Robotics, Automation & Control

Part Positioners

Yaskawa Motoman (Dayton, OH) expanded its line of RM2 ferris wheel-style robotic part positioners. The positioners have two servo-driven trunnion/station axes on opposite sides of a central “sweep” axis. One station is positioned in front of one to four welding robots, while the other station is outside the robot envelope where the operator loads/unloads parts. The 180° sweep axis rotates the stations over/under the central axis between the robot(s) and the operator. Slim-Line positioner models have a 17% smaller width than standard positioners, and are available with 755-kg and 1,255-kg payload capacities. Extra-large-capacity positioners were designed to provide higher payloads and turning diameters in a reduced profile, and feature 1,555-kg and 2,355-kg payload capacities.

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

Force Sensors in Robotic Design

From the operating room to the manufacturing floor, the robotic industry continues to grow and mature. As demand for robotic devices increases, so do the technology requirements.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Automation, Robotics, Data Acquisition, Sensors, Test & Measurement

Are you optimistic about AI possibilities?

This week's Question: Today's featured INSIDER story demonstrated a new achievement in artificial intelligence. According to a recently released Stanford University report developed by a standing group of AI scientists, the ability for robots to be self-determined and concerned with their own longevity is a leap far beyond current interest or capabilities. "I'm highly optimistic that artificial intelligence technologies are going to improve the world,” said lead author of the report and University of Texas computer scientist Peter Stone. The researchers cited autonomous transportation, healthcare data computation, and crime prevention as areas that may benefit from the use of AI. What do you think? Are you optimistic about AI possibilities?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automation, Robotics

AI Algorithm 'Learns' Beyond its Training

A new machine-learning training method developed at the University of Toronto enables neural networks to learn directly from human-defined rules. The achievement supports new possibilities for artificial intelligence in medical diagnostics and self-driving cars.

Posted in: News, Diagnostics, Automation, Robotics, Software

Optimizing Next-gen Machine Vision Platform To Enhance Automated Inspection

With machine vision’s development and growth in the Industry 4.0 environment, the higher computing performance becomes essential to acquire high resolution images at high speeds, and expanding FOV (field of view). The associated hardware must therefore significantly enhance reliability, to guarantee smooth operation of the production line. Read this white paper to know more about characteristics the next-gen machine vison platform need.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics

Drones and Biobots Map Disaster Areas

North Carolina State University researchers will use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and insect cyborgs, or biobots, to map large, unfamiliar locations.

Posted in: News, Robotics

Lunar Regolith Simulant Sample Collection Mechanism for Remote Operation in a Thermal Vacuum Chamber

The Sample Capture Mechanism (SCM) is a remotely actuated, spring-driven mechanism designed to remotely capture and seal a 15-mL sample in less than 1 second. It was used to capture a 10-g sample of simulated regolith dispensed from a drill in a thermal vacuum chamber with a minimum temperature of –100 ºC. The sample crucible temperature is controllable from ambient temperature to 70 ºC.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Sensors and actuators, Sensors and actuators, Soils, Containers, Drilling, Test equipment and instrumentation

Sonar Inspection Robot System

The system surveys interior volume, interrogates structure integrity, and displays real-time video and sonar.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center innovators have designed a Robotic Inspection System that is capable of surveying deep sea structures such as oil platform storage cells/tanks and pipelines in order to determine the volume of material remaining inside, interrogate structure integrity, and display real-time video and sonar. This inspection device and method could significantly reduce the cost of inspecting, and in the future, provide sampling of the structure contents. The technology is an all-in-one inspection device that includes cameras, sonar, and motion-sensing instruments with hardware and software components. This NASA-developed technology is available for licensing.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Imaging, Imaging and visualization, Robotics, Inspections, Marine vehicles and equipment, Mining vehicles and equipment

Robonaut 2: Industrial Opportunities

The robot handles factory tasks that are ergonomically difficult, fatiguing, or unsafe for humans.

Researchers at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors (GM) and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2). R2’s nearly 50 patented and patent-pending technologies have the potential to be game-changers in many applications, such as industrial environments. For example, in a traditional robotic assembly line, there are multiple specialized robots that are tooled for a small set of unique tasks. R2 provides an alternative way to implement automated assembly using extraordinary task flexibility, dexterity, and rapid interchangeability with human processes and tools. This can lower automation infrastructure costs and increase manufacturing flexibility. R2 can serve as an assistant or work independently. R2’s dexterity is a key feature in industrial environments, as the robot can handle factory work that is ergonomically difficult, fatiguing, or even unsafe.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Automation, Robotics, Industrial vehicles and equipment

Vessel Sealing Device for Robotic Devices

Invasive surgical procedures are essential for addressing various medical conditions. When possible, minimally invasive procedures are preferred, but these technologies are often limited in scope and complexity. These limitations are due in part to mobility restrictions from the use of rigid tools in small openings, and limited visual feedback. The currently available robotic systems are restricted by the use of access ports, and have limited sensory and mobility capabilities.

Posted in: Briefs, Automation, Medical equipment and supplies, Surgical procedures, Robotics, Seals and gaskets

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