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Slideshow: Top 5 Robotics Trends to Watch in 2012

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Applications growing?
Ann R. Thryft   1/24/2012 11:58:43 AM
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Chuck, the only places I know for sure where two-armed robots are being used are automotive assembly plants and in aerospace by NASA for space simulation operations. The company says their two-armed SDA5D is being adopted in all kinds of industrial applications, from automated assembly and distribution to logistics and palletizing. A larger model is deployed in and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administrtion (NASA) for space simulation operations. I'll bet surgery might be a big app, too.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Software key to robotics evolution
Rob Spiegel   1/24/2012 10:55:58 AM
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Yes, Ann, I remember that article, including the bit about software for non programmers. I'm seeing that more and more with sensors and other devices in automation. The complex programming is pre-packaged and all the control staff had to do is point and click. Maybe it's not quite that simple, but original programming is not longer a must.

William K.
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Two armed robots
William K.   1/24/2012 10:19:41 AM
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The most interesting part of the application of two armed robots will undoubtedly be the programming, even moreso if they are programmed point-by-point from a pendant in the manner of one armed robots. Synchronizing the motions of two arms will add a whole additional dimension to the task. OF course, there may be programming methods available that take that into acount, which would be a valuable addition. I certainly hope that robot programming has advanced past the manual point by point path entry that I had to use, which was "a few years back". I have not seen any description of other programming methods mentioned in any detail in any Design News writeups, so I wonder what does exist currently. Are there any responses?

William K.
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Two armed robots
William K.   1/24/2012 10:19:01 AM
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The most interesting part of the application of two armed robots will undoubtedly be the programming, even moreso if they are programmed point-by-point from a pendant in the manner of one armed robots. Synchronizing the motions of two arms will add a whole additional dimension to the task. OF course, there may be programming methods available that take that into acount, which would be a valuable addition. I certainly hope that robot programming has advanced past the manual point by point path entry that I had to use, which was "a few years back". I have not seen any description of other programming methods mentioned in any detail in any Design News writeups, so I wonder what does exist currently.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: Applications growing?
Alexander Wolfe   1/23/2012 10:17:59 PM
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Good point, Chuck. It's interesting to observe that two-armed robots are in a way a mashup of industrial robots and the newer humanoid robots you explored so well in your piece, "Humanoid Robots Take Shape."

Charles Murray
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Applications growing?
Charles Murray   1/23/2012 6:39:13 PM
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I wonder if we are starting to see more applications for two-armed robots. I know that single-armed robots can't do some simple operations, such as lifting and manipulating non-rigid objects. Is the manufacturing world starting to find applications for these two-armed units?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Software key to robotics evolution
Ann R. Thryft   1/23/2012 3:16:40 PM
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Thanks, Rob. For industrial use, whether it's welding or assembly, or some other function, robots have to be programmed, since their complex movements must interact with other machines in 4-D. That said, the programming itself can either be hands on code crunching, or a simpler, point and click GUI, which is one of the big changes in the ABB story I gave the link to below.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Software key to robotics evolution
Rob Spiegel   1/23/2012 2:53:50 PM
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Nice slide show, Ann. I love to look at pictures of robots. As for the software, I was under the impression there are fewer and fewer instances where robots need to be programmed by hand. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I thought more of the robots were now plug and play -- or at least as plug-and-play as possible.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Software key to robotics evolution
Ann R. Thryft   1/23/2012 1:25:41 PM
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In comments on an earlier robotics article, one engineer told us that programming by hand was excruciating. So the point and click interface described in that article I gave the link to definitely was an improvement. But the big problem it solved, along with the entire package, was making it easier to program smaller robots in smaller cells doing fewer, lower-volume jobs.


Beth Stackpole
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Re: Software key to robotics evolution
Beth Stackpole   1/23/2012 1:12:42 PM
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Thanks for the additional info, Ann. Has arcane software programming traditionally been a barrier to robot deployment on the factory floor?

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