Robotics, Automation & Control

2016 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2016 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, Mouser Electronics, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in seven categories: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive/Transportation, Consumer Products, Electronics, Machinery/Automation/ Robotics, Med ical, and Sustainable Technologies. In this special section, you’ll meet the Grand Prize Winner, as well as the winners and Honorable Mentions in all seven categories, chosen from over 1,100 new product ideas submitted from a record 71 countries. To view all of the entries online, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Automotive, Defense, Electronics, Alternative Fuels, Energy, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Automation, Robotics, Design processes, Collaboration and partnering
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2016 Create the Future Design Contest: Machinery/Automation/Robotics Category Winner

SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY BASED SAFETY LATCH

Nicholas W. Pinto, Suresh Gopalakrishnan, Chandra S. Namuduri, Nancy L. Johnson, and Mark Vann General Motors, Warren, MI

General Motors has invented a device that indicates when an unsafe level of energy remains in an electrical panel box after the main power has been disconnected. Possible sources of this energy may be incorrect wiring, external device add-ons, and the presence of residual charge from capacitors. The device works by engaging a safety latch mechanism built with shape memory alloy (SMA) technology along with an audio or visual alarm.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Automation, Robotics, Alloys, Smart materials, Hardware, Restraint systems
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Optimize Production for Agile Manufacturing

This e-book will show how 3D printing can make dramatic improvements in both time and cost efficiency when compared with traditional production methods associated with these applications. Real world examples are also provided to show that these aren’t just hypothetical scenarios. The companies highlighted in this e-book found a way to transform traditional manufacturing applications using FDM technology and bring their operation to a new level.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Aeronautics, Communications, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics
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Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

This week's Question: World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking recently warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity.” Hawking noted the risks of creating superintelligence with a will of its own, while also mentioning AI's ability to "undo some of the damage done to the natural world" and eradicate disease and poverty. What do you think? Will artificial intelligence do more good than bad for humanity?

Posted in: Question of the Week, Automation, Software
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3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures Save Time and Reduce Cost

There is an often-overlooked additive manufacturing (AM) application with potentially huge financial returns: jig and fixture making. Replacing conventionally manufactured jigs and fixtures with additively manufactured ones will reduce the fabrication expense, while reducing labor and speeding delivery. But that financial advantage is tiny when compared to the profit gains that result from production-floor reductions in labor and time to market. Learn how four owners of Stratasys Fortus 3D printers justified new AM systems based solely on jigs and fixtures.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Communications, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation, Robotics
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Design Guide: Sheet Metal Fabrication

Our custom sheet metal services offer a cost-effective, on-demand solution for your manufacturing needs. Fabrication services range from standard gauge metal we can bend, punch and cut your design for low-volume prototypes, to high-volume production runs.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Automation
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‘Robomussels’ Monitor Climate Change

Northeastern University scientist Brian Helmuth and other researchers have developed "robomussels" that monitor climate change. The tiny devices have miniature built-in sensor that track temperatures inside the mussel beds.

Posted in: News, Automation, Robotics
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3D-Printed Robots Feature Shock-Absorbing Skins

A “programmable viscoelastic material” (PVM) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) allows users to program every single part of a 3D-printed object, including exact levels of stiffness and elasticity.

Posted in: News, Automation, Robotics
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Precision Robotics and Automation: Hexapods Advance Production Processes

Hexapods — six-legged parallel-kinematic machines — are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after “learning” how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via Fieldbus interfaces. As far as the semiconductor and electronics industry, automobile industry, and precision assembly are concerned, many production processes have become inconceivable without them. Today, the six-axis positioning systems are available with load capacity from 2 kg to 2000 kg, and travel from 10 to hundreds of millimeters while maintaining submicron precision. Hexapods are used for aligning the smallest optical components in the latest silicon photonics production processes, for controlling automated labeling machines, and positioning entire body parts for automotive production. The intrinsic hexapod features contribute to a wealth of new possibilities in robotics.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics, Optics, Optics, Kinematics, Automation, Production, Robotics
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Introduction to Machine Vision Inspection

Product inspection with machine vision is vastly superior to manual inspection or using photoelectric sensors. With some basic knowledge and tools you can create a reliable, repeatable inspection process that will make your production line safer and more efficient. Download the whitepaper to learn how to dramatically improve production performance with easy-to-apply inspection applications.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Machine Vision, Automation, Robotics
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