Robotics, Automation & Control

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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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