ANN ARBOR, MI—Robot orders and shipments in North America set new records in 2015, according to Robotic Industries Association. A total of 31,464 robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered from North American companies during 2015, an increase of 14 percent in units and 11 percent in dollars over 2014.
DETROIT—Working with robotics manufacturer FANUC, networking giant Cisco, and hardware maker Rockwell Automation, GM has installed a “mother brain” at its Lake Orion assembly plant. The system accepts data flowing to and from robots, conveyors, temperature sensors and other devices and sends that information to a cloud network. That enables plant managers and supplier technicians to monitor assembly technology and prevent mishaps.
NEWTOWN, CT—Joseph F. Engelberger, an engineer and entrepreneur who pioneered the robotics field, died Dec. 1, 2015, at age 90. Engelberger was founder and president of Unimation Inc., the world’s first industrial robotics manufacturer, which he launched in 1956 and grew into a company with more than 1,000 employees before the enterprise was acquired by Westinghouse.