Category Archives: Robotics

Robotic welders cost $8/hour vs $25/hour for people

Robotics systems are thus becoming an economically viable alternative to human labor in more and more industries. A human welder today earns around $25 per hour (including benefits), while the equivalent operating cost per hour for a robot is around $8 when installation, maintenance, and the operating costs of all hardware, software, and peripherals are amortized over a five-year depreciation period. In 15 years, that gap will widen even more dramatically. The operating cost per hour for a robot doing similar welding tasks could plunge to as little as $2 when improvements in its performance are factored in.

Source: bcg.perspectives – How Robots Will Redefine Competitiveness

Emphasis added by me.

Materials science engineers develop “metallic glass” gears for #robots

Materials science engineers have developed a “metallic glass” gear system that operates at very low temperatures, without lubrication, and provides high strength.

“Metallic glass” has the strength of a metal but sigh the amorphous structure of a glass. Further, parts made from the materials can be injected molded, similar to how plastic parts are made.

Applications include many kinds of robotics, and especially space systems that must operate in extreme temperature conditions.
Source: Metallic glass gears make for graceful robots — ScienceDaily

MIT researchers create synthetic “muscle fiber” using nylon cord for #robotics applications 

‘Some polymer fiber materials, including highly oriented nylon, have an unusual property: When heated, “they shrink in length but expand in diameter,” Mirvakili says, and this property has been harnessed to make some linear actuator devices. But to turn that linear shrinking motion into bending typically requires a mechanism such as a pulley and a takeup reel, adding extra size, complexity, and expense. The MIT team’s advance was to directly harness the motion without requiring extra mechanical parts.’

Source: Nylon fibers made to flex like muscles | MIT News

Robotics for rehabilitation medical care

This is total awesomeness! The application of robotics to assist those subject to physical disabilities:

It’s not only engineers who work in robotics

Source: It’s not only engineers who work in robotics | Robohub

My wife recently retired from nursing. She had worked as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, working with spinal cord injury patients, and sometimes with traumatic brain injury patients. She tells me that tremendous advances are  being made toward spinal cord regrowth and repair – this is still a ways out but is another exciting development for those with these types of injuries.

‘Industry 4.0’ made possible by #IOT

Source: ‘Industry 4.0’ comes to B.C.: Smart machines and Internet of Things change the workplace

IOT changes everything for service and industrial businesses. As described at the link, IOT enables smarter machines/automation. But it also means deploying sensors throughout a “work environment” to monitor and detect safety issues, to identify productivity issues, to detect quality problems, to optimize production and much more.

Procter & Gamble reduces number of factories, increases automation and robotics

Ultimately, it means P&G’s signature products, such as Tide detergent and Pampers diapers, will be made in fewer, but larger manufacturing plants, and ones with more robots and automation that reduce personnel.

Source: Procter & Gamble consolidates plants, adds automation

Pharmacy automation to see strong growth through 2020

Automation systems such as packaging and labeling systems, medication dispensing system, storage and retrieval systems, table-top counters and compounding systems are employed in order improve the efficacy of regular jobs within pharmacies. The market is expected to grow owing to features including system integration that increases productivity and time to clinicians for patient care, thereby lowering medication errors.

Source: Pharmacy Automation Devices Market Worth $8.99 Billion By 2020