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26 May, 2024

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Nikon’s vision system uses camera expertise to solve problems

15 May, 2024

The Japanese camera-maker Nikon has announced an industrial robot vision system which, it claims, will overcome problems associated with existing vision systems. As well as performing static applications such as bin-picking, the system, which mounts on a robot arm, can also track and pick items moving on equipment such as conveyors, AGVs and AMRs.

AI-driven servo tuning ‘outperforms human experts’

14 May, 2024

Panasonic Industry has announced a servodrive system that uses AI to achieve precision tuning that, it claims, is better than can be done by human experts. It also says that the Minas A7 servo system delivers the industry's best motion performance with a 27-bit encoder resolution (equivalent to 134,217,728 pulses) and a response frequency that hits an industry high of 4kHz or more (1.25 times higher than Panasonic’s earlier Minas A6 servomotors).

AI-powered AMRs boast high speed and accuracy

14 May, 2024

ABB Robotics has announced an AMR (autonomous mobile robot) equipped with AI-based Visual Slam (simultaneous localisation and mapping) navigation technology, allowing first-time robot users to program and operate entire fleets of AMRs. The new capabilities simplify configuration of the AMR T702 trolley robot and can cut commissioning times by up to 20%.

Carbon fibre rings tackle the scourge of bearing currents

30 April, 2024

Bearing currents – a longstanding problem for some industrial motors – can also affect electric vehicle drivetrains, potentially leading to premature failure of bearings and other components. SKF has come up with a way to tackle the problem using conductive brush rings that provide a reliable electrical connection between an EV rotor shaft and its housing. When used in combination with ceramic ball bearings, they can alleviate bearing current effects, making EV drivetrains more reliable and longer-lasting.

IE6 motor is ‘the most efficient industrial motor ever created’

29 April, 2024

The Brazilian motor-maker WEG has announced an electric motor that version combines two technologies – permanent magnet (PM) and synchronous reluctance (SynRM) – to make it “the most efficient industrial motor ever created”. The W23 Sync+ Ultra delivers IE6 efficiency levels and achieves this “unparalleled” efficiency across varying speed and load conditions.

Festo creates a buzz at Hannover with its swarming bionic bees

23 April, 2024

At the Hannover Messe, Festo unveiled the latest in a long line of bionic versions of living creatures – this time, a bionic bee which weighs around 34 grams, is 220mm long and has a 240mm wingspan, making it the smallest flying object created so far by Festo’s Bionic Learning Network. The bees can fly in large numbers and move autonomously in swarms, following paths specified by a central computer.

Apple’s Vision Pro guides you to install motor starters

22 April, 2024

People working on equipment such as motor starters and electrical panels will soon be able to receive guidance and tuition via Apple’s recently launched Vision Pro “spatial computer” headset, which provides ultra-high-resolution 3D images that merge the real and digital worlds and can be controlled by natural inputs such as a user’s eyes, hand gestures or voice.

Hydraulic humanoid retires and electric successor is revealed

18 April, 2024

Boston Dynamics, the developer of the pioneering Atlas humanoid robot which has starred in many YouTube videos, has retired the original hydraulically-powered version and replaced it with a new electrically-powered successor.

Software-based motor control ‘boosts efficiency by up to 3%’

17 April, 2024

A Californian company has demonstrated a software-based motor control technology which, it claims, can boost motor efficiencies while avoiding the need for rare-earth materials. At a symposium in Austria, Tula Technology showed a Tesla Model 3 vehicle retrofitted with an externally excited synchronous motor (EESM) running its Dynamic Motor Drive (DMD) software, and claimed that this could cut the EV’s energy consumption by up to 3%.

Wheeled dual-arm robot manipulator rolls into view

08 April, 2024

The Korean robot developer Rainbow Robotics, has announced a two-armed robot manipulator that moves around on wheels. The company argues that the RB-Y1 mobile robot overcomes some of the limitations of existing industrial robots and could find uses in many industrial sites.

Autonomous pallet-movers ‘solve many automation issues’

05 April, 2024

The Danish firm MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots) has announced a pallet-moving AMR (autonomous mobile robot) which uses AI (artificial intelligence) to identify, pick up and deliver pallets “with unprecedented precision”. The company says that the MiR1200 Pallet Jack sets new standards for the handling of palletised goods and solves many of the challenges that enterprises face when trying to add automation to complex, dynamic factory and warehouse environments.

AI-powered 3D machine vision system is ‘world first’

03 April, 2024

Cognex has launched a product which it describes as “the world's first 3D vision system with AI”. The In-Sight L38 3D vision system combines AI, 2D, and 3D vision technologies to solve a variety of inspection and measurement applications.

Siemens, UR and Zivid combine to solve logistics issues

28 March, 2024

UPDATED: Siemens, Universal Robots (UR) and the Norwegian machine vision specialist Zivid have joined forces with Mecalux, the Spanish specialist in automated warehouses, to create a “groundbreaking” technology that streamlines warehouse automation and solves intralogistics fulfilment challenges. The technology brings together a long-reach UR20 cobot, a Zivid 2+ M130 camera – said to be the first 3D sensor capable of imaging anything, including transparent and translucent items – and Siemens’ Simatic Robot Pick AI – pre-trained, deep learning-based vision software that allows robots to perform tasks that previously had to be performed by hand.

Robot ‘fingers’ can be configured to suit an application

28 March, 2024

NSK and the German Aerospace Centre are jointly developing a robotic gripper system comprising individual finger modules that can be configured to suit the application – thought to be the first time this has been done.

Remote robot restarts could cut downtime costs by 90%

25 March, 2024

Kawasaki Robotics has partnered with Olis Robotics to allow robot users to restart production faster after shutdowns, cut troubleshooting and downtime costs by up to 90%, and access expert support quickly.

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