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.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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