Hannover Fair, the massive industrial technology trade show, opened its doors in Germany today. Actually a collection of ten different shows that run concurrently though the end of the week, this year’s fair features more than 5,000 exhibitors and nearly 170,000 square meters of exhibit space. Factory automation technologies usually take center stage at the fair, and this year is no exception. Yet there are a few new twists. Among them is a brand new exhibit dedicated to Mobile Robots & Autonomous Systems. It’s just a tiny slice of the robotic technologies scattered around the fair, but the new exhibit does reflect an expected upswing in transport and service robots. This year’s fair also spotlights energy efficiency and global climate change. Hundreds if not thousands of displays throughout the fair focus on ways to make the most efficient use of conventional and renewable energy. This year’s partner country, Japan, has also changed the technological face of the show. More than 150 exhibitors from Japan turned up at the show, bringing along robotics and other automation technologies. Check back over the next four days for more news and video from the show.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.