Robotic Automation Enables Customized Robots

Manufacturing with custom-made robots gives manufacturers greater flexibility and offers more choice for consumers. A manufacturer of bathroom furniture recently approached a turnkey robotics maker to implement a robotics solution that would enable mass customization. Each drawer in the bathroom furniture can vary in size from 170-1,450 millimeters and has several options for material and color. Workers previously assembled the drawers by hand using hand tools. Now, robotic automation of monotonous tasks makes customized bathroom furniture more affordable.

Robomorphic computing

World scientists have devised a fully automated way to design custom hardware supports for customized robots. The focus of this new technology is on reducing the time it takes for the robot to respond to its environment. Because robots are not able to move easily in certain environments, their reaction time can be slow. Robomorphic computing can help reduce this time. It works by optimizing the physical layout of the robot as well as its applications to reduce the reaction time.

3D printing

With the help of additive manufacturing, designers can now create custom robots to meet their exact specifications. Traditionally, robots have been very complex and require a long process to create. With 3D printing, however, this process can be simplified. Customized robots can be created with an infinite number of features. This technology also allows the robotics designer to add wiring to the robot’s body, which can give it additional functionality.

Machine knitting

The MIT team has developed a system that allows anyone to design and program a custom knitted object. The new system can be programmed to produce a variety of knitted objects, including sweaters, infinity scarves, and even ugly sweaters. This system would enable anyone to create a personalized piece of clothing, no matter how basic their skills are. It could reduce the cost of industrial knitting machines, which can run upwards of $100,000.

Omron TM Series Collaborative Robot

With the recent addition of the Omron TM Series Collaborative Bot to its product lineup, Omron is advancing the automation industry. This robot is an ideal choice for collaborative manufacturing, since it meets all the safety standards for human/machine collaboration. Moreover, this robot has minimal training requirements, making it ideal for newcomers to the field. Its capabilities range from machine tending to loading and unloading to gluing and testing. In addition to being easy to program and install, this robot also complies with all the safety standards.

Sogo & Seibu

Japanese department stores are getting into the robotics business by offering customized robots. They plan to sell life-size robots that look and sound just like their owners. Sogo & Seibu will begin taking orders in January 2010, and the robots will be available in two different models. The store will select the robots by lot if three or more people show interest. The robots will only be able to move their upper body and speak in a recorded voice, but the human voices are still present.

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