Pittsburgh—While it may be a while before one joins the group Village People, robots are being adapted to do "burly" jobs in construction, mining, and agriculture.
Tony Stentz, associate director of the National Robotics Engineering Consortium at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), says robots' automation offers the opportunity for increased productivity (speed of operation), quality of work (from robotic precision), improving safety (not placing people in dangerous situations), and reducing cost (including maintenance). And robots wouldn't merely take jobs away from hard working folk. Stentz notes human operators would still be needed to monitor robotic systems, "teach" site-specific operations, and position the robots for repetitive tasks. Robots excel at the latter. Such an increase in productivity, he adds, must more than make up costwise for retaining the operator, otherwise adoption is doubtful.
Heavy-equipment robot use hinges on sensors (cameras and laser rangefinders, for example) and control algorithms now being developed.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is