Al, this is a good innovation. Allowing robots and people to work more closely, without intervening machinery, will make both more efficient. The key, of course, is the software. I am sure developing and testing this software must be a tremendous task.
Naperlou, The software for programmable safety zones is a technology where a number of robot makers have already invested in the development, so the application code to use it is much more straightforward and easy to implement.
Notarboca, We've all seen those large areas in plants with fencing for the robots and sophisticated safety systems. There is certainly a strong trend to integrating robots both into machines, and also using programmable zones as a way to reduce floor space requirements in plants.
To capitalize even more on space savings, an interlocked automated barrier door could be applied using the same distance formula used for light curtains, however, a properly interlocked door can be placed closer to the process further enhancing space savings and safety.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
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.
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.