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Knit Yourself a Robot? 0

Posted on 22, May 2019

in Category Blog

Guy Hoffman, Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, didn’t see why collaborative robots all had to be made of plastic and look like sci-fi aliens. Why couldn’t they be made of wood and wool? And why couldn’t people make their own robots, each one uniquely suited to the business or even to the household in which it works. The result? Blossom, an open-source mechanism designed to be covered with handcrafted skins and appendages. It’s now a collaboration between Cornell University’s Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Lab and Google Creative Technologies Singapore. But you can [&hellip

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Amazon Blurs the Lines 0

Posted on 20, May 2019

in Category Blog

Amazon has been all about automation from the beginning. Amazon holds two patents on a wristband that senses when workers are slowing down. It vibrates to remind slackers to get back to work. Words like “privacy” and “surveillance” tend to come up when people think about this kind of technology. “After a year working on the floor, I felt like I had become a version of the robots I was working with,” one Amazon employee told the New York Times. “They want to turn people into machines. The robotic technology isn’t up to scratch yet, so until it is, they [&hellip

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Battle Bots 0

Posted on 17, May 2019

in Category Blog

The Battle Bots are coming back to a screen near you in just about one month. Once again, tough and predatory robots, some with fiendish faces or animal shapes, will be guided by teams of human beings in gear from cowboy to steampunk (not to mention onesie pajamas) through robot combat. See all 69 robots for the upcoming season. BattleBots began a decade ago in Long Beach, California. At the time, robot combat competitions were… let’s just say they were very much a niche sport. Fast forward a couple of years and they showed up on Comedy Central. One tournament [&hellip

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You’re Not Allowed to Make Rexroth Repairs?! 0

Posted on 15, May 2019

in Category Blog

When you check the Rexroth Troubleshooting Guides — and we’ll be happy to provide you with one — you are likely to see announcements like this: “Only Rexroth service engineers are allowed to replace the control section.” Allowed? Your Rexroth electric motion control components belong to you. Why would you not be allowed to repair them? Safety Bypassing the correct procedures is dangerous — not just for your machine, though it is, but for you and your coworkers as well. Electrocution, explosions, and other not-fun stuff are real possibilities if you try to fix something that you shouldn’t. We often [&hellip

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Robots: Faking It 0

Posted on 13, May 2019

in Category Blog

Robots are good at lots of jobs, but not at all jobs. Assembling paper cups? Totally a job for a robot. Folding laundry? Absolutely not. In fact, housework is an area in which robots would be very welcome, but in which they just don’t shine. Folding laundry is super difficult because laundry is so variable in shape, size, color, and orientation that it’s almost impossible for robots to identify a piece of laundry and pick it up. Then robots would need to recognize the shape of the laundry when it’s not folded, figure out what shape it should be when [&hellip

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Robotics in Construction 0

Posted on 10, May 2019

in Category Blog

Robots in manufacturing are a given. Robots in agriculture are a hope for the future. Robots in retail and food service are becoming a reality. Now, robots are moving into another area that has been experiencing labor shortages: construction. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 79 percent of construction companies want to hire more people this year, but the number of available workers is expected to grow by only .5%. Why is the construction industry experiencing shortages? Some possibilities: High schools push kids to attend college instead of learning trades. A history of families handing down tradesman’s skills [&hellip

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Microsoft Announces Open Source Robotics Software 0

Posted on 8, May 2019

in Category Blog

Where’s our flying car? Where’s our robot butler? How come people still have to work so hard in factories? The truth is, a lot of exciting technology is being delayed by human choices. One of those choices is the use of proprietary machine languages. When you have machines from multiple makers, the devices’ special sauces can make it impossible for them to communicate with one another. The makers hope you’ll choose to buy all your machines from one vendor. That’s one way to avoid communication problems. Another way is to use Open Source software. Rexroth uses Open Core Engineering to [&hellip

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Robot Limits 0

Posted on 6, May 2019

in Category Blog

Increasing automation is affecting American workers, and expected to continue to do so. The Brookings Institution reckons that 25% of American workers will face employment challenges as a result of the current rise in automation. They’re bullish on automation, but they still say we need to be ready for disruption. We know that robots ought to take over jobs that are dangerous and dull, but what kinds of jobs will be hard for robots to manage? Certainly, any work that requires human interaction and problem solving should be left to humans. Robots can be programmed to give the appearance of [&hellip

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When Third Party Repair Shops Need Help 0

Posted on 3, May 2019

in Category Blog

It’s tough being a third-party repair shop for Rexroth and Indramat motion control systems. Rexroth continues to support legacy components, but Rexroth has never sold parts to third-party repair shops. Bob’s BBQ & Servo Repair Shoppe can’t get new parts. We’ll leave it to your imagination where they get the parts they use. They can’t get the specs or the expertise, either. Factory repair is your only real option to get your Rexroth components back to new, or even better than new. So it’s not unusual for third-party repair shops to come to us for help. That’s what happened earlier [&hellip

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Global Robot Density 0

Posted on 1, May 2019

in Category Blog

For every 10,000 human workers in the world, there are just 85 robots. Most of the world’s human labor force will never meet a robot at work. But it all depends where you live. In South Korea, there are 710 robots for every 10,000 workers — eight times the world’s average. Singapore is close with 658 robots per 10,000 workers. Next up is Germany with 322 robots for every 10,000 workers. This is less than half the robot frequency of Singapore, but Germany leads European nations in robot use. Japan at 308 robots per 10,000 workers is still an important [&hellip

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