Archive: May 2013

New robots to improve manufacturing

Current factory automation has its issues, whether it be volume, usability for small-to-medium businesses, or flexibility, there are plenty of areas where the current factory automation technology has room for improvement. That’s where the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s science agency, comes in. They are developing a new system that they intend…

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Moving automation from fieldbus to ethernet

While fieldbus systems dominated factory networking and automation for decades, ethernet is moving in, and taking over, as the standard for networking and automation in manufacturing settings. With more than 500 million ports installed worldwide in enterprise networks, Ethernet has become the dominant networking technology and a de facto standard. It delivers wide availability, openness,…

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Changes in factory automation as needs change

Launched during Australia’s National Manufacturing Week, a CSIRO whitepaper discusses the usefulness of assistive manufacturing robot technologies. The paper outlines how current tools available to manufacturers are built for high volume mass-manufacturing, but that new economic drivers require manufacturers to focus more on low-volume, highly customised and high value-add products. Known as Lightweight Assistive Manufacturing…

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Robots could soon have a sense of touch

Biomedical Engineering students at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a robotic arm that can find objects by touch. In a paper published this month in the International Journal of Robotics Research, the Georgia Tech group described a robot arm that was able to reach into a cluttered environment and use “touch,” along with…

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