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What's New in Robotics This Week - 29.06.2018

Emmet Cole
by Emmet Cole on Jun 29, 2018 7:00:00 AM

-Manufacturing & Cobot Roundup 
-IFR Numbers  
-UR, AUBO, Nord Modules 
-Flying, hotdog grilling & shape-shifting bots 
-Five vids for Friday
-And much more!  

Manufacturing & cobot roundup 

In case you missed it in the midst of all the excitement at automatica 2018, the International Federation of Robotics released the initial findings of its annual World Robotics Report last week and the numbers are staggering, with global sales of industrial robots reached a new record of 380,550 units in 2017 (an increase of 29 percent compared to the previous year). 

The EU-funded AEROWORKS project, which develops technologies for "collaborative aerial workers," is building drone technologies that can be used to enable safe infrastructure inspections and maintenance tasks.  (H/T PhysOrg.) 

downloadImage: AEROWORKS 

Siddhartha Mitra, professor of economics at Jadavpur University has analyzed the forecast data and reached the conclusion that India (and the rest of the world) is well-positioned to benefit from automation --provided a sound regulatory structure and some form of universal income and/or robot tax are implemented. (H/T LiveMint.)

One of AUBO's cobots was spotted at work in a denim jeans factory... 

 

 

 

In the two years that Universal Robots has been operating in India, the firm has doubled cobot sales each year.  Universal Robots has sold around 400 cobots to 100 companies, of which SMEs account for approximately 40 per cent, according to a report in The Hindu

Universal Robots launched its new "eSeries" range of cobots just last week...  

 

According to reports, Korean cobot maker Hanwha Precision Machinery has signed agreements with six distributors to market its cobots in Europe. 

Axis New York showed off Grilly The Hotdog Grilling Robot, which incorporates a cobot from Universal Robots... 

 

Bruno Hansen, the co-founder of Mobile Industrial Robots as launched a new company called Nord Modules which "develops modular solutions adapted for mobile robots, solutions that automate the collection and delivery of goods to and from production lines and warehouses." 

MSI Tech develops Plastics Injection Molding cells using cobots... 

 

 

 

ESIT showed off its new GCIR cobot at the recent FabTech Canada event and announced this week that the bot will officially "enter the market at the end of August."  

Novarc Technologies demonstrated what it claims is "the first collaborative spool welding robot"...

 

 

 

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will increase adoption of cobots, according to Advanced Manufacturing:

“At this stage, we are entering a period where you will see robots and humans working more collaboratively,” Koudal said. “The key to making this collaboration stronger is enabling the robots to more instinctively relate to humans like two humans would relate to each other. The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be keys to pushing us down this path.”

Stefanie Tellex from Brown University gave a fascinating talk about her work on human-robot collaboration... 

 

 

EURACTIV asked whether AI in manufacturing is a game changer or hype...  

 

 

 

Elsewhere... 

University at Buffalo researchers have "turned to beavers, termites and other animals that build structures in response to simple environmental cues" in an effort to help autonomous robots cope with difficult terrain. 

CBS New York reported on a revolutionary new robot-assisted surgery that successfully removed a spinal tumor... 

 

Meanwhile,  "personalized deep learning" can help equip robots for autism therapy (ScienceDaily); Pepper the robot got itself a job at a bank in New York City (DigitalTrends); and The Guardian asked "How Human Do We Want Robots To Be?"

Nabil Simaan, a professor at Vanderbilt University and head of the Advanced Robotics and Mechanism Applications lab, is working on haptic systems for medical robots... 

 

 

United News International (following South China Morning Post) reported that China is using bird-like drones for surveillance... 

 

I'll be back next week with more the latest robotics news!  Until then please enjoy...
  

Five vids for Friday 

1.  Students at the University of Tokyo revealed Dragon Drone, a drone made of ducted fans that can change shape to fit into awkward spaces. 

 

 

 

2.  Using origami-inspired computational geometry, data-driven methods and rapid fabrication techniques, Dr. Cynthia Sung develops systems that could enable people to easily customize robots to their specific needs.  

 

 

 

3.   Researchers from Oslo have developed a shape-shifting robot that can learn from its mistakes. 

 

 

 

4.  Verizon has been testing a 200-pound gas-powered drone in Cape May County, New Jersey. The drone, which is designed to ensure coverage after a natural disaster, is a flying cell site that provides a 4G LTE signal over a one mile range.

 

 

 

 

5.   Under the banner "From lab to market," the EU-funded ECHORD++ project combines the efforts of academia, industry and end users to commercialize robotics technology.  In the latest episode of 'Robots In Depth,' Sebastian Weisenburger spoke about some of the technologies involved. 

 


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Emmet Cole
Written by Emmet Cole
A freelance robotics writer since 2006, Emmet is an Economist contributor, and a regular contributor to Robotics Business Review and Robotics Trends. His writing on robots has also appeared in Wired, BBC Future, BBC Focus magazine, Space Quarterly, and numerous other outlets.
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