- SPECIAL REPORTS
BIRMINGHAM, UK—A way of teaching robots to pick up unfamiliar objects without dropping or breaking them has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. The research paves the way for robots to be used in more flexible ways and in more complex environments.
ANN ARBOR, MI—The robotics market in North America posted its second-highest quarter ever in terms of robots ordered in first quarter 2014, according to new statistics from the Robotic Industries Association. A total of 5,938 robots valued at $338 million were ordered by companies in North America in the first quarter 2014, coming in just shy of the all-time record of 6,235 robots valued at $385 million in fourth quarter 2012.
MUNICH, Germany—Researchers in Germany have developed a novel, snake-like robot capable of tightening bolts in even the most difficult-to-access cavities of an aircraft’s wing structure.
BERLIN—Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation have developed a mobile robot that can move along with aerospace workers and assist them as they assemble and test parts.
EVERETT, WA—Boeing plans to deploy robotic assembly technology on the 777X that will dramatically change how the plane’s metal hull is built. The investment will enable Boeing to increase the production rate of the 777 beyond the current 100 jets per year.
TOKYO—Toyota has long been an avid promoter of manufacturing automation, but now the automaker is seeking to revive the concept of human craftsmanship at its factories.
Once found mostly in high-volume manufacturing environments, robots are now being used in smaller organizations, and in a wider variety of applications.
Assemblers continue to invest in robots. Does your assembly plant employ robots? Is it planning to? Share your thoughts!
YOKOHAMA, Japan—Ninety-six percent of the production process at Toyota’s Motomachi assembly plant is completed by robots. The plant employs 760 robots and produces one vehicle every 135 seconds.
The food industry is turning to robotics solutions to optimize production.
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