Here's the hilarious "Retroencabulator" video making the rounds on Youtube courtesy of ebaumsworld parodying a fictitious Rockwell Automation product. It's copyrighted 1997 by Rockwell so I have to assume the company has (or had) a sense of humor. However, searching "retroencabulator" on Rockwell's site comes up dry. Allen-Bradley (now part of Rockwell), Reliance Electric and Dodge Gears (both part of Baldor now) parttake in the fun.
The encabulator - a precursor to Star Wars devices, indeed - was the fictitious invention of New York attorney Bernard Salwen who in 1946 wrote about the "Turbo-Encabulator" as a spoof on technical jargon. Many technoology companies - from GE to DaimlerChrysler - have evolved the encabulator over the decades, culminating in Rockwell's video in 1997.
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
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