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Rodney Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics, recently spoke at MIT on collaborative robots and artificial intelligence, at the TechCrunch Robotics Sessions event.

THIS FAMOUS ROBOTICIST DOESN’T THINK ELON MUSK UNDERSTANDS AI

"There are quite a few people out there who’ve said that AI is an existential threat: Stephen Hawking, astronomer Royal Martin Rees, who has written a book about it, and they share a common thread, in that: they don’t work in AI themselves." -Rodney Brooks, interviewed by Connie Loizos via TechCrunch Read More

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ROBOTS WORKING ALONGSIDE – NOT IN PLACE OF – HUMANS

“A machine will be able to read more radiology scans in a day than a physician will see in a lifetime. But the machine will not have the same kind of creativity, so I like to think of machines and people as working together…machines doing what they’re best at and people doing what they’re best at.” –Daniela Rus, Director, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) via CBS News

Collaborative Robots Blog Feed

In The News

  • WORRIED ABOUT JOB-SNATCHING ROBOTS? THERE’S A SOLUTION STARING US RIGHT IN THE FACE

    By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa via World Economic Forum

    "Most processes require judgment calls, require human empathy. We call it the 'attended automation' model — man working with machine, instead of machine replacing man." -Oded Karev, vp of advanced process automation at Nice, a firm that specializes in helping companies use machines to do the mundane tasks that once took up much of employees' time. Read more >

  • ENGINEERING A ROBOT FOR A SPECIFIC JOB

    By Rob Spiegel via Design News

    With labor costs increasing and robot costs declining, collaborative robots have become an increasingly popular alternative to human labor. More and more, robots are filling a skills and cost niche – provided you have the right robot for the right task. Read more >

  • MAKING FACTORIES SAFER WITH VR, SMART CLOTHES AND ROBOTS

    By Amit Katwala via Institution of Mechanical Engineers

    “We can use robotic systems to create an ergonomic environment for the worker,” said Kaspar Althoefer [professor of robotics engineering at Queen Mary, University of London]. The researchers equipped a collaborative robot with an Xbox Kinect camera, which can track body movements and provide information about the person’s overall posture. The robot’s screen can be set up to raise the alarm if the worker is in a non-ergonomic position for more than a second. Read more >

  • THIS COMPANY HIRED ITS FIRST ROBO-WORKER FOR $30,000–AND NEVER LOOKED BACK

    By David Whitford via Inc.

    Acorn Sales, a maker of custom rubber stamps in Richmond, Virginia, with a dozen employees and less than $2 million in sales, sells a lot of product online, and its margins are tight. Acorn put its $30,000 cobot to work cutting wooden blocks down to size and drilling mounting holes in them--a task it performs better, faster, and cheaper in-house than Acorn's former supplier did. Read more >

  • PICK AND PLACE FOR PROFIT: USING ROBOT LABOR TO SAVE MONEY

    By Brian Carlisle via Robotics Business Review

    Robot labor cost, computed as the installed cost of the robot plus tooling and engineering, running 2 shifts, at $2-$3 per hour, is now lower than the cost of labor in China and other low-cost regions. To the extent that robots can be easily installed for an application, they allow U.S. and European manufacturers to reduce labor cost as a consideration of where to manufacture. Read more >

  • WHAT DOES AUTOMATION BRING TO A BUSINESS?

    By Jonny Williamson via The Manufacturer

    Overwhelmingly, improving business efficiency and reducing production time were the intended objectives of automation investments – cited by 71% and 73% of respondents to the Annual Manufacturing Report 2017 respectively. Improving employee satisfaction also factored into the decision to adopt automation, with almost half (49%) looking to improve health and safety for staff, and more than a third (35%) seeking to improve the working environment. Read more >

  • FINGERVISION IS ROBOT SKIN MADE FROM CHEAP, OFF-THE-SHELF COMPONENTS

    By Brian Heater via TechCrunch

    Fingervision isn’t much to look at. At first glance, it appears as though someone MacGyvered a GoPro case out of some clear food wrap and bits of plastic, attaching the creation to the end of a $25,000 industrial robot — and honestly, that’s not all that far from the truth. Read more >

  • AI WILL AMPLIFY THE MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE

    By Jeff Kavanaugh via Manufacturing Business Technology

    With robots attaining greater and greater degrees of sensitivity in their touch capabilities, they will be able to take over more assembly and movement-dependent activities on the manufacturing floor. Read more >

  • PLEASE IGNORE THE ROBOTS

    By James Vincent via The Verge

    It is absolutely certain that in the years to come, the tools of automation (including the robots we don’t see; hidden away in factories and warehouses) will destroy some jobs, create others, and dramatically reshape societies around the world. Read more >

  • FIVE DISRUPTIVE WAREHOUSE TECHNOLOGIES THAT YOU CAN’T IGNORE

    via DHL Supply Chain

    It's not man versus machine; it's man plus machine. Five disruptive technologies are helping companies re-think warehouse work. Read more >

  • DISPELLING MISCONCEPTIONS OF COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS

    By Sherri Long via RG Group

    Another common fear and concern is whether or not a collaborative robot is safe. Unfortunately, many people miss the “collaborative” part of collaborative robot, and focus only on “robot.” This can conjure up images of robotics that must be caged to protect human workers from being hurt by the robot. Collaborative robots, thankfully, are not like their monster-sized industrial robot cousins. Read more >

  • ROBOTS RIDE BRAIN WAVES OF INNOVATION

    By George I. Seffers via SIGNAL Magazine

    The possibilities for brain-controlled robotic systems are practically limitless. Experts suggest the capability could allow users to operate unmanned vehicles, wheelchairs or prosthetic devices. It could permit robots to lift hospital patients or carry wounded warriors to safety. Factory robots could more efficiently crank out jet fighters or virtually any other product. Read more >

  • IIOT AND THE RISE OF THE COBOTS

    By Jessica Twentyman via Internet of Business

    Spending on robotics among industrial companies will continue to climb over the next decade – but smaller, less costly and highly adaptable collaborative robots are ready for their turn in the spotlight. Read more >

  • CAN A ROBOT BE MAN’S BEST FRIEND

    By Nick Eason via Raconteur

    Over the last few years several reports have predicted a massive skills shortage in the global manufacturing sector, with many millions of positions forecast to be left unfilled up to 2025. Yet the demand for consumer goods is predicted to rise. Robots working alongside humans could be the answer. Read more >

  • AMAZON ROBOTS POISED TO REVAMP HOW WHOLE FOODS RUNS WAREHOUSES

    By Spencer Soper and Alex Sherman via Bloomberg

    Adding robots to warehouses hasn't dented Amazon's hiring spree. The company had 351,000 employees at the end of March, up 43 percent from a year earlier. Read more >