Robotics, Automation & Control

Prototype Capture System Simulates Asteroid Mission

A prototype of the robotic capture module system is tested with a mock asteroid boulder in its clutches at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. A robotic capture module system prototype was built to help NASA engineers understand the operations required to collect a multi-ton boulder from an asteroid’s surface. The hardware includes three space frame legs with foot pads, and two seven-degrees-of-freedom arms with microspine gripper “hands” to grasp onto the boulder.

Posted in: News, Motion Control, Robotics

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Machine-Learning System Recognizes Sounds from Video

A machine learning system from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognizes sounds by watching video. The neural network interprets natural sounds in terms of image categories, without hand-annotated training data.

Posted in: News, Machinery & Automation

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Foundry Robot

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) introduced the IRB 1200 Foundry Plus 2 robot for material handling and machine tending. The compact foundry robot features the company’s optional protection system so it resists corrosion and withstands harsh environments, including high-pressure steam washing. The robot is IP66/67-compliant from base to wrist, which means its electrical compartments are sealed against liquid and solid contaminants. It is also available with cleanroom protection. The robot comes in two variants — the 700-mm-reach variant can carry a payload of up to 7 kg, while the longer-reach 900-mm variant can carry up to 5 kg of payload.

Posted in: Products, Robotics

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Robot Programming Software

With the RISE interactive graphical interface from Hypertherm (Hanover, NH), users control the Robotmaster V6 programming software from within a robot simulation environment. Users can modify a robot’s positions and trajectories by clicking and dragging the robot’s arm, axes, tools, or the workpiece. To manage transition moves between operations, users can jog the robot joint-by-joint; move the robot on the workpiece or tool frames; and change the base, elbow, or wrist configurations. The workspace analysis feature is fully integrated into RISE to help position parts. Visualization of the robot’s reach limits, coupled with dynamic recalculation, shows the impact of changes made on all operations. Process parameters can be created, modified, and controlled by the user for the entire program, specific operations, or at select points.

Posted in: Products, Robotics, Software

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Automatic Multi-Pallet Changer

Midaco Corp. (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers an automatic multi-pallet changer for 5-axis and standard vertical machining centers (VMCs). It can load and unload 19 aluminum pallets, one at a time, on any new or existing machine. The servo-driven automatic multipallet changer includes 19 aluminum pallets that are 10" (245 mm) in diameter and 1.25" (31.75 mm) thick. Each pallet’s weight capacity is 75 lbs. (34.05 kg). The pallet changer is equipped with a dual air-blast for chip removal, and the cast iron receiver mounts directly on the machining center table. The enclosure has two drop-down-door loading stations, and the system ensures that a pallet change will not occur if the doors are opened.

Posted in: Products, Industrial Controls & Automation, Machinery & Automation

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Vertical Lift Module

Modula OnePick from Modula (Lewiston, ME) combines the company’s vertical lift technology with an automated system for picking or replenishing a single product directly from the bay. Using a secure delivery interface window, products can be automatically picked and replenished in combination with a delivery and takeaway conveyor. At the operator’s request, OnePick retrieves the selected item and places it in a retrieval location in the secure delivery window. The unit’s design ensures that when the door opens automatically, the operator has access to that requested item, so inventory is always safe and under control. Users have the option of switching operation modes from standard vertical lift with access to SKUs from a full tray, to a restricted-access, single-pick device.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Machinery & Automation

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Automation System

Liebherr (Saline, MI) introduced the Rotary Loading System (RLS) for entry into high-efficiency production with one or two machining centers. The compact automation system is designed for workpiece weights of up to 800 kg (RLS 800) or 1,500 kg (RLS 1500), and dimensions up to 1,300 mm. It serves as an entry-level system for users with very small batch sizes (batch size 1 and above); small batch manufacturers; or tool and die makers that manufacture individual components with long running and set-up times.

Posted in: Products, Machinery & Automation

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