Robotics, Automation & Control

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.

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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.

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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, 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, 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.

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Reversible Hard Jaws

Reversible hard jaws from Dillon Manufacturing (Springfield, OH) are suitable for ID and OD workholding. The jaws are designed to hold a specific range of part sizes and are usually used for first operation workholding. They are available in serrated, Acme Key, square key, and tongue-and-groove styles to fit all brands of chucks. These single- or two-step jaws feature diamond-shaped serrations for gripping and parts locating. The hard jaws are manufactured of case-hardened 8620 steel that is coated with black oxide for corrosion resistance, and feature ground locating surfaces.

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Cable Retraction System

The triflex® RSE pullback system from igus (East Providence, RI) uses a simple linear retraction without bends, fiber rods, or rollers. The system consists of a drylin® linear guide with carriage, elastic cord for retraction, fastening plates for connection to a variety of robot types, mounting bracket without strain relief for the respective e-chain size, and gliding feed-through for the respective e-chain size. The product is available for triflex sizes from 60-125, all of which can be mounted on one system. The linear system has fewer deflection points, and consequently provides better process reliability for laser light cables and supply hoses.

Posted in: Products, Industrial Controls & Automation, Automation
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Collaborative Robot

Kawasaki Robotics (Wixom, MI) introduced the duAro collaborative robot. The dual-arm, horizontal articulated robot can safely collaborate with humans in work operations due to its low-power motors, soft body, speed, and shared work zone monitoring. The single-axis configuration provides independent arm operation with ±0.05 mm repeatability and a payload capacity of 2 kg per arm. Use of both arms in coordinated movements increases the robot payload capacity to 4 kg. The base of the robot is on wheels and accommodates the controller. The robot is designed to be installed in a single-person space, so it can be deployed without modifications to the assembly or manufacturing line. A direct teach function lets users teach the robot tasks by hand-guiding its arms, or the robot can be programmed using a PC or tablet terminal by entering numerical values indicating the direction and distance of each movement.

Posted in: Products, Industrial Controls & Automation, Robotics
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Collaborative Robot

Rethink Robotics (Boston, MA) introduced Sawyer, a smart collaborative robot designed to execute machine tending, circuit board testing, and other precise tasks. The robot modifies its behavior to respond to changing and unexpected conditions on the plant floor. The robot weighs 19 kg (42 lbs.), and features 7 degrees of freedom with a 1260-mm reach that can maneuver into the tight spaces and varied alignments of work cells designed for humans. Its compliant motion control allows it to “feel” its way into fixtures or machines, even when the position varies slightly. The robot’s precision is ±.1 mm in semi-structured environments. An embedded vision system uses a head camera for wide-view applications and a Cognex camera in its wrist. The robot features a face screen to help it communicate with co-workers, and a train-by-demonstration user interface.

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