- SPECIAL REPORTS
ANN ARBOR, MI—Fueled by strong demand from manufacturing companies in all sectors, the North American robotics industry is off to its fastest start ever in 2014, according to the Robotic Industries Association.
FREMONT, CA—Tesla Motors Inc. has halted production at its assembly plant here for the first time as it adds robots to accelerate production of electric sedans and prepares to build its Model X sport-utility vehicle. The $100 million upgrade will add 25 robots with a goal of boosting production by 25 percent.
EVERETT, WA—Boeing may deploy robots on its airplane assembly lines as early as next year. The company has been testing its Fuselage Automated Upright Build technology in secret over the past year and has found success drilling rivet holes on 777 fuselages. Boeing believes the FAUB will improve workplace safety and production speed.
Multi-axis robot arms perform a wide variety of processes in automotive assembly plants, including painting, welding and fastening.
BEIJING—China bought one-fifth of the world-s industrial robot output in 2013, overtaking Japan as the largest buyer.
For many years, plant managers told assemblers to “work smarter, not harder” without providing them the proper tools to achieve this goal. This was especially challenging for workers who had to lift heavy objects around their workstations.
Small gas engines are the lifeblood of the outdoor power equipment industry. They run all sorts of commercial and consumer devices, ranging from lawnmowers and generators to power washers and portable welders.
All professors are teachers, but some are also entrepreneurs. Three of note are mechanical engineering professors Stephen L. Dickerson, Wayne Book and Nader Sadegh, who together founded CAMotion Inc. in 1997 while working at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
In the world of assembly, ABB is known primarily for its leading-edge industrial robots. But, there’s much more to this multinational corporation, which operates 300 manufacturing plants in 100 countries, has nearly 150,000 employees, and reported global revenue of $42 billion in 2013.
ANN ARBOR, MI—Rodney Brooks, Ph.D., the founder, chairman and chief technology officer of Rethink Robotics Inc., is one of three robotics pioneers who won 2014 Engelberger Robotics Awards from the Robotics Industries Association. The awards were presented today at the 45th International Symposium on Robotics in Munich, Germany.
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