized and back again, simply by switching in and out of clever, custom made mechanical shells.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

Cartesian robots: simple yet sophisticated packaging automation

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Author: Tom Maccianti

Topics: robotics

Vertical: Machinery

For many packaging use cases, cartesian robots have the edge over 6-axis models. One reason relates to the robot density. A single long-travel cartesian transfer robot can tend multiple packaging machines—without any need to rearrange machines around the robot.

By installing the transfer robots above the machines they tend, you also won’t incur a floor space penalty. Safety guarding requirements are minimal too, at least compared to 6-axis models, since an overhead installation naturally separates robots and workers. Finally, cartesian robots have lower cost maintenance and programming requirements.

Read more at The Robot Report

The Electrical Heart of Manufacturing

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Author: Bruce Morey

Topics: robotics

Vertical: Machinery

Organizations: Bosch Rexroth, Mitsubishi Electric, Promess

Once, servo amplifiers were tuned with screwdrivers to adjust the motion of the motors, with say three potentiometers, one for each of the elements of a PID controller. “Today, most servo drives have algorithms that autotune adjustments,” said Nausley. Promess can now position its presses within a few microns. “A few years ago, there’s no way we could have done that.”

Read more at SME

AI project to 'pandemic-proof' NHS supply chain

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Topics: natural language processing, machine learning

Organizations: Vamstar

With the ability to analyse NHS and global procurement data from previous supply contracts, the platform will aim to allow NHS buyers to evaluate credibility and capability of suppliers to fulfil their order. Each supplier would have a real-time ‘risk rating’ with information on the goods and services they supply.

Researchers at Sheffield University’s Information School are said to be developing Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods for the automated reading and extraction of data from large amounts of contract tender data held by the NHS and other European healthcare providers

Read more at The Engineer

Surge Demand

Augmented reality is now available in contact lenses. Trader buys copper but gets painted rocks instead. Wholers’ 2021 report on additive manufacturing is out.