Among Forrest Gump’s greatest life lessons was the insight that you could never be certain what you would find inside a box of chocolates. Although Gump never actually clarified what that uncertainty is, it’s generally assumed he was referring to the various types of fillings hidden in chocolate candies.
Vision systems play a vital role in automated assembly systems. They can check for the presence or absence of parts or materials. They can measure key dimensions of assemblies. They can tell robots the precise location of parts. They can even read 1D and 2D codes.
In the nautical disaster movie, “The Perfect Storm,” three weather fronts converge off the coast of New England to create one of the fiercest storms in U.S. history. A similar convergence is occurring in the manufacturing world today. It’s called Industry 4.0 and it promises to transform the way that engineers design and build products over the next two decades.
NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan—In 2011, Foxconn announced a plan to replace 500,000 mainland Chinese workers with 1 million robots over the next three to five years. So far, the electronics manufacturing services provider has installed 40,000 robots across China. MORE
ROCHESTER HILLS, MI—Fanuc, one of the world’s largest makers of industrial robots, is working with Nvidia, a Silicon Valley chipmaker that specializes in artificial intelligence, to add learning capabilities to its products.