Concern for worker safety when climbing on the wood to stretch the wrapping led to development of the new robotic system. Robots now bring in each piece, accurately measure and stretch the wrapping to match the piece size, apply the sealant, and stack the wood for distribution. (Source: PRE-TEC)
JamesCAnder, you must have a back that's in really good shape. I've been buying mattresses with pillow-tops for a couple decades, because my back isn't and needs all the help it can get. Seriously, though, just because people in industrialized countries have overall better protection than those in third-world countries doesn't mean they don't need more. But I think you're right that those protections should be extended to everyone.
Save lives and cost jobs. I know this is cliche to say. I know that millions of elevator operators were out of a job once automatic lifts came into play, and they moved on. But this sort of development moved money from people to the robotics manufacturers. In many cases, the works are not trained to maintain the device, just let go. Either evolve or get out of the way is the sentiment.
That said, saving our lives is the point of first world living. However, I would like to see tech of this sort reach places where safety is of no concern. Places where breathing masks as just shirts tied around people's faces. Saving lives in a highly regulated industrial country is like adding a pillow top to a soft mattress. Since there is no money in protecting 2nd and 3rd world workers, we will not see this type of innovation in those countries.
Agree.I recently visited a Japanese welding manufacturer Nagoya- Wel where they are beginning to integrate robotics with their automotive welding systems. Robotics do play a key role in manfacturing safety and the applications are becoming more diverse in solving assembly processes in industrial factories.
It seems that robotics is definitely branching into a much wider variety of applications. This one is natural because safety is such a concern but robots are also increasing productivity in many applications with the ability to achieve much more precise motion and more complicated motions than in the past.
Al, thanks for a great article. I didn't realize robots were being used in the wood industry, but they're being deployed in so many more areas all the time it shouldn't be a surprise. It makes a lot of sense in this one, considering all the hazards to humans.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
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