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Category: automation

Robotics | IoT

Schunk Expert Days reveal state of robotics

One of the things I like about attending Schunk’s annual two-day International Expert Days conference is that it covers a range of topics. From conversations with speakers, exhibitors, and fellow attendees, I get a feel for what users need and the challenges robot and gripper makers face in meeting those needs. Another attraction is that…

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3 Practical Solutions to Offset Automation’s Impact on Work

In recent years, the media has sounded the alarm about mass job loss to automation and robotics—some studies predict that up to 50 percent of current jobs or tasks could be automated in coming decades. While this topic has received significant attention, much of the press focuses on potential problems without proposing realistic solutions or […]

Where Is Amazon Headed With Its Self-Driving Car Initiatives?

The list of companies pursuing self-driving vehicles keeps on growing. On it, you find many companies that might initially come as a surprise—including Amazon. Amazon’s statement about its recent investment in self-driving vehicle startup Aurora tells you something about the company’s thoughts on the future of the technology. “Autonomous technology has the potential to help […]

Industrial exoskeletons expand worker capabilities, to help healthcare

Many of the most visible demonstrations of exoskeletons have been for assisting people with disabilities. However, limitations of weight, power, and cost have resulted in slow rates of adoption. In the meantime, the technology continues to advance, with industrial exoskeletons providing application experience. While the majority of today’s $130 million wearable robotics market is for…

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The Great Myth of the AI Skills Gap

One of the most contentious debates in technology is around the question of automation and jobs. At issue is whether advances in automation, specifically with regards to artificial intelligence and robotics, will spell trouble for today’s workers. This debate is played out in the media daily, and passions run deep on both sides of the […]

Robotics, Automation Headline Fluid Power Technology Conference 2019

The 2019 edition of the Fluid Power Technology Conference will be held on May 14 and 15 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center. Each day of the conference will open with exiting keynote presentations about how fluid power manufacturers can be leaders in robotics and automation technologies. The Fluid Power Technology Conference brings…

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OnRobot releases Gecko gripper (based on NASA-technology) at ATX West

OnRobot, a global leader in end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots, announced today it will be co-exhibiting next month with Futura Automation at the ATX West show, in Anaheim, Calif., February 5 to 7. OnRobot kicked off the new year by shipping pre-orders of its newly-available Gecko Gripper, that uses millions of micro-scaled fibrillar stalks that…

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The Promise—and Complications—of Domestic Robots

Every year, for just a few days in a major city, a small team of roboticists get to live the dream: ordering around their own personal robot butlers. In carefully-constructed replicas of a restaurant scene or a domestic setting, these robots perform any number of simple algorithmic tasks. “Get the can of beans from the […]

How Do We Teach Autonomous Cars To Drive Off the Beaten Path?

Autonomous vehicles can follow the general rules of American roads, recognizing traffic signals and lane markings, noticing crosswalks and other regular features of the streets. But they work only on well-marked roads that are carefully scanned and mapped in advance. Many paved roads, though, have faded paint, signs obscured behind trees and unusual intersections. In […]

Our Voting System Is Hackable. Here’s How to Secure It

The November 6, 2018 midterm elections are being widely regarded as a referendum on President Trump, but they will also serve another, less obvious purpose. The integrity of our election infrastructure is being tested. Key technological vulnerabilities remain. Although media coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election has largely focused on the […]