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24 June, 2024

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Robotic picker has an efficiency of at least 99.5%

03 May, 2023

ABB Robotics has launched an AI-based system that detects and picks items in unstructured environments in warehouses and fulfilment centres with an efficiency claimed to be better than 99.5%. The robotic item picker can handle up to 1,400 unsorted items per hour, each weighing up to 3kg.

Servomotors talk via wireless IO-Link rather than cables

03 May, 2023

The Italian motor manufacturer Siboni has developed a range of servomotors that use wireless IO-Link links to controllers instead of conventional cable connections. The high-speed, low-latency communications technology is said to offer practical and cost benefits, especially in applications such as packaging machinery and robots where high-speed rotary movements make conventional connections difficult to install and maintain.

GPT AI tool will enhance maintenance and efficiency

02 May, 2023

A Californian industrial software developer has announced a generative AI (artificial intelligence) tool designed to help manufacturers to train and test predictive maintenance models at the industrial edge. EoT (Embassy of Things) says that its patent-pending Twin Talk GPT system will help users to improve their operational efficiency and decision-making.

AI navigation ‘transforms’ the performance of AMRs

02 May, 2023

ABB Robotics says it has transformed its AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) by adding a technology that allows them to make intelligent navigation decisions in challenging environments. Using AI-enabled 3D vision to perform location and mapping functions, the Visual Slam (simultaneous localisation and mapping) technology will speed up production, making it more flexible and efficient, while cutting commissioning times by up to 20%, reducing the need for calibration and avoiding infrastructure changes.

‘Highest precision’ controllers can cut defects and wastage

20 April, 2023

Omron has launched a new generation of automation controllers that it claims offer the world’s highest precision data collection and large-capacity transfer capabilities, leading to rapid improvements in processes that cause defective products, as well as cutting wastage. The NX502-1x00 CPUs also boast a control technology for large-scale and high-speed safety that Omron says will cut lead times when making changes on production lines.

Chatbot add-on automates controller programming

20 April, 2023

The German automation manufacturer Beckhoff has announced at the Hannover Messe that it has developed an AI-supported chatbot add-on for its TwinCat XAE engineering environment that will help users to automate tasks such as creating and optimising PLC function block coding, and generating documentation. It can also complete missing code from function blocks, or restructure code for better readability.

First ‘virtual PLC’ will allow software-based automation

14 April, 2023

Siemens is presenting a virtual PLC (programmable logic controller) for the first time at the 2023 Hannover Messe. The Simatic S7-1500V is designed to meet special requirements such as the virtual hosting of PLC computing. In future, Siemens plans to offer virtual PLCs alongside its traditional hardware controllers.

Real-time scanner will ‘revolutionise’ 3D measurements

12 April, 2023

Pepperl+Fuchs has combined two technologies – Lidar and Mems (microelectromechanical systems) – to come up with a system that measures distances in 3D from a few centimetres to several hundred metres, with millimetre accuracy. The R3000 Lidar/Mems sensor, which makes its debut at this month’s Hannover Messe, can capture complex, dynamic scenes in real time, with potential applications ranging from automated guided vehicles to service robots and beyond.

AI chip analyses vibration data, cutting costs and energy use

06 April, 2023

An Israeli semiconductor specialist has developed an AI-based vibration-monitoring chip that processes vibration data on-board, greatly reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted to the cloud, thus cutting power consumption and supporting energy-harvesting designs. Polyn Technology says that by reducing the amount of data transmitted by a factor of around 1,000, its VibroSense chip will cut costs and improve ROIs.

Microsoft and Nvidia deliver industrial metaverse via cloud

03 April, 2023

Microsoft and Nvidia are collaborating to offer “hundreds of millions” of Microsoft enterprise users access to the industrial metaverse and to AI supercomputing resources via the cloud.

UK-developed robot arm works inside aircraft wings

31 March, 2023

A Dorset automation specialist has developed a robot arm that can perform sealing, inspection and other operations inside aircraft wings and other confined spaces. Loop Technology worked on the four-year project – funded by a grant from the UK’s ATI (Aerospace Technology Institute) – in partnership with Belfast-based Spirit AeroSystems, which led the project.

Geckos inspire gripper that can grasp almost anything

31 March, 2023

The Chinese-American robotics developer Flexiv has announced a “revolutionary” robotic gripper that can lift almost anything that fits in its grasp, including oddly shaped items or those with uneven surface textures. Flexiv says that the Grav gripper, which uses an adhesive material modelled on geckos’ feet, represents the next generation of robotic grippers.

Voice commands control machines even in noisy factories

27 March, 2023

German researchers claim to have developed a way to control industrial machines reliably using voice commands, even in noisy factories. The researchers, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) in Oldenburg, say that using intuitive voice commands will allow shopfloor personnel to keep both hands free and to work more efficiently.

Custom gearboxes will ‘revolutionise’ transmission market

23 March, 2023

The German gearbox-maker Flender has announced a new generation of single-stage helical gearboxes which, it predicts, will revolutionise the market. The company – previously owned by Siemens, which sold it to the investment firm Carlyle in 2020 – says that the new Flender One gearbox sets new benchmarks for efficiency, operating costs, ease of ordering and maintenance, with every box having onboard monitoring and analysis to help avoid failures.

Smart on-battery electronics eliminates the need for inverters

17 March, 2023

A German start-up has come up with a technology that does away with the need for converters in battery-powered systems. The “AC battery” system, developed by Munich-based Bavertis, uses electronics to reconfigure battery cells several thousand times per second, and allows the battery to generate AC directly.

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