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 this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.