Industrial Robot

Recent Posts

What’s Next to Interact with Industrial Robots

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Human interaction with industrial robots has been limited over the last 50 years. Imitation learning, cobots, and natural language processing are enabling new human-machine interactions. Elsewhere AI techniques continue to adapt to industrial needs.

Short on Labor: Factories Turn to Robots

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Facing a shortage of workers, manufacturers are forced to raise wages and automate with robotics. Robotic welding is an investment in safety, as well as productivity and quality. Fuselage assembly and paint spray processes become automated.

Assembly Line

ROS: How Well Does it Address Manufacturers’ Needs?

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Author: Louis Pavlakos

Topics: Industrial Robot

Organizations: Omnirobotic

Using ROS, developers can build the three main components of a robot: the actuators, sensors, and control systems. These components are then unified with ROS tools, namely topics and messages. The messages are used to plan the robot’s movement and, using a digital twin, developers can ensure that their code works without having to actually test it on a real robot.

Omnirobotic’s AutonomyOS™ is a middleware meant to simplify and widen how robots are being used. While they both aim to achieve similar results, AutonomyOS™ flips the script by removing the need to code – something that still drives ROS. AutonomyOS™ can be primarily used by High-Mix manufacturers for a variety of different applications like paint spray processes, welding, and sanding. What is “High-Mix” Manufacturing? It is generally defined as any manufacturer or production that processes more than 100 different SKUs in batches fewer than 1000 each year – basically, a lot more variation than mass manufacturing.

Read more at Omnirobotic Blog

Veo Robotics’ 2022 Manufacturing Automation Outlook

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Topics: Industrial Robot

Organizations: Veo Robotics

To optimize their investments, manufacturers must create an environment conducive to this new hybrid workplace. To do this, manufacturers must create environments where robots and humans can work nearby as collaborators to optimize space and increase productivity. Ironically, however, as manufacturers are increasingly seeking ways to automate their processes, antiquated safeguarding measures are, in many cases, hindering their ability to embrace it fully.

In fact, manufacturers surveyed by Veo cited many areas that they would like to automate but cannot because of safeguarding complexities or obstructions. Areas mentioned include, operator load stations (24%) welding & soldering (18%), primary packaging (17%) and palletizing/depalletizing (13%).

Read more at Veo Robotics Blog

Can Realtime Robotics’ RapidPlan Software Break Through Industrial Automation’s Slow Progress?

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Author: Jacob Bourne

Topics: Industrial Robot

Organizations: Realtime Robotics

Despite continuous advances in the field of robotics, complex motion through space still presents a stumbling block for bots. In oftentimes hectic industrial settings, complex motion that entails a robot getting from point A to point B to perform a task is a feat that generally involves weeks to months of programming time, resulting in movement that’s relatively slow and collision-prone. It’s a challenge that George Konidaris, cofounder and chief roboticist of Realtime Robotics, says has been a persistent hurdle for robotics researchers since 1979—and he thinks RapidPlan represents a significant leap of progress.

Part of the software’s promise is enabling robots to more quickly determine the best path of movement in dynamic environments like factories, which Konidaris says so far hasn’t been accomplished. Software users start with RapidPlan Create, which guides them through the robotic programming phase. Then RapidPlan Control runs the robots’ operations.

Data from Realtime indicates that the software can reduce programming time by 70-80 percent, increase throughput rate by 10-30 percent and decrease a bot’s life cycle cost by up to 50 percent.

Read more at Engineering.com

Meet the Robotiq Screwdriving Solution

OSARO™ Robotic Induction System

Engine block assembly line for Scania's trucks of tomorrow

Rent-a-Robot and Our Tight Labor Market

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Authors: Brent Orrell, Jake Easter

Topics: Industrial Robot

Today, firms like Formic Technologies, Stout Industrial Technologies, and Rios Intelligent Machines, Inc. are helping move robotics into new sectors of the economy and into small- and medium-sized firms through a robots-as-a-service model. The robotic systems they offer are not only more nimble, smarter, and more efficient than their predecessors of a quarter-century ago but are also cost-effective in helping mid-sized and small firms overcome constraints posed by capital and technological know-how. Companies paying $15 an hour or more for labor—if they are able to find workers at all—can rent a robotic solution for around $8 per hour per robot while avoiding capital outlays of as much as $125,000 per unit. Avoiding big-ticket investments combined with a 40 to 50 percent reduction in labor costs is the kind of thing that gets business-owner attention.

Read more at The Bulwark

Expanding the robotics toolbox: Physics changes in Unity 2022.1

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Topics: Simulation, Industrial Robot

Organizations: Unity

Simulate sophisticated, environment-aware robots with the new inverse dynamics force sensor tools. Explore dynamics with the completely revamped Physics Debugger. Take advantage of the performance improvements in interpolation, batch queries, and more.

Read more at Unity Blog

At Amazon Robotics, simulation gains traction

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Author: Alan S. Brown

Topics: industrial robot, simulation

Organizations: Amazon, MIT

“To develop complex robotic manipulation systems, we need both visual realism and accurate physics,” says Marchese. “There aren’t many simulators that can do both. Moreover, where we can, we need to preserve and exploit structure in the governing equations — this helps us analyze and control the robotic systems we build.”

Drake, an open-source toolbox for modeling and optimizing robots and their control system, brings together several desirable elements for online simulation. The first is a robust multibody dynamics engine optimized for simulating robotic devices. The second is a systems framework that lets Amazon scientists write custom models and compose these into complex systems that represent actual robots. The third is what he calls a “buffet of well-tested solvers” that resolve numerical optimizations at the core of Amazon’s models, sometimes as often as every time step of the simulation. Lastly, is its robust contact solver. It calculates the forces that occur when rigid-body items interact with one another in a simulation.

Read more at Amazon Science

Cloud-edge-device collaboration mechanisms of deep learning models for smart robots in mass personalization

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Authors: Chen Yang, Yingchao Wang, Shulin Lan, Lihui Wang, Weiming Shen, George Q Huang

Topics: Industrial Robot

Organizations: Beijing Institute of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Personalized products have gradually become the main business model and core competencies of many enterprises. Large differences in components and short delivery cycles of such products, however, require industrial robots in cloud manufacturing (CMfg) to be smarter, more responsive and more flexible. This means that the deep learning models (DLMs) for smart robots should have the performance of real-time response, optimization, adaptability, dynamism, and multimodal data fusion. To satisfy these typical demands, a cloud-edge-device collaboration framework of CMfg is first proposed to support smart collaborative decision-making for smart robots. Meanwhile, in this context, different deployment and update mechanisms of DLMs for smart robots are analyzed in detail, aiming to support rapid response and high-performance decision-making by considering the factors of data sources, data processing location, offline/online learning, data sharing and the life cycle of DLMs. In addition, related key technologies are presented to provide references for technical research directions in this field.

Read more at ScienceDirect

RoboDK Pro Training - Module 06 - 08 - Part Feeder - Create Mechanism - Robot Simulation - Tutorial

Automated Assembly for Waterproof Electrical Connectors, Courtesy of Noble Plastics

Robots Become More Useful In Factories

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Author: John Koon

Topics: Industrial Robot

Organizations: Siemens

“The main focus of manufacturing is to increase productivity measured in throughput over a time period, with minimum downtime,” said Sathishkumar Balasubramanian, head of product management and marketing for IC verification at Siemens EDA. “But assembly line manufacturing line is a dynamic environment, and automation is only part of the solution. On the outside, it seems to be important to have constant flow. However, variability in manufacturing flow is inevitable, and how the manufacturing process adapts to variation is highly critical to keep the downtime to a minimum. For example, in bottling manufacturing, how the work moves from station 1 to station 4, and a change in bottle orientation, can be addressed by an adaptive production line to meet peak demand with minimum disruption. That is very important. The ability to sense the status of manufacturing line at the edge is key to robotic manufacturing process.”

Read more at Semiconductor Engineering

Industry 5.0: Adding the Human Edge to Industry 4.0

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Author: Andrew Lightstead

Topics: Industrial Robot, Robot Picking

Organizations: Photoneo

The arms of pick and place robots are equipped with end effectors similar to human hands that are specifically designed for picking various types of objects. These may include components that are further used in the manufacturing processes of products.

Pick and place robots have a wide range of capabilities. Depending on specific application requirements, they can be equipped with several types of end effectors. The most common ones include vacuum grippers with suction cups, fingered grippers, clawed grippers, magnetic grippers, or custom grippers. To achieve a high level of flexibility, pick and place robots are often equipped with multiple arms and heads. This helps them approach objects from several angles at any given time.

Read more at Photoneo Blog

Mitsubishi Electric Develops Teaching-less Robot System Technology

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Topics: Natural Language Processing, Industrial Robot

Organizations: Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced it has developed a teaching-less robot system technology to enable robots to perform tasks, such as sorting and arrangement as fast as humans without having to be taught by specialists. The system incorporates Mitsubishi Electric’s Maisart AI technologies including high-precision speech recognition, which allows operators to issue voice instructions to initiate work tasks and then fine-tune robot movements as required. The technology is expected to be applied in facilities such as food-processing factories where items change frequently, which has made it difficult until now to introduce robots. Mitsubishi Electric aims to commercialize the technology in or after 2023 following further performance enhancements and extensive verifications.

Read more at Mitsubishi Electric News

Realtime Robotics enhances responsive workcell monitoring by reading CAD files with CAD Exchanger

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Topics: Industrial Robot

Organizations: CAD Exchanger, Realtime Robotics

It was Realtime Robotics who managed to fuse all the latest technological achievements and academic research and to elaborate a specialized toolkit for on-the-fly motion planning. “Realtime Robotics has created technology that solves a 30-year-old challenge in the robotics industry. Our motion planning solution allows industrial automation to move collision-free and respond to obstacles in real time,” says Will Floyd-Jones, Co-Founder & Robotics Engineer in Realtime Robotics.

The initial plan to cobble together various libraries was no longer relevant when Realtime Robotic stumbled upon CAD Exchanger. “We would have to hack a bunch of things together and try to figure out how to get them to import data in one common way. And then we discovered that CAD Exchanger has already solved the problem and would just do that for us,” explains Will Floyd-Jones, Co-Founder & Robotics Engineer in Realtime Robotics.

Read more at CAD Exchanger Blog

Marlan Lets Cobot Perform Heavy Repetitive Sanding Work

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Topics: industrial robot, cobot

Organizations: Robotiq, Universal Robots, Marlan

One of the operations that are common when processing solid surface products is sanding. This is heavy, repetitive work that requires skilled personnel. Such personnel is becoming increasingly difficult to find. In addition, it is important that the quality is guaranteed. It became increasingly difficult for Marlan to organize this task properly. The company therefore went in search of a way to automate this process as much as possible.

After delivery, the cobot was deployed within two weeks. Heerema was able to program it within half an hour, without any programming experience. After the implementation and installation, two employees were trained and the cobot was fine-tuned to determine the correct pressure when sanding. This step was also the start of further optimizing other parts of the production. According to Heerema, some employees were immediately enthusiastic, but others were afraid of losing their jobs. “But that’s not what we’re about at all. We want to make it easier for employees and give them the opportunity to increase their output.” The employees are now fully accustomed to the cobot and see it as a kind of colleague.

The cobot at Marlan is currently used for sanding bathtubs. This is a large object that is difficult to sand manually. A major problem here is monitoring consistent quality. Heerema: “But with a cobot you can guarantee an even pressure which also ensures constant product quality.”

Read more at Robotiq Blog

MiR+UR autonomous picking and transport

Can Boston Dynamics’ Robots Spot And Stretch Make It Profitable?

Fleet of MiR robots at Mirgor in Argentina

Machine Shop Creates Robot Machining Cell Before There was Work for It

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Author: John Koetsier

Topics: industrial robot, robotic arm

Organizations: Custom Tool, Fanuc, Hardinge, Telit

This machine shop’s self-integrated robot was purchased without a project in mind. However, when a particular part order came in, the robot paired with the proper machine tool was an optimal fit for the job, offering consistency and an increase in throughput.

The M-10 is a six-axis robot that is designed specifically for small work cells and can lift up to 12 kg. Young purchased the robot with a force sensor, which he highly recommends. Force sensors enable robots to detect force and torque applied to the end effector. This provides it with an almost human sense of touch. Surprising to Young and his team, the force sensor was not difficult to set up and use.

After the robot purchase and the order came in, it was time to search for the right machine tool for the job. The Hardinge Bridgeport V480 APC VMC was attractive to Young because of its pallet changing system that maximizes spindle uptime.

Custom Tool’s automated data collection and reporting system developed by company president, Gillen Young, uses a web-based, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform to pull data from machines that have agents for the open-source MTConnect communication protocol as well as the company’s JobBoss enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The platform is Devicewise for Factory from Telit, a company that offers IIoT modules, software and connectivity services and software.

Read more at Production Machining

This Robotic Avatar Welds, Cuts, Lifts While Controlled By A VR Operator Over 5G

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Author: John Koetsier

Topics: industrial robot, virtual reality, 5G, welding

Organizations: Sarcos Robotics

Guardian XT is the latest “highly dextrous mobile industrial robot” from Sarcos. Think of it as the top half of your body with super-strong arms, configurable attachments for different tasks, a built-in battery pack, cameras and sensors for eyes, and a 5G connection for taking orders from a remote operator who sees what the robot sees via a VR headset and wears a motion capture suit so the robot does what he or she does.

With different attachments on its arms, Guardian XT can weld, sand, grind, cut, inspect, and more. Over time the company will be developing more quick-swap attachments for more capabilities, just like an excavating company might purchase different buckets or attachments for its machinery as different jobs have varying requirements. Plus, there’s a three-fingered robotic hand coming that can hold and use many of the tools a human uses today.

Read more at Forbes

Medicine piece-picking robot for Hitachi Transport System

Highly-flexible production of battery packs for Webasto Group