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Manufacturing Robotics: Automation with Emotion

I enjoy Halloween.  I particularly enjoy passing out candy and treats to the children and being amused by their costumes.  Some are very creative, and cute.   A young girl no older than 3 years was dressed as a duck and instead of saying, “Trick or Treat” she just quacked. It was Hilarious!! So what does my Halloween experience this year have to do with manufacturing.  Well, a young man came to my home dressed in a very elaborate and cleverly designed C-3PO costume.  You know the clever robot in the Star Wars series that translated for R2D2.

I began to think about how robots in manufacturing are evolving and becoming more intuitive and cerebral, but an interesting phenomenon is also starting to evolve in the world of robotics.  They’re becoming more emotional.

Say Hello to Mr. Baxter.  Rethink Robotics has designed a friendly and compassionate robot with ‘common sense’.  Baxter is a worker robot with a touchscreen face that’s as much about communicating its intent as giving humans something more to experience.  It’s safe to work around, courteous and follows instructions very well.  The ideal teenage son. Baxter also cost about $22,000. Less than a 1/3 of some college tuitions.

Can you envision yourself treating your fellow robot much like you treat your trusted Golden Retriever, Fido?  Do you remember Rosie from the Jetsons and B9, the robot from the late 1960′s sitcom, Lost In Space (Boy am I dating myself)?  These robots expressed emotions like love and fear, were treated like family and were trusted to help make critical decisions that effected the safety and well being of their owners.

Baxter is being touted as the catalyst to help restore US and European manufacturing prowess.  Do you think Baxter robots will achieve this objective?  I’m not sure, but I would like to know how President Obama and Mr. Romney plan to tax Mr. Baxter.  I would hate for Baxter to become emotionally upset and stage a strike.

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Cisco in the Spotlight at Automation Fair 2012, Philadelphia, November 7-8

October 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm PST

As Automation Fair rapidly approaches, it is once again time to build your agenda for a few full days at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Cisco speakers will be featured at the Food and Beverage Industry Forum and the Global Machine & Equipment Builders Industry Forum as well as during technical workshop sessions.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the following opportunities to see Cisco: Read More »

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See The Power of Collaboration at Automation Fair 2012

October 26, 2012 at 8:00 am PST

Equipment builders and plant personnel are trying to achieve three goals simultaneously:

  • Converge their control and enterprise networks
  • Simplify and lower the costs of their machines
  • Improve line integration at the plants they serve

 

You’re invited!

Rockwell Automation, Panduit, Fluke Networks, and Cisco joint demonstrations

As the world’s leading industrial Ethernet, EtherNet/IP converges the physical framework offered by Panduit, logical framework by Cisco and Rockwell Automation and toolsets from Fluke Networks, enabling equipment builders and plant personnel to design and deploy robust, secure and future-ready networks utilizing common infrastructure assets.

While you’re at Cisco booth #1307 – be sure to come right across the way to booth #1407 to see how EtherNet/IP is changing the manufacturing industry. Cisco and its partners – Rockwell Automation, Panduit and Fluke Networks – will demonstrate how each component works together to design and deploy robust, secure and future-ready networks using common infrastructure assets.

Stop by the EtherNet/IP booth to learn more about:  Read More »

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Cisco at Rockwell Automation Fair in Philadelphia, November 7-8, 2012

October 19, 2012 at 7:00 am PST

Join Cisco at Rockwell Automation Fair in Philadelphia, November 7-8

 

Automation Fairis the largest gathering of Rockwell Automation users. With about 15,000 expected attendees this year, we think this is a can’t miss conference for leading manufacturers, controls, operations and IT professionals.

This year’s Automation Fair will feature industry forums that present examples and concepts different manufacturers have used to increase their productivity and improve the efficiency of their business. There will also be a variety of technical sessions each day on various topics from control system design to sustainable production.

With all there is to see and do at Automation Fair on November 7 and 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, here are just a few of the top reasons you should attend:

  • Great opportunity to network with Cisco and industry thought leaders and technical experts.
  • Cisco booth (#1307) featuring demonstrations on how industrial intelligence and EtherNet/IP can accelerate innovation and productivity, improve efficiency and safety, and converge systems and processes.
  • Rockwell Automation partnership booth (#1407) featuring Rockwell’s Allen Bradley Stratix Ethernet Switches based on Cisco technology – this booth will really bring to life the power of Rockwell’s partnerships that tie all aspects of network convergence together.
  • Executive events, speaking sessions including several featuring subject matter experts from Cisco

Show hours are as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time: Click here. Read More »

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Paris Motor Show and European automotive reality

The 2012 Paris motor show just closed its doors – and, with more than 1.2 million visitors, was once again the world’s largest automotive gathering. More than 100 new car models were released – from mainstream bread-and-butter vehicles such as Renault’s new “Clio” or VW’s 7th generation “Golf” to high-end sports cars as Jaguar’s “F-Type” or McLaren’s “P1”. BMW presented its first ever van – featured as “Active Sports Tourer” – with front-wheel drive and 3-cylinder hybrid engine. Porsche unveiled a new version of its “Panamera” – essentially a station wagon, which Porsche marketing dubs “SportTurismo”. There were small SUV’s, large SUV’s, cross-overs, parallel hybrids, plug-in hybrids, all-electric vehicles, light-weight innovations and myriads of new electronics-based offerings such as lane-departure warning systems, in-car wifi hotspots, cloud-infotainment solutions.

So the auto industry seems to be truly on fire, its innovation engine hitting on all cylinders. Yet economic reality looks very different.

Read More »

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