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See the Latest in Robotics & Automation at the ATX West Robotics Innovation Tour

See the Latest in Robotics & Automation at the ATX West Robotics Innovation Tour

A fun and free tour you can attend at next week's ATX West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, and other events in Anaheim, Calif., is the Robotics Innovation Tour. It will be held twice during the show, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

These tours have proved very popular at previous shows, which are organized by Design News and UBM Canon, says Robotics Innovation Tour leader and UBM Canon's event manager, Jim Beretta. Two other Innovation Tours will also be held this year, one on 3D printing and one on wearables. You can learn more about all three tours here.

Each tour runs an hour and visits about six booths. Each tour leader is an expert in the field, and provides a running commentary as you walk the show floor, pointing out the latest technologies, innovations, and industry trends. In the past, the Robotics Innovation Tour, "Advances in Robotics," has visited Fanuc (Booth 4101), Rethink Robotics (Booth 4211), Epson (Booth 4111), Staubli (Booth 3911), and ABB (Booth 4321). These are likely candidates for this year's tour, which may also include Glide-Line Conveyors (Booth 4571), and some integrators, Beretta told us.

"We may also fill in with some unique companies that have add-ons to automation, like vision and test systems," he said. "We won't have a final list for the tour until we've seen who's brought what equipment for demos, and who's announcing the latest innovations. While there are always some companies we know we'll probably see, if there's something interesting we find out about at the show, we can add that to the list." As the group stops at each booth, experts there take over and tell participants about their technology, new products, and demonstrations.

This year, the robotics tour will give you insights on the latest trends and innovations in robots, which have changed the face of manufacturing and continue to evolve. You'll see a variety of robots, including units suitable for cleanrooms and robots that your team can interact with. The tour will give you a snapshot of advances in visual processing, accuracy, speed, and dexterity. "You don't have to be an expert in any of this to get a lot out of it. It's a good solid overview of the industry," said Beretta.

The Robotics Innovation Tour will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, and from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12. You don't need a reservation, but there are only 20 spaces, so you need to show up about 15 minutes early to secure a headset to hear the guide, said Beretta. Tours will depart from the Center Stage at Booth 455 on the show floor.

Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 25 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, machine vision, and all kinds of communications.

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