friday-funny:-strange-and-amazing-household-experiments

Take a look at some very bizzarre experiments, from odd magnetic properties (printer toner?) and a tree that grows actual chicken eggs.

You have to see this to believe it. Some of these household experiments seem logical. Others seem to have come from another planet.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event, DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard? Register to attend!

robots-reach-out-and-touch-ces-attendees

Robot makers put their new offerings on display at CES, showing how these mechanical devices interact with humans, from making pizza to reading emotions.

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics

    The new robots at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) came is a variety of forms and uses, but a common theme throughout was the touch-worthiness of these machines.

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang

    Cute Little ChuangChuang

    ChuangChuang, an intelligent service robot self-developed by Chuangze Intelligent Robot Group (a high-tech enterprise from China), showed off one of the cutest robots at CES. Entering the showroom of Chuangze Group, you could see their latest series of intelligent commercial service robots, intelligent companion robots, intelligent large-screen robots, and intelligent medical robot. (Image source: Chuangze Intelligent Robot Group)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, sweeping robot, BONA

    BONA’s Sweeping Robot

    BONA Robots launched its own brand coayu, and launched a commercial sweeping robot BLNE01. The robot is equipped with an x-matching global navigation system. It was designed for complex and diverse indoor business environments with strong or weak light, strong or weak texture, and mapping technology. (Image source: BONA Robots)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot

    Food Delivery Robots

    PuduBot and BellaBot serve as food delivery robots. Following positioning and navigation instructions from PuduSLAM algorithm, the robots will reach designated tables after the waiter chooses the correct table number for the trays. PuduBots are currently working at over 2,000 restaurants of different categories in 200-plus cities in more than 20 countries. In a year, million trays of food are delivered to customers, which is equivalent to 3,000 waiters working for a whole year. (Image source: PuduBots)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics

    The Guardian X0 by Delta Air Lines and Sarcos Robotics

    Delta Air Lines has partnering with Sarcos Robotics to create employee technology fit for a superhero – a mobile and dexterous exoskeleton designed to boost employees’ physical capabilities and bolster their safety. Delta employees have worked directly with Sarcos to determine potential operational uses for the Guardian XO. (Image source: Sarcos)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot, Misty Robotics

    Play Misty For Me

    Misty Robotics, the creators of the Misty II platform robot, has launched the Misty as a concierge application template that provides developers with a robust starting point to build robot skills and quickly put Misty II to work. The Misty II application templates are open source code for developers to build upon and customize for a specific assignment or task. (Image source: Mysty Robotics)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot, Misty Robotics, Cruzr

    Cruzr Comes to CES

    UBTECH showed off its newest robots, including the latest updates to Walker, the intelligent humanoid service robot and an autonomous indoor monitoring robot AIMBOT, enterprise service robot Cruzr, and award-winning JIMU Robot kits for kids. (Image source: UBTECH)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot, Misty Robotics, Cruzr, pizza making robot

    Pizza Making Robot

    Seattle-based Picnic, a food production technology and Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) provider, displayed its automated food assembly system. The robotics system served pizza to attendees at CES. (Image source: Picnic)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot, Misty Robotics, ITRI

    A Smart Arm And Emotion-Reading AI

    Taiwan’s ITRI demonstrated AI and robotics technologies that included the Mobile Arm Robot System, a smart integrated service robot platform combining mobility, sensing, manipulation, and human-machine interaction functions; and GenkiCam, an AI camera that can identify a baby’s emotions, monitor its heartbeat and breathing, and immediately inform parents of any abnormality. (Image source: ITRI)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot, Misty Robotics, Cruzr, OMRON

    OMRON’s i4 Line Of Robots

    OMRON introduced a new line of SCARA robots with sleek design and enhanced performance. Named the i4, the new generation of SCARA robot is designed to save space during installation and allow easier configuration into existing production lines. (Image source: OMRON)

  • CES, robots, exoskeleton, Delta Air Lines, Sarcos Robotics, ChuangChuang, PuduBot, food delivery robot, Misty Robotics, FANUC

    FANUC Let Its Cobots Touch Attendees

    FANUC let CES attendees interact with its robots in a wide range of demonstrations and contests including a selfie station, a voice-activated gift selection, hand-guided robot programming, and speed and dexterity challenges. (Image source: FANUC)

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News . Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event,  DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard?  Register to attend !

manufacturing-2020:-5g,-ai,-iot-and-cloud-based-systems-will-take-over

Technology vendors expect that 2020 will be a big year for manufacturing plants to onboard digital systems. But will it happen? While digital systems – IoT, machine learning, 5G, cloud-based systems – have proven themselves as worthwhile investments, they may not get deployed widely.

For insight on what to expect in 2020, we turned to Rajeev Gollarahalli, chief business officer at 42Q, a cloud-based MES software division of Sanmina. Gollarahalli sees a manufacturing world that will take solid steps toward digitalization in 2020, but those steps are likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary.

digital manufacturing, IoT, IIoT, artificial intelligence, AI, machine learning, ML, 5G, big data, data analytics
We’re going to see manufacturers make progress on digitizing their factories in 2020, but it won’t happen as quickly as vendors would like. (Image source: digital.gov)

5G On The Plant Floor

Design News: Will 5G increase the pace of digital factory transformation, and where it will have the most impact?

Rajeev Gollarahalli: We’ve started to see a little of 5G popping up in the factory, but it’s limited. It’s mostly still in the proof-of-concept stage. It will be some time before we see more, probably around the end of next 2020.

DN: Will 5G increase the pace of digital transformation?

Gollarahalli: Undoubtedly. Yet one limit is that in order to make accurate decisions, you need to be able to ingest high volumes of data in real-time. That’s been one of the limitations in infrastructure. When you can use 5G across the factory, you’ll have considerable infrastructure. That challenge with data is solved by 5G.

DN: What still needs to be done in order to deploy 5G?

Gollarahalli: You have the 5G service providers and 5G equipment manufacturers working together. Both are developing capabilities in their own silos. What has not yet matured is putting these together, whether it’s in health, discreet manufacturing, telecom, or aerospace. The use cases haven’t matured, but we are seeing more use cases piling up.

DN: What could spur equipment vendors and telecom to work together?

Gollarahalli: I think we’ll see an industry consortium. That doesn’t exist now. There are partners that are starting to talk. Verizon is working with network providers. You’re going to see two or three different groups emerge and come together to do standards. With the advent of 5G, and the emergence of IIoT, they are all going to come together. One of the limitations is the volume. We generate about a terabyte of data with IoT. The timing will be perfect for getting 5G utilized for IoT and get it widely adopted.

The Emerging Workforce Skilled In Digital Systems

DN: What changes in the plant workforce can we expect in the coming year?

Gollarahalli: The workforce will need a completely different set of skills to drive automation on the factory floor, and industry has to learn how to attract those workers People are saying manufacturing is contracting, but I’m not seeing it. Manufacturing seems to be stable. As for skills for the factory of the future, we need to be re-tooling our employees. The employees today don’t have the technical skills, but they have the domain skills. We need to get them the technical skills they need.

DN: Will the move to a workforce with greater technology skills be disruptive?

Gollarahalli: You’re not going to see mass layoffs, but you’re going to see retooling the skills of the employees. We can’t get them trained at the speed that technology is increasing. We’re going to see more employees getting ready in trade schools and with degrees. What you’re seeing is a convergence of data skills with AI and domain skills. An ideal skillset is someone who understands manufacturing and knows the data. For several years kids were moving away from STEM, wanting to learn the sexier stuff. But I think STEM is coming back.

Cloud-Based Systems For Security

DN: Will cloud-based systems be the go-to for manufacturing security versus on-premises security?

Gollarahalli: Five years ago, when I talked about cloud with customers, they asked whether it was real-time. That was when the infrastructure was not as secure. I have a network at home. That was unheard of 10 years ago in factories. Now that the infrastructure issue has been solved, the next step is security. I have always countered that you can’t secure data on premises as well as you can in a cloud. A lot of money has poured into cloud-based security. No single company can match that. It’s almost impossible to do it on premises.

AI, Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics

DN: Will advances in AI, machine learning, and analytics?

Gollarahalli: We’re seeing AI and ML (machine learning) is some areas. We’re seeing it implemented in some areas at 42Q. Most use cases are around asset management and quality. It’s used to predict the quality of a product and to take preventive actions in asset maintenance. AI and ML are also popping up in supply chain management. 2020 will be the year of AI and ML. It’s getting embedded into medical products. You’ll see it pop up everywhere, showing up on the factory floor as well as in our consumer products.

DN: Is AI and machine learning going mainstream yet or is it mostly getting deployed by large manufacturers who are typically the early users?

Gollarahalli: You’re going to see it move down the supply chain to tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers. I don’t think it’s just for the elite any more. It’s getting adopted quickly, but it is not happening as quickly as I thought it would.

The Role Of IoT In Manufacturing

DN: Will we see growth in IoT’s role in measuring and providing closed loop controls?

Gollarahalli: We’re going to see it in manufacturing, regulating the humidity in the room or the temperature on the floor. They need closed loop from IoT. They’re measuring with IoT, but the closed loop as not been adopted as quickly. We don’t have the right standards. How do you do close loop with a system that is throwing off data in milliseconds. You must be able to use the IoT and those algorithms. If you can make them more efficient for closed loop control, you’ll see a lot more of it going forward.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event, DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard? Register to attend!

the-12-best-innovations-of-ces-2020

Forget new TVs and smartphones. These are the real game changers introduced at CES 2020.

  • Now that the smoke is cleared from CES 2020, we can take a step back and see which technologies were the real innovations of 2020. Let’s be honest, CES can be a black hole of vaporware, false promises, and concepts intended to be just that.

    We’ve compiled a list of our favorite technologies introduced at CES 2020 – innovations that we’re sure will be having a lasting impact in 2020 and beyond.

  • AerNos AerSIP Gas Sensor

    The AerSIP from AerNos is a 5 x 5-mm, mulit-gas sensing module that combines nanotechnology and machine learning algorithms to monitor indoor and outdoor air quality. The system-in-package (SIP) is an embedded plug-and-play solution that can be integrated into wearables, mobile devices, and other IoT devices and is capable of detecting hazardous gases and other dangers at parts per billion levels.

    (Image source: AerNos/CES)

  • AMD Ryzen 4000 Series Mobile Processor

    AMD’s Ryzen 4000 could be a literal game changer for high-end laptops users – particularly gamers and designers. AMD says its new Ryzen 4000 series is the world’s first 7-nanometer laptop processor. Designed for ultra-thin laptops, the Ryzen 4000 series features up to 8 cores and 16 threads and configurable 15W thermal design power. AMD pledges the Ryzen 4000 series offers up to four percent greater single-thread performance and up to 90 percent faster multithreaded performance than its competitors, as well as up to 18 percent faster graphics performance over competing chips.

    (Image source: AMD)

  • Atmosic Technologies M3 Battery-Free Bluetooth 5 SoC

    Atmosic says its M3 Battery-Free Bluetooth 5 SoC uses so little power that it can even eliminate the need for battery power entirely in devices such as wearables, keyboards, mice, asset trackers, beacons, and remotes. The M3 integrates Atmosic’s Lowest Power Radio, On-demand Wake-Up, and Managed Energy Harvesting technologies to deliver what the company says is 10 to 100 times lower power than other SoCs, while still complying with Bluetooth standards. The M3’s radio uses two “ears” – one for listening in a low-power state to perceive incoming commands, and another that only wakes when alerted. The SoC uses energy harvesting technology to gather power from radio frequency, photovoltaic, thermal, and motion.

    (Image source: Atmosic)

  • Bot3 Zen-P VSLAM Deep Learning Module

    Bot3‘s Zen-P VSLAM Deep Learning module integrates visual simultaneous localization and mapping (VSLAM) technology (a version of the same technology used in autonomous vehicles) into mobile robots ranging from industrial machines to smart home products. Bot3’s image processing algorithm, Pascal, allows for autonomous navigation without tracks as well as indoor mapping and positioning. (for instances such as warehouse applications).

    (Image source: Bot3)

  • BrainCo BrainRobotics Prosthetic Hand

    Many companies have been developing mind-controlled prosthetics for amputees and other disabled patients. What separates the prosthetic hand developed by BrainRobotics is the integration of AI technology. The BrainRobotics hand utilizes machine learning to allow the hand and its user to learn from each other over time – leading to more lifelike movements. The company is aiming to provide accurate and reliable prosthetics and at affordable price for all patients. BrainRobotics is a subsidiary of BrainCo, a software developer focused on brainwave measuring and monitoring.

    (Image source: BrainCo/BrainRobotics)

  • Fluent.ai MultiWake Word and Voice Control Engine

    Fluent.ai is a technology company focused on AI for voice interface and speech recognition. The company’s Multi-Wake Word and Voice Control Engine is an edge-based, noise robust, and multilingual speech technology that consumes minimal power and storage, allowing it to be embedded in small devices. The solution is Cortex M4-based and supports four separate wake words and 100 multilingual commands, according to Fluent.ai.

    Fluent.ai has recently partnered with semiconductor designer Ambiq Micro to implement Fluent.ai’s software solutions into Ambiq’s ultra-small footprint, low-power microcontrollers. Ambiq’s MCU supports frequencies up to 96 MHz, and Fluent.ai’s solution requires only 16 MHz from the MCU. The new partnership means Fluent.ai and Ambiq will be releasing MCUs for OEMs looking for an easy way to add speech recognition and voice command functionality to their smart home devices and other products.

    (Image source: Fluent.ai / CES

  • Intel Tiger Lake Chip

    When Intel announces a new chip, the whole world takes notice. The chipmaking giant is launching its latest chip for consumers this year. Dubbed Tiger Lake, the new chip is said to be optimized for AI performance, graphics, and USB 3 throughput. Rather than desktops, the new chips will be focused on mobile devices such as ultra-thin laptops and tablets. The first products featuring Tiger Lake are expected to ship later in 2020.

    (Image source: Intel)

  • Monster MultiLink Bluetooth Technology

    Sometimes its the most straightforward ideas that can make the biggest difference. Most of us love our Bluetooth wireless headphones and earbuds. The problem is they don’t create a sharable experience. What if you want to show your friend the video you’re watching without disturbing the people around you? Monster has debuted a new technology called Music Share that uses MultiLink technology to allow devices to send Bluetooth audio to multiple devices in sync. The technology expands how Bluetooth headphones can be used and opens up new use cases ranging from air travel to fitness classes as well as new avenues for social interaction.

    (Image source: Bluetooth SIG)

  • Murata Coral Accelerator Module

    Working in partnership with Coral and Google, Murata Electronics has developed what it is calling the world’s smallest AI module. The Coral Accelerator Module packages Google’s Edge TPU ASIC into a miniaturized footprint to enable developers to embed edge-based AI into their products and devices. The new module forms an integral part of Coral’s integrated AI platform, which also includes a toolkit of software tools and pre-compiled AI models.

    (Image source: Murata Electronics Americas)

  • Pollen Robotics Reachy Open-Source Robot

    Reachy is a robot developed by Pollen Robotics, in collaboration with the INCIA Neuroscience Institute in France, that is fully open source. The robot, which can be programmed using Python, is modular – employing a variety of 3D-printed grippers – and comes with prepackaged AI algorithms to allow developers to customize it for a variety of applications ranging from customer service and assisting the elderly or disabled.

    Read more about Reachy, and the rise of open-source robotics, here.

    (Image source: Pollen Robotics)

  • VRgineers 8K XTAL Headset

    VRgineers, a maker of premium VR headsets for enterprise applications in industries ranging from automotive to defense and military, has released a major upgrade to its flagship XTAL headset. The latest version of XTAL features 8K resolution (4K per eye), improved lenses with a 180-degree field-of-view, and a new add-on module for augmented reality and mixed reality functionality. The headset also still includes eye tracking as well as integrated Leap Motion sensors to enable controller-free navigation and interactions.

    (Image source: VRgineers)

  • zGlue ChipBuilder

    zGlue is a software company that develops tools for chipmakers and designers. Its latest offering, ChipBuilder 3.0 is a design tool to for building custom silicon chips and accelerating time to market. The software suite features an expansive library of chipsets and allows engineers to capture schematics, route and verify designs, and download netlists. The tool allows engineers to create realistic 3D models and code their own chips and even place orders for physical chips via zGlue’s Shuttle Program.

    (Image source: zGlue / CES)

Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at   Design News  covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics

want-to-build-an-open-source-hardware-and-software-robot?

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is full of engineering marvels. Many of these marvels are manifested as advances in robots. For example, consider UBTech highlights are this year’s show. The company’s intelligent humanoid service robot named “Walker” won the Best of CES 2019 and will be back with additional features at the 2020 show. According to the company, Walker will be faster and demonstrate more human-like walking as well as yoga poses that show its huge improvement in motion control. The robot will also demonstrate the ability to push a cart, draw pictures, and write characters, plus showing improved static balance with full-body compliance control.

There’s another robot system that the technical community might find equally interesting if a bit less flashy. France’s Pollen Robotics is displaying their “Reachy” robot at CES2020. In collaboration with the INCIA Neuroscience Institute in France, the company has developed a 3D-printed robot arm that’s 100% open source. Reachy is billed as an expressive humanoid service robot specializing in interacting with people and manipulating objects. This robot is built with prepackaged AI and modular robotics that should easily accommodate many real-world applications, such as extensions for disabled people (human augmentation), helping out at events (like CES), assisting small businesses and even as a receptionist.

According to the company, Reachy can be easily programmed in Python and offers ready-to-use operational environments for game play, serving coffee, making music, handing out specific objects, and more. The robot is also fully customizable with open hardware, software and data!

The company invites developers to join their open source community and participate on Github, although the company explains that Reachy is currently still under development. The open source hardware, software and data won’t be released until the robot is ready, toward the end Q1-2020.

Image source: Pollen Robots / Reachy

But what does it really mean to say a company or platform supports open hardware and software/  

friday-funny:-7-amazing-science-gadgets

Take a look at these strange and fascinating gadgets that show the wonder of motion, balance, and gravity.

This week’s Friday Funny video is a short series of strange and graceful gadgets showing the elegance of the physical world.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event, DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard? Register to attend!

the-industrial-internet-consortium-joins-forces-with-the-trusted-iot-alliance

Last week, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the Trusted IoT Alliance (TIoTA) announced they are joining forces and combining their memberships. The organizations will work together under the IIC umbrella to drive industry collaboration and research, foster open systems development, and promote best practices for trusted IoT systems such as blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies. The first formal meeting of the combined organization will be held in Athens, Greece on March 9-12, 2020.

Industrial Internet Consortium, IIC, Trusted IoT Aliance, TIoTA
The Industrial Internet Consortium has joined forces with the Trusted IoT Alliance. (Image source: IIC)

Blockchain Is Fully Engaging With IoT

While the two organizations were not necessarily conducting overlapping development of guidance and best practices, their work was closely related and ultimately directed toward a similar industrial membership. “The merger just made sense,” Richard Soley, executive director of the IIC, told Design News. “The IIC has been publishing lately about trustworthiness of identity and data, and also about distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) The DLTs, including blockchain, are an obvious way to achieve trustworthiness in a distributed fashion.”

Soley also noted that the work of the two organizations was moving closer and closer. “TIOTA has likewise been exploring how to build industrial internet systems using DLT’s, and there was significant membership in common,” said Soley. “We were already working closely on the challenges and now we will be doing that as one organization.  We look forward to welcoming TIOTA member to the comprehensive IIC program.”

Blending Guidance and Best Practices

The two organizations have separately made significant headway in creating guidance and best practices in IoT deployment and security. “Over its two-year lifespan, TIoTA has impacted the intersection of DLT and IoT, while in its five years, the IIC has established major influence in IoT across industries,” said Csilla Zsigri, a senior analyst at 451 Research. “This consolidation will strengthen the ability of the IIC to provide guidance and advance best practices on the uses of distributed ledger technology across industries, while also boosting the commercialization of these products and services.”

Recent interest in Blockchain and DLT prompted companies in a wide range of industrial verticals to create an organization that can provide guidance in how to deploy this emerging security functionality. “TIoTA has built a community of technology leaders focused on bringing blockchain/DLT solutions to market,” said John Calian, head of Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs), an enterprise member of TIoTA. “This community is focused on leveraging the power of blockchain/DLT and the concept of decentralized trust to achieve greater security, scalability, and interoperability within existing and future IoT ecosystems. This direction will help the IIC continue its market momentum.”

One of the benefits of bringing TIoTA into the IIC is the use cases that have been developed. “We welcome the trusted systems expertise that TIoTA brings to IIC,” said Soley. “Since IIC began in 2014, the use cases for distributed ledger technology have grown exponentially. The combined organization will offer a single stop for IoT industry guidance and a larger ecosystem for end users looking to improve their bottom line with IoT and DLT. This will enable the IIC to become the center of gravity for the future of industrial IoT systems across industry verticals.”

The Blending of Purpose and Membership

The TIoTA was created as a result of the collaboration among technologists working to leverage blockchain infrastructure to secure and scale IoT ecosystems. TIoTA’s goal was to enable trust in the data produced by such IoT systems in a distributed ledger/blockchain agnostic fashion.

The Industrial Internet Consortium has grown to be the leading membership group involved in accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things. The IIC’s goal is to deliver guidance and best practices that ensure devices are securely connected and controlled to deliver successful outcomes.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

mobile-robot-companies-you-need-to-know

Here’s a broad look at the commercial mobile robot market. Most of these robots are designed specifically for manufacturing and warehouse tasks, while others provide specialized tasks, such as cleaning or carrying medical care items.

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug

    McKinsey describes mobile robots as autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). AGVs and AMRs are not fixedly installed but mobile. Navigation is either onboard (camera or laser based) or external (path based using magnetic tape, wire, or rails on the ground). Application mobile robots are used for logistics and delivery as well as for moving pieces, such as boxes, pallets, or tools, in industrial settings between machinery, transfer points, or storage areas.

    According to IDTechEx, automated guide carts and vehicles (AGC and AGV) have been in use for a long time. They are reliable and trusted to handle all manner of payloads. Their installation is however time-consuming, and their workflow can be difficult to adapt.

    The landscape of mobile robots was set on fire when Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012. The event set off a wave of start-ups, and Amazon has continued to develop mobile robot technology and acquire mobile robot companies. IDTechEx forecasts that between 2020 and 2030, more than 1 million mobile robots will be sold.

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto

    Clearpath Robotics (Otto Motors)

    The OTTO 100 is a small, powerful self-driving vehicle designed to move boxes, carts, bins, and other human-scale payloads through dynamic environments. OTTO navigates spaces just like a person does. It maintains a map of the environment in its memory and uses visual reference points to always know its position. No guides, infrastructure, or predefined paths required. (Image source: Otto Motors)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck

    6 River Systems

    The Chuck robot from 6 River Systems is built from the same technology and sensors as autonomous vehicles. Chuck uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to navigate. The robot leads users through their work zones to help them minimize walking, stay on task, and work more efficiently. Chuck integrates with warehouse management systems so it can be used in all put-away, picking, counting, replenishment, and sorting tasks. (Image source: 6 River Systems)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics

    NextShift Robotics

    The TM-100 from NextShift Robotics is designed to recognize humans and other obstacles in its path. It is designed to stop to give way to people and smart enough find a way around obstacles. The TM-100 is built to handle normal warehouse conditions; obstacles, dirt, dust, and temperature extremes. With its rugged industrial design, it can navigate uneven floors, bumps and dropped items. (Image source: NextShift Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange

    GrayOrange

    The Butler from GrayOrange helps users with the volume and mix of orders common in warehouses. For many companies, flexible automation is the only viable solution. The autonomous mobile robots from GreyOrange are designed to meet these needs. (Image source: GrayOrange)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Swisslog

    Swisslog

    Swisslong uses customized Kuka robots to provide traditional high bay warehouse robot-based material handling solutions. Swisslog offers a range of traditional and out-of-the-box technologies for automated warehousing. The company offers modular, flexible and software-driven material handling technologies. The warehouse solutions are customized for optimal flow of goods at a low cost-per-pick. (Image source: Swisslog)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Seegrid

    Seegrid

    The Seegrid Smart Platform combines self-driving vehicles and fleet management software for a connected materials handling solution. On a Seegrid AGV, a series of stereo cameras work in unison to continuously capture and build a three-dimensional, computer-generated view of the work environment. Which means, when something in the environment changes, Seegrid AGVs compute thousands of up-to-the-moment reference points to continue successful navigation, uninterrupted. (Image source: Seegrid)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Moxi, Dilligent Robotics

    Diligent Robotics

    The Moxi from Diligent Robotics is a hospital robot assistant that helps clinical staff with non-patient-facing tasks like gathering supplies and bringing them to patient rooms, delivering lab samples, fetching items from central supply, and removing soiled linen bags. Automation helps hospitals maintain consistent care workflows and gives staff more time for patient care. (Image source: Diligent Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Locus Robotics

    Locus Robotics

    LocusBots are designed to increase in productivity. The Locus solution works with any type of tote, box, bin, or container needed. The robots can use multiple tote types at the same time to meet changing needs, products, or order profiles. The LocusBots are deisgned to make it easy to consistently increase units-per-hour and lines-per-hour rates, fulfill more orders, and scale on demand, compared to traditional cart or motorized cart systems. (Image source: Locus Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, MiR Robotics

    MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots Corp.)

    MiR develops and markets a line of autonomous mobile robots that manage internal logistics. Founded and run by Danish robotics industry professionals, MiR is headquartered in Odense, Denmark In April 2018 was acquired by American company Teradyne. (Image source: MiR)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, AutoGuide Mobile Robots

    AutoGuide Mobile Robots

    AutoGuide Mobile Robots designs, develops and manufactures high-payload industrial autonomous mobile robots for assembly, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations. AutoGuide’s Max N10 modular mobile robot platform is a natural feature guidance platform with a number of application-specific configurations available, including tugger, conveyor deck, car mover and pallet stacker. AutoGuide was acquired by Teradyne in late 2019. (Image source: AutoGuide Mobile Robots)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, KUKA

    KUKA

    KUKA mobile robots navigate autonomously, act in swarms and offer flexibility for industrial manufacturing. This is especially important for internal logistics. KUKA offers a mobility portfolio, from manually movable to autonomously navigating solutions. The fully autonomous variants work without any induction loops, floor markings, or magnets.  (Image source: KUKA)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Omron

    Omron

    Omron mobile robots are fundamentally built to serve human workers. Designed to meet the industry requirements, Omron mobile robots interact with people to promote a collaborative, safe working environment. Safety lasers and sonar allow our robots to detect obstacles in their path and prevent collisions. (Image source: Omron)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, iRobot, Roomba

    iRobot Corp.

    iRobot is the company that produces the Roomba. Roomba robots use Dual Multi-Surface Brushes to help thoroughly clean your floors. One brush loosens and agitates dirt, and the other moves in the opposite direction to extract and pull it in. (Image source: iRobot)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, IAM Robotics

    IAM Robotics

    IAM Robotics designs robots that act autonomously without the help of humans. This requires tight integration of acute perception, autonomous navigation, manipulation, and artificial intelligence. Te company designs operations that are optimized for both humans and robots. (Image source: IAM Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Fetch Robotics

    Fetch Robotics

    Fetch Robotics provides a cloud-driven AMR solution that addresses material handling and data collection for warehousing and intralogistics environments. The Fetch Robotics AMRs are designed to reduce costs and improve throughput, efficiency, and productivity, while working alongside people. Image source: Fetch Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug

    Aethon (TUG)

    Aethon’s TUGs can generate digital maps, routes, and delivery points, and the charging stations are simply plugged into the wall. An AGV often require fixed specialty signifiers like tracks, wires, tape, or reflectors to navigate. AMRs like TUG feature technology that includes camera- and laser-based navigational systems to allow safe operation in indoor environments. (Image source: Aethon)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Baylo Robotics

    Balyo Robotics

    Balyo robotic trucks are developed in conjunction with material handling company, Hyster Yale Group. Balyo’s range of robots are designed to perform in autonomy in tasks such as load transfer to floor, pick-up and placement of pallets on machines (conveyors, wrapping machines, etc.), medium and full-height storage, logistics train, barcode scanning, and storage in very narrow aisles. (Image source: Balyo Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Waypoint Robotics

    Waypoint Robotics

    Waypoint Robotics offers autonomous mobile robots with AMR architecture. The company has created a lineup of industrial-strength robots designed to be set up and operated by the workforce on the job today. The company can build customized mobile robots for a wide range of intended applications. (Image source: Waypoint Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Canvas Technology

    Canvas Technology

    Canvas Technology was acquired by Amazon last year, one of a number of mobile robot acquisitions Amazon has made, beginning with the company’s acquisition of Kiva Systems in 2012. Kiva was rebranded as Amazon Robotics. The online retailer had rolled out more than 100,000 robots internally. (Image source: Canvas Technology)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, Material Handling Systems, MHS

    Material Handling Systems (MHS)

    MHS provides operational expertise and systems integration experience to put mobile robots to work as effective parts of complete systems. The company’s technology is designed to enable robots to build their own maps of the operating environment and use onboard sensors and cameras to process their surroundings, self-locate, and navigate based on real-time conditions. (Image source: MHS)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Brain Corp. Whiz

    Brain Corp.

    Brain has created intelligent, self-driving technology. BrainOS enables commercial cleaning machines to work seamlessly alongside teammates. The machines are powered by BrainOS, which can autonomously navigate complex and dynamic environments with the goal of safety and cleaning performance. (Image source: Brain)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto

    Boston Dynamics

    Boston Dynamics offers a wide range of mobile robots. Some can walk, while others roll. The company combines the principles of dynamic control and balance with mechanical designs, electronics, and software for high-performance robots equipped with perception, navigation, and intelligence. (Image source: Boston Dynamics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, RealTime Robotics

    Realtime Robotics

    Realtime Robotics’ initial invention was a proprietary computer processor that quickly solved how to get a robot or vehicle to its desired target without collisions. The goal was to solve the problem of conventional motion planning which has been too slow for robot and AV applications in dynamic environments. The company is working on applying its robotics autonomy to autonomous vehicles. (Image source: Realtime Robotics)

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News . Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event,  DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard?  Register to attend !

friday-funny:-a-taylor-swift-play-on-stem

STEM gets cool as these students find a way to communicate the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through the modification of a Taylor Swift song.

Get ready for this acapella version of Taylor Swift. It’s all for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event, DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard? Register to attend!

top-manufacturing-stories-for-2019-–-workforce-matters

So what were the big issues in manufacturing over the past year. As I looked over our coverage, I was surprised to see an unexpected trend emerge. It was the blending of PLM into design and manufacturing software, nor was it the rising importance of the digital twin. Not cyber security, not IoT, not robotics. Not even 5G.

The overriding theme was automation and the workforce. The issues were varied. How will companies cover for retiring knowledge workers? Are Millennials and Generation Z ready to take over the plant? Do we have enough train workers to run smart manufacturing technology?

Check out these stories to see the details of the challenges and the industry’s readiness to meet these challenges.

 Automation Suppliers Back OPC UA 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: OPC Foundation)

 OPC UA TSN looks to leverage gigabit Ethernet bandwidth and Time Sensitive Networking to deliver open networking solutions for smart factories.

Free E-Book: The Landscape of Industrial Manufacturing and Warehouse Robots 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control

(Image source: Southwest Research Institute)

It’s cobots 101: In this e-book we’re going to clear up the differences between traditional manufacturing robots and collaborative robots.

Prepping the Workforce for Smart Automation 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Applied Manufacturing Technologies)

Companies can ensure successful deployment of automation by getting buy-in from the workforce and offering retraining. Without the buy-in, workers won’t use the technology.

3 Challenges Collaborative Robots Need to Overcome 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: TUV Rheinland)

As the market for collaborative robots expands, the industry faces challenges in developing safety regulations as well as some other key areas. The three changes are safety, security, and staffing.

Only 5% of Mid-Size Manufacturers Are Implementing Industry 4.0 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: BDO)

A new survey finds, in spite of competitive pressure, mid-size manufacturers are late in their build-out of smart manufacturing technology.

Trade Tensions Disrupt Supply Chains 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
 (Image source: Fictiv)

With trade tariffs escalating – particularly with China – manufacturers are seeking alternative hardware supplies, often shifting to US suppliers.

Rise of the Augmented Worker 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Autmentir)

 At the Atlantic Design and Manufacturing Show yesterday, Chris Kuntz of Augmentir explained how augmented reality and artificial intelligence are changing how manufacturing workers learn their jobs.

Manufacturers Turn to Automation to Combat Labor Shortages 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: MFG.com)

Manufacturing report reveals companies and their suppliers are experiencing prosperity while also facing labor challenges. For many, the solution is greater automation.

(Image source: MFG.com)

Retiring Knowledge Workers May Get Replaced with Technology 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
 (Image source: Catalyic)

 As Baby Boomers retire and take their knowledge with them as they leave manufacturing facilities, their replacements may be hardware and software run by kids.

Is Generation Z Ready for Plant-Floor Technology? 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Leading2Lean)

Leading2Lean’s Manufacturing Index reveals that Generation Z is interested in manufacturing, but the industry needs to fight for the young generation’s attention and participation.

Solve Process Problems Before Adding Smart Automation 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Applied Manufacturing Technologies)

 Companies struggle when they add smart manufacturing tools to faulty processes. Process problems have to be solved before the benefits of advanced manufacturing and be reaped.

Here Comes the Tech Future for Design and Manufacturing 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Siemens)

Siemens PLM has changed its name to Siemens Digital Industries Software to reflect its wider technology range. Design News sat down with Tony Hemmelgarn, the CEO of the newly named company, to talk about the expansion of industrial technology.

“Batch-of-One” and “Ease-of-Use” – The Top Keywords at PackExpo 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Emerson)

The twin themes of this year’s PackExpo packaging tradeshow were ease-of-use and mass customization. These long sought-after goals are here today, and they were on display at PackExpo.

Someday We May Make Robots Out of Smaller Robots 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Georgia Tech /  Rob Fwelt

 New research from the Georgia Institute of Technology is pointing to a future where we may use simple robots as the components for more complex and highly-adaptable ones.

Robot Democratization: A Machine for Every Manufacturer 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Universal Robots)

Robots are cheaper and easier to use. They’re within reach for small manufacturers. Add to that a tight job market, and robot deployments are moving down the manufacturing chain.

Manufacturing Contraction: How Will It Affect Advanced Manufacturing? 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: ISM)

We’re two months into a US manufacturing contraction. What will that mean for smart manufacturing investments and jobs? BDO’s Eskander Yavar takes on these questions.

Industrial 5G: Impact on Factory Automation 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control
(Image source: Siemens)

Automation and control applications are sharply in focus as one of primary beneficiaries of new 5G wireless network technologies.

The Industry 4.0 Blueprint Is Being Rewritten by Startups 

Startups are leading the charge towards Industry 4.0. But that doesn’t mean established companies can’t also adapt.

Edge computing key industrial automation trend in 2020 

manufacturing, top manufacturing stories, automation and control

(Image source: Industrial Internet Consortium)

 IoT communication solutions are evolving toward edge computing architectures where edge nodes and gateways provide connectivity between IoT devices, subsystems and data centers.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

DesignCon 2020 25th anniversary Logo

January 28-30: North America’s largest chip, board, and systems event, DesignCon, returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year! The premier educational conference and technology exhibition, this three-day event brings together the brightest minds across the high-speed communications and semiconductor industries, who are looking to engineer the technology of tomorrow. DesignCon is your rocket to the future. Ready to come aboard? Register to attend!