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Monitoring the Humans 0

Posted on 25, March 2019

in Category Blog

New connections in factories are opening lots of possibilities for increasing performance, tracking environmental factors, and heading problems off at the pass. Sensors catch temperature, vibration, pressure, velocity, and all the myriad variations in the performance of machines. But they can also track human performance. Smart wearables can identify the highs and lows in a factory worker’s day and trigger “learning events” to help improve routines. For example, a worker might tend to slow down in step three of a work process. A smart wearable can catch this pattern and offer the worker a refresher lesson on step three in [&hellip

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Minimizing Servo Noise 0

Posted on 22, March 2019

in Category Blog

Servo noise can cause a range of problems. Electrical noise in the sense of variations in voltage or current can interfere with feedback and generally confuse the systems. Dirty electricity can create real problems, but there is always some noise in any electrical system. Using the right cables and using them correctly can help with electrical noise. Humming, buzzing, chattering, and whining usually tell you that there are some imperfections in your servo or the related systems. Dirt — not dirty electricity but literal dirt — can cause noises like these. So can bearings that need maintenance. Remember, your maintenance [&hellip

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Industrial Robot Voices 0

Posted on 20, March 2019

in Category Blog

Researchers in robotics spend a lot of time on mobility, grasping, and things of that nature. But  new area of research is moving into prominence. Robot voices are becoming more common… and bringing up new issues as they do so. Robot gender Robots don’t usually have a gender… unless they have a voice. Research suggests that the more human a robot appears, the more likely it is that people will decide for themselves what gender it has. People tend to call anthropomorphic robots like Pepper “he” or “she.” When a voice is provided, it usually settles the gender question. Early [&hellip

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Condensation in Your Cabinets 0

Posted on 18, March 2019

in Category Blog

Your Rexroth DKC drives are at risk from something you might not think about much: condensation. Condensation is the change from a gaseous state to a liquid state. In this context, we’re talking about water vapor in the air changing to liquid drops of water on your drive. Not a good thing. What causes condensation in the cabinet? First, if you leave the cabinet open and humid air gets inside, you can easily end up with condensation. If the drive components are cooler than the ambient temperature, that humid air cools and condenses. The result is a damp DKC drive. [&hellip

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Coworking Robots and Emotional Wellbeing 0

Posted on 15, March 2019

in Category Blog

As coworking robots, or cobots, become more important in manufacturing, the focus is mostly on the physical safety of human beings who work closely with robots. But there is quite a  bit of research on the emotional aspects of human-robot interaction, too. We know that people will think twice about turning off a robot who begs for mercy. We’re willing to be bossed around by robots. We even make judgements about robots’ personalities based on purely mechanical behavior. But new research from Cornell suggests that human performance can also be influenced by robots. In an experiment involving a tedious task [&hellip

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Battery Safety 0

Posted on 13, March 2019

in Category Blog

When you’re working in a factory, with a printing press, or in other industrial settings, battery safety may not be top of mind. You have so many other, more obviously dangerous things hanging around that batteries just don’t seem that risky. But it’s important to follow battery safety rules all the same. If you don’t know any battery safety rules, we’ve got a few for you when you’re working with Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems. Don’t heat batteries The idea is that increasing the temperature of the battery can speed up the chemical reactions. Given just that little bit [&hellip

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Robots Taking Jobs — Like That’s a Bad Thing? 0

Posted on 11, March 2019

in Category Blog

Politicians are talking about robots. To a large extent, they’re warning us about robots taking our jobs. Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and philanthropist with a 2020 presidential campaign, thinks we underestimate the dangers inherent in automation. He sees a near future in which millions of truck drivers and retail clerks are unemployed and potentially dangerous. Bernie Sanders is adamant that robotics and AI must serve the workers, not just the rulers, by which he means that regulation must keep robots from taking human jobs. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a different take on the situation. Why shouldn’t robots take the jobs? [&hellip

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A New Job for Robots 0

Posted on 8, March 2019

in Category Blog

A temple in Kyoto has a new job for a robot: giving a sermon. The robot, which moves and speaks, presents a 25-minute sermon on a traditional Buddhist text called the Heart Sutra. The robot was designed by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University. Ishiguro is known for human-like but androgynous robots. The Kyoto robot is called Mindar, and was inspired by the Buddhist goddess of mercy. A human-like face, neck, and hands are combined with metal and silicon limbs and body to make a high-tech sculpture which gives the impression of eye contact and human-like gestures. Is the figure [&hellip

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Should Robots Be Persuasive? 0

Posted on 6, March 2019

in Category Blog

Researchers are trying to figure out the best way to make robots persuasive to human beings. The University of Toronto programmed robots to behave in a range of different ways. Some were abusive, telling people they’d be stupid not to follow the robot’s suggestions. Others tried logic, arguing that their sensors gave them specialized knowledge and pretending to count objects with repeated finger motions. Some clutched their hearts (or roughly where their hearts would be if they had hearts) and told peopel they would be so happy if the humans followed their suggestions. The 10 randomly-distributed strategies were informed by [&hellip

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Should You Worry about Factory Fires? 0

Posted on 4, March 2019

in Category Blog

You have enough to worry about in a factory without thinking about fire, right? We like fires in nice controlled conditions like the one pictured here, not in uncontrolled conditions in our workplaces. Last week, a factory fire in Taiwan claimed 6 lives and another in Bangladesh killed 81. A few years ago in Arkansas, a plastics plant burned for hours before firefighters received an alarm, depleting a 1,000,000 gallon water tank attached to its sprinkler system and leaving dozens of residents jobless. This month is also the anniversary month of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, a tragedy more than a [&hellip

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