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Engineering Materials
3D Printing & Robots at MD&M West
2/26/2013

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A titanium bone rasp for hollowing out femurs before inserting an implant can be custom-designed for a specific patient's bone using EOS' laser sintering additive manufacturing technology.   (Source: Within Technologies)
A titanium bone rasp for hollowing out femurs before inserting an implant can be custom-designed for a specific patient's bone using EOS' laser sintering additive manufacturing technology.
(Source: Within Technologies)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bone rasp or industrial tool?
Ann R. Thryft   2/27/2013 11:31:17 AM
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I know exactly what you mean, Chuck--actually, it looks more like what's called a fantasy weapon, which are more extreme versions of actual (usually medieval) weaponry used in both historical and fantasy movies and some role-playing/re-enactment games, and are represented in some video games.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Baxter Robot
Ann R. Thryft   2/27/2013 11:32:27 AM
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Tim, Baxter isn't really designed to handle fine pick and place movements such as is needed in small-parts electronics assembly. Those are very sophisticated, expensive, precise machines. It's targeted at less precise movements. It's also designed to work alongside humans more than to interact with other robots.

CLMcDade
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baxter
CLMcDade   2/27/2013 5:00:15 PM
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Good article, Ann.  Looks like the trade show had a lot of interesting products to keep you busy. 

You've got two great concepts here, but keeping them separate might be a good idea.  Imagine Baxter with that bone rasp in each "hand" and an angry face on the computer screen!!!

Seriously, as for the concern about differentiating between a person or a part, I wonder if the flesh-sensing technology used in saws (i.e. table saws) would be able to be integrated into the "skin" of a robot to help it identify humans.  Since the saw companies are resisting using the technology, perhaps the robot industry would be able to incorporate it.

Charles Murray
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Re: Bone rasp or industrial tool?
Charles Murray   2/27/2013 7:50:55 PM
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I'm not letting one of those things anywhere near my femurs.

78RPM
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Re: Bone rasp or industrial tool?
78RPM   2/27/2013 9:45:04 PM
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But the real point is that 3D printers can make complex shapes that would be too costly (translated: impossible) by other methods. I can imagine that bone cells would really gather 'round this object and build new bone.  Additive technology will help us build shapes previously unattainable.

William K.
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Re: baxter
William K.   2/27/2013 10:20:23 PM
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@CLMcDade , That "skin detector" used in the sawstop system would not help in a robot system because it uses a resistance principle, not a touch principle. And the reason that the saw companies are not rushing to adopt this system is that it has a few very big shortcomings, including a very expensive reset process and a propensity toward false triggers from wet wood and nails. 

The two steps to make a robot safe for humans to be around is to slow it down to human speeds, and to eliminate pinch-points. By no means a trivial task, but certainly an achieveable target.

apresher
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Baster robot
apresher   2/28/2013 10:13:33 AM
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Interesting use of safety technology.  From their website, Baxter contains sensors and software protocols that detect people within contact distance and trigger the robot to slow to safe operation speeds.  May be that the robot sets up programmable safety zones on sensor inputs.  Every motor can also be "back driven" in order to comply when unexpectedly pushed backwards.

apresher
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Baxter Robot
apresher   2/28/2013 10:16:56 AM
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Ann, Did they mention any specific commercial applications for Baxter? There is certainly interesting technology here but I'm not certain of its application niche.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: baxter
Ann R. Thryft   2/28/2013 12:35:15 PM
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Thanks Clinton. I did not think of Baxter wielding the bone rasp--I take no responsibility for others' imaginations! OTOH, Chuck, pointed out that it looks something like a medieval weapon, so I can understand the association. That's an interesting idea about flesh-sensors; I didn't know about that. Sounds like a good cross-app possibility. Hope Rethink is reading these comments...

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D additive mfg of titanium
Ann R. Thryft   2/28/2013 12:36:05 PM
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eafpres, it's pretty simple. if something larger than a part--like the human body--gets inside its working zone, it stops. This is determined by its sensors. Also, if you bump into it faster than it can respond, it won't hurt you because of its softer surface (plastic) and its considerably lower force, compared to other industrial 'bots. More details are available on the website.

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