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Robot Cruelty? 0

Posted on 21, August 2019

in Category Blog

It’s almost impossible to think about new robot technologies without getting emotional. We hear about robot abuse, an alarming trend among humans to physically abuse robots. Reseachers program robots to manipulate human beings emotionally — and it’s way easier than you would think. Now YouTube has removed hundreds of robot battle videos because their bots thought they represented animal cruelty. Did you have a moment of thinking that the robots naturally considered robot battles cruel, or did you immediately understand that the bots mistook robots for animals? YouTube says it was an error, and not an example of robot compassion. [&hellip

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Downtime and IoT 0

Posted on 19, August 2019

in Category Blog

Downtime is always a problem in a factory setting. Having your human workforce stand around being paid while hundreds or thousands of products don’t get made on time is costly and frustrating. In today’s JIT environments, the cost of downtime is unacceptable. Cost of downtime How unacceptable? $21,800,000 a year on average. That’s $16,000,000 a year for enterprise-level companies, with the remainder of the $21,800,000 affecting smaller businesses. For an individual company, extended downtime can be extremely threatening. Any delay can reverberate along the supply chain. Add IoT and downtime goes beyond expensive. Downtime can spread from one system to [&hellip

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Robot Whitney 0

Posted on 16, August 2019

in Category Blog

Comedian Whitney Cummings had a robotic version of herself built for her new Netflix special. It was entertaining. Funny? You decide. The footage from the robot factory might be the most intriguing part of the shtick. But at the end of the day, it’s a robot programmed by a human being to do specific things for specific effects. Rexroth built a robot that puts together paper cups better than anybody else, human or machine, you’ve ever seen. Whitney Cummings built a robot that supports her in her comedy special better than you’d think a robot could. Robot capacity But Robot [&hellip

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Autonomous Vehicles Committee Shut Down 0

Posted on 14, August 2019

in Category Blog

Apart from manufacturing, where automation is ubiquitous, autonomous vehicles are one of the most highly anticipated areas of real-world automation. Where the vast majority of robots in the news are proof of concept, early research, and likely to make a big difference in our lives someday, self-driving vehicles exist in the real world and could be a game changer any minute now. This makes it somewhat surprising that the U.S. government’s committee on autonomous vehicles has been shut down. The Verge broke the news this week, reporting that some members they had reached out to hadn’t known the committee had [&hellip

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Tech Procrastinators 0

Posted on 12, August 2019

in Category Blog

Industry Week‘s new survey of manufacturers has uncovered a lot of tech procrastinators. When it comes to the Industrial Internet of Things, 75% of respondents from companies with revenues under $100 million are either in the planning stages or waiting for the right time to start planning. 30 percent of companies larger than $100 million a year have had their systems in place for a year or more — and more than half of that group has had their systems in place for more than four years. Only 7% of the smaller companies had hit the four-year mark. Getting down [&hellip

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Using Your Rexroth Manual to Respond to Error Codes 0

Posted on 9, August 2019

in Category Blog

You’ve tracked the problem down to a Rexroth device — or it may say “Indramat” or even “Rexroth Indramat.” In any case, it’s showing you an error code. Now what? First question: do you have the manual? Rexroth electric motion control is the best motion control on the planet. Servos, drives, and controls often work without incident for decades. Finally a problem comes up and all you have to go on is a little string of numbers and letters. At some time in the past, there was a manual you could use to look up the problem. But your paper [&hellip

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A New Way to Communicate with Robots 0

Posted on 7, August 2019

in Category Blog

Much of the excitement in automation at this point has to do with sensors. A new collection of sensors is being developed to provide a new way to communicate with robots. Researchers at the University of Houston gathered strain sensors, temperature sensors, and UV light sensors. Then they incorporated all these elements, along with things like heaters, into a flexible plastic patch, something like a Band-Aid. The patch is just 4 micrometers thick and can be worn on a human hand. With the patch in place, the human can open and close his or her hand and the robot will [&hellip

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Safety and Productivity 0

Posted on 5, August 2019

in Category Blog

Safety and productivity are linked in an obvious way in industrial settings: when people get hurt, it slows down and even stops the production process. Clearing the floor, cleaning things up, identifying the problem, instituting new safety procedures or making changes to the machinery — all these steps disrupt production. There’s another, less obvious link. When machine operators make changes to the machines in order to make the process easier or faster, so they can keep up with production goals, they may be enhancing productivity at the cost of safety. We hear of workers removing guards, leaving things open that [&hellip

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Pacemaker in the Factory? 0

Posted on 2, August 2019

in Category Blog

Rexroth power supply modules won’t play nice with a pacemaker. In fact, many of the components of your industrial motion control and machinery in general can create problems with pacemakers. Here are some of the things that can cause interference with pacemakers: Large motors Large power supplies Electromagnets Generators (including your power supply module, which is probably acting as a generator) If this sounds like practically everything you have in the room, you’re right. What’s a pacemaker? Pacemakers are devices that help control the beating of a heart that isn’t able to regulate itself correctly. These devices are implanted inside [&hellip

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Benefits of Automation 0

Posted on 31, July 2019

in Category Blog

There’s a lot of talk about whether robots will take away American jobs or add new ones. Joe Kennedy, Senior Fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation thinks we should look at this another way. In an essay at the ITIF blog, Kennedy expresses concern that fear of robots could lead to regulations which might discourage automation. Is anyone suggesting that we should give up backhoes and make laborers use shovels in order to create jobs, Kennedy asks. He has a point. Artisanal bakeries may reject automation and consumers may support them, but we’re not hearing fast food workers [&hellip

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