Autonomous mobile robots, along with the first commercial autonomous mobile manipulation robots, can be used to automate many DC and warehouse tasks. They also enable whole news ways of executing warehouse operations, which in turn are increasing the resiliency and flexibility of supply chain workflows.
Robotics start-ups are releasing solutions designed to assist manufacturers address labor challenges, confront global competition and provide lasting business value. Examples include products and technologies that increase the ease and speed of robotics software development, as well as support sensor-driven autonomy and mobility.
When IoT technologies, robots and humans interoperate, advanced robotic capabilities are enabled, along with novel applications, and by extension, new business opportunities. Interoperability challenges remain, but solutions are available to overcome them.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) has found great success in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries, and robotics solutions are making AEC inroads. The two technologies can be synergistic, and when used together can deliver additional value to AECs.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to innovate, including utilizing workplace robots. From telepresence capabilities to UV disinfection, mobile robots empowered people and provided business value. But even as the infection fades, their use will continue and expand.
The next production revolution will be a boon for a global economy that is sputtering and experiencing lagging growth and investment. This new technology wave should lead to a virtuous cycle of increased investment, higher productivity, more spending, and more investment.
Anthony Levandowski, who pleaded guilty to one count of trade secret theft and was pardoned by Donald Trump, simultaneously built and undermined the autonomous vehicle sector. The long term impact is unclear.
A number of companies offer automated, robotic garages, although adoption, especially in the United States, has been limited thus far. That could change as cities become more populated, and greater emphasis is placed on increasing the efficiency and sustainability of transportation systems.
While third-party logistics (3PLs) companies have offered Fulfillment–as–a–Service (FaaS) for years, automation technology vendors are now beginning to provide FaaS solutions along with their more traditional technologies, products and services offerings.
To increase the adoption rate of robotics and automation technologies, US manufacturers, especially SMEs, must have training support in place and acted on, as well as take advantage of governmental workforce development programs. Only then will the business value of robotic automation overcome adoption reluctance due to cost.
Flexibility in manufacturing provides quantifiable value creation and cost savings, and a great way to introduce flexibility in factories is to allow humans and robots to work together in the same space. For many applications, limited fencing or guarding is desirable to ensure workcell safety and support more fluid human-robot interaction.
The capabilities spectrum for robotics systems has been expanded from fixed manipulators and teleoperated mobile robots to now include their intersection – mobile manipulation systems. To reach their full potential, however, mobile manipulation robots must be able to move, interact, see, think, and communicate.
The construction sector is huge, but famously stubborn in its adoption of new technology. That is changing as advances in construction automation continue apace… including the development of construction robotics solutions. Challenges remain, but they are being addressed.
Prior to the Covid pandemic, robotics deployments in retail environments were growing steadily, proving their efficacy, generating ‘value’ and delivering solid ROI in the process. Covid has acted as an accelerant, so much so that in 2021 robotics technologies will transform the retail sector.
Expected Biden administration infrastructure initiatives, combined with favorable autonomous vehicle (AV) regulatory and testing environments in the U.S. are expected to spur AV deployments.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can improve many operational aspects of AGVs and AMRs, and increase worker satisfaction. As such, AI must be a fundamental building block in robotics design and harnessed by management.
Distribution Centers are exploiting data and using Labor Management Software (LMS) to optimize processes, overcome labor challenges, and drive automation deployments, including robotics systems.
FedEx’s Aaron Prather discusses the four critical steps robotics start-ups must take to in order to have their solutions reviewed, acquired and successfully deployed by Global 2000 businesses.
Walmart’s decision to end its five year experiment with Bossa Nova Robotics and their in-store robot program was unexpected, but upon further analysis not without merit, at least in the short term. Other robotics companies servicing the retail sector are progressing, but they must continue to innovate to be successful.
Dan Kara, VP, Robotics at WTWH Media interviews John McEleney, Corporate Vice President of Strategy at PTC to discuss how enhancing and improving engineering workflow provides strategic business value.
Large companies are not immune to the negative effects of ‘Pilot Purgatory’ on their digital and manufacturing transformation initiatives, including their merger, acquisition, and divestiture efforts. Strategic, transparent, and cross-functional execution are key to avoiding stagnation.
RBR’s provides hot takes on Tesla’s limited beta program for “Feature Complete Full Self-Driving” and the ARM Institute’s emphasis on robotic sewing, textile handling and apparel manufacturing.
Greater sensing, data collection and deep learning that exploit farmers’ collective wisdom can enable closed-loop control systems that deliver on the promise of true autonomy on the farm. Such autonomy, including autonomous plowing, would free up precious time for the farmer, and deliver greater agricultural yield and consistency of outcome.
Before deploying autonomous driving systems (ADS), we must know how, when, and whether they will work. There is no excuse for allowing the attention of drivers to stray during automated operation – if a system is really semi- and not fully autonomous.
For small-to-medium manufacturers (SMMs), especially those with high-mix, low-volume production loads, collaborative robots provide many benefits over traditional industrial robots for certain tasks. But deploying cobots can be challenging. Thankfully, the US’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) can help.