Too many robot designers assume that their products will be operating with little human contact. So claims a team of NASA engineers who have devised a procedure to assure that safety as well as performance is stressed in the design of robots. The methodology involves five main steps and a number of subsets. For a given application, the procedure assigns minimum acceptable values for performance specifications, such as robot-tip velocities, payloads, position, force accuracy, and dexterity. It also provides values for safety requirements, for example, robot static and impact contact force, pinch forces, and crushing forces from robot weights. For a description of the procedure go to www.nasatech.com and access the Technical Support Package under the Machinery/Automation category.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.