What’s New in Robotics? 22.10.2021


Information briefs for the week check out Nissan’s all-robot manufacturing facility, Japan’s AI-controlled forklifts and inspection robots, cobots mastering the traditional artwork of knife making, Gary the house robotic…can be good across the workplace, safety robots on patrol, and eel-like subsea robotic arms servicing deep-water operations.


Nissan’s all-robot auto plant

Solely “sensible” robots want apply for work at Nissan’s model new “clever” auto plant.

Industrial robots in a Nissan factory“So far, folks needed to make manufacturing changes via expertise, however now robots with synthetic intelligence, analyzing collected knowledge, are capable of do it. The know-how has developed to that stage,” stated Nissan Govt Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto.

All-robot “manufacturing changes” embrace the entire welding, becoming a member of, mounting …even portray—which the robots QC themselves—plus, putting in EV, hybrid, or combustion engine powertrains in succession on the identical manufacturing line.

The manufacturing facility, in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture, is scheduled for full manufacturing mode in April 2022. Nissan stated the improvements being examined in Tochigi will probably be step by step rolled out at its different world vegetation, together with French alliance accomplice Renault’s factories.

Nissan has introduced plans for $1.14 billion in enhancements of its world factories; $290 million was invested within the Tochigi plant. Tochigi is the third key manufacturing facility for Nissan in Japan after Kyushu and Oppama, every with a manufacturing capability of about 250,000 items yearly. That’s over 2,000 thousand automobiles a day per auto plant.


AI-controlled robots “for rent”!

The rent-a-robot motion is catching on in Japan. Japanese/Israeli three way partnership brings AI-controlled AMR forklifts and inspection robots to warehouses…with an choice to lease the robots by the hour or by undertaking or activity.

Mobile forkliftMusashi Seimitsu (a division of Honda), its subsidiary Musashi AI, and Israeli logistics automation developer 634AI, have mixed to convey AI-controlled logistics robots to main Japanese 3PL Suzuyo’s distribution heart (see video).

MusashiAI’s AMR forklift and visible inspection robots, managed by 634AI’s MAESTRO navigation and fleet administration software program are scheduled to scale up joint operations throughout all Suzuyo distribution facilities in Japan.

Fleets of Musashi’s FAF or fully-autonomous forklifts and visible inspection robots will probably be provided for buy or as a Robotic-as-a-Service (RaaS) mannequin, by the hour or by undertaking or activity.

Controlling a whole warehouse, MAESTRO units a workplan for forklifts after which guides them all through each work activity. The imaginative and prescient inspection robots work at a fee of beneath 2 seconds per work piece for an above 98% accuracy fee.


Cobots preserve high quality edge on knife manufacturing

Each day it appears that evidently the versatile cobot is within the information taking over ever-newer challenges.

One of many latest is the transformation of the previously all-manual, labor-intensive cutting-tool manufacturing—knives, scissors and different fine-edged implements—at a 400-year-old Chinese language producer.

Robot used for knife sharpeningBeijing-based startup (2015) Rokae’s cobot set up on the Zhang Xiao Quan manufacturing facility took on the intricate strategy of fastidiously calculated steps in grinding, deburring, sharpening and sharpening a metal clean right into a precision, sharp-edged instrument.

Rokae arrange two cobot-powered manufacturing stations: one for sharpening and one other for moist grinding, sharpening and deburring which will increase effectivity and consistency.

In keeping with Rokae, “the moist grinding station routinely feeds supplies to the robotic inside 10 seconds, pushing the working fee—or ratio of merchandise produced to merchandise that may be produced—to 95 p.c. In the meantime, the sharpening station can elevate effectivity by greater than 50 p.c.”

The cobots persistently apply the identical grinding methods to present the blades a uniform form, “usually a tough activity for a guide workforce.”

Rokae has entered right into a strategic partnership with Mirka, a Finnish firm that’s the world’s main provider of expendable grinding instruments and supplies.


At house—or workplace—with Gary the robotic

It’s not simply Amazon’s Astro tooling round properties today, massive boy Gary from Israel-based Limitless Robotics is able to tackle jobs in each house or workplace. Gary additionally has a developer’s platform, so who is aware of what tips he’ll be as much as within the close to future.

Gary the robot for home or office useGary is a four-footer that ideas out at 88 lbs. and may motor alongside on 4 omni-directional wheels at 3 mph. Gary’s low-slung, 65-inch arms have 7 DoF, with a three-finger gripper on one hand and two-finger gripper on the opposite. Gary can tote 3 lbs. in his grip (see video)

The corporate’s web site costs Gary this fashion: “For shoppers who joined the ready listing, Gary prices $ 99/month or a one-time cost of $ 5,900.” You possibly can cancel the subscription any time “offered {that a} primary dedication of 60 months is charged.” Availability scheduled for 2022.

In a latest interview, the corporate claims that “Gary can autonomously navigate its environment, shifting via each new and acquainted locations…[ and] additionally holds capabilities to navigate out of doors and uneven terrain, resembling grass, carpets and tiles.”

CEO Man Altagar, defined the significance of the developer’s platform that makes Gary a one-of-a-kind house robotic. “Normally, a regular robotic or an digital system can carry out just one operate,” stated Altagar.

“With our know-how [developer’s platform], we’re bringing a brand new strategy to construct a number of mechanical and operational purposes—multi functional system.” 


Patrol robotic trials for safety and security

Two, autonomous patrol robots, each named “Xavier”, every outfitted with seven cameras apiece, are, based on undertaking supervisor Michael Lim, Singapore’s “new weapon in opposition to insecurity.”

Patrol robot used for safety and security.Constructed by Singapore-based Dwelling Crew Science and Know-how Company (HTX), a authorities operated safety and security developer, the patrol robots will probably be trialed for 3 months with a view to assess their effectiveness.

An HTX information launch described the patrol robots’ actions as: weaving autonomously via crowds in Singapore’s Toa Payoh Central retail and residence space to detect undesirable social behaviors, together with smoking in prohibited areas, unlawful hawking, improperly parked bicycles, gatherings of greater than 5 folks (COVID restriction), and motorized automobiles on footpaths.

Robotics, Automation & Unmanned Programs (RAUS) Centre of Experience, one in all 15 experience facilities at HTX, constructed the autonomous Xavier patrol robots. They’re outfitted with a sensor set that enables them to detect and keep away from objects, automobiles and pedestrians. Their onboard cameras allow 360-degree dashboard video, even in low mild with infrared cameras; and the captured video might be shortly analyzed by a system of synthetic intelligence.

When a Xavier detects a violation, it concurrently indicators the command heart whereas displaying a message on its display to tell and warn the general public.


Eel-like robotic arm conducts subsea repairs

The Eely500 is a slender and flexible-bodied robotic arm designed for subsea inspection, upkeep, and restore (IMR). It’s battery powered and modular, with interchangeable energy thrusters and variable payload segments.

Robotic arm used for safety repairsThe Eely500 can convert from single-arm to dual-arm configuration with completely different end-effector instruments on both arm

The autonomous subsea arm is designed for servicing underwater installations remotely, with out the necessity for costly floor vessels and tech workers, and even divers, for assist.

The eel-like, robotic arm can bend and twist and slide into slender confines and gaps, and function submerged 24/7, even in harsh underwater currents or throughout a floor storm. Actually, it may be completely moored beneath water and autonomously recharge itself when needed. Straightening out right into a torpedo form, it might probably journey lengthy distances at excessive charges of velocity.

The Eely500 was designed and produced by Norway’s Trondheim-based Eelume AS (established in 2015), which is a spin-off from the Norwegian College of Science and Know-how (NTNU) and co-owned by Kongsberg Maritime.

Eelume says its subsea robotic arm is adaptable for offshore oil and gasoline operations, aquaculture and different forms of subsea exercise.