Weekly newsletters look at a variety of technologies to keep robots / cobots safe around humans, collaborative technology on farm and in the field, Chinese robot demand for robots, plankton-hunting “smart” marine robots, Argonaut’s new home in liquid argon, and robots, jobs and jobs.
Robots / Cobots: Security vs. Security Challenge
Keep robots, cobots, workpieces, and people safe from collisions with each other. Which is best: software or pressure sensitive hardware?
If the software eats, as they say, the world, then the real-time business planning software from Boston-based Realtime Robotics, which has grown a lot since RapidPlan and RapidSense, in 2019, seems to have a huge advantage in any competition to make robots, as Reatime says, “Do the real work , really fast, in the real world “. Investors recently demonstrated their belief in the software by raising $ 31 million.
On the other hand, AIRSKIN from the Austrian Blue Danube Robotics is pressure-sensitive skin attached to the outer surfaces of robots, cobots and grippers. “Only 5 Newton’s force is needed to activate AIRSKIN. The soft, thick pads absorb collisions, absorb collision energy and avoid high local pressures.”
Which is better upside down? In the end or quickly will one security solution win over another? Is there room in the market for both?
A sensible new initiative: Developers to share ag technology
Startups and established ag companies share technology, announces Global Harvest Automation Initiative.
13 global ag-tech companies “work with shared components and systems to get solid technology in the hands of farmers faster. “
The reasons for the “sharing initiative” make sense and are long overdue.
Walt Duflock, vice president of innovation at Western Growers, put it in a nutshell: “Most harvest starters build the entire stack of technology themselves – from imaging and artificial intelligence to robotic power amplifiers and automated movement up and down the field.
“The innovators in this cohort are both startups and incumbents who get help integrating with industry-standard tractors, robot arms and sensors that can leverage up to 60-80 percent of the startup technology stack.”
Sharing design expertise, saving on investment, bringing new innovations to market faster, and making global friends are all expected results of the initiative.
Demand for the Chinese robot will rise to 350k by 2024!
China’s birth rate in 2020 will be the lowest in more than 40 years, when the net contribution of labor to growth in 2021 is zero and that “fewer and fewer people will bear the cost of their elderly”, how is it possible that China, according to Bernstein Research and others, will be a robot-driven automation power plant with an enviable GDP?
Henny Sender, CEO of Hong Kong’s BlackRock Investments, argues that China’s aging period, at a time when both robot skills and economic development have improved dramatically. It may well change the dynamics of the economy forward. “
Bernstein Research analysts agree, reporting in Nikkei Asian Review: “By 2024, the demand for Chinese robotics will be roughly the size of the entire market worldwide [350,000]. The world’s largest manufacturer is the largest main market for robots compared to other countries. “
So if you want to sell robots, kobots or parts, you now know where to go.
“Smart” robots bark at plankton underwater
Merifytoplankton produces 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe, and it is the food supply for zooplankton, which in turn is the food supply for the fish itself. It is essential to ensure that phytoplankton – microscopic, floating oxygen plants – are always abundant in the large oceans; but in an era of global warming, nothing is certain.
Continuous deep-sea monitoring and assessment of plankton communities are vital for the food chain and respiratory air. However, counting and identifying plankton is incredibly difficult. “It’s like looking for a trillion small needles in a huge haystack – except that both the haystack and the needles are constantly moving in vast areas of the ocean and in space and time.”
Enter LAUVs or light autonomous underwater vehicles. LAUV is a new race of autonomous vehicles: it is smart! LAUV uses the entire processing chain of image processing, machine learning, hydrodynamics, design, and artificial intelligence for imaging, analysis, design, and learning during its work. LAUVs allow for continuous and systematic monitoring of the ocean ecosystem in which plankton live, which is also a highly sensitive area for global climate change.
The five-year AILARON project, sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council, recently tested its LAUVs on dives off the coast of Norway.
A robot swimming in a sea of very cold argon
Dome Fuji In Antarctica, negative 93C (negative 135F) is the coldest spot on earth, unless you’re near Batavia, IL Fermilab’s sea of liquid argon, which is negative 193C (negative 315F).
There will be an ocean of 70,000 tons of liquid argon Argonaut, Fermilab’s argon-loving robot. Fermilab researchers are developing one of the most cold-resistant robots ever made to monitor the interiors of particle detectors.
The robot’s mission is to “observe conditions in ultra-cold particle detectors while traveling in a sea of liquid argon kept at a negative temperature of 193 ° C – as cold as some of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter.” In fact, deep space missions may also be the future for Argonaut and the like.
A fist-sized robot with 5-10 watts of power to move and communicate with the outside world is constantly moving to search for and record neutrinos and their interactions with other neutrino particles.
Robots vs. jobs vs. productivity
Abandoning fact: “The United States now produces about the same amount of goods and services as before the coronavirus pandemic – but it has 8.2 million fewer employees, equivalent to the wages of every employer in Virginia, Arizona and Iowa.”
COVID forced managers to innovate, often by accelerating the deployment of industrial robots, advanced software, and artificial intelligence, reducing their dependence on workers who may become ill.
And the trend is accelerating. Retailers, food processors, energy producers, manufacturers and railways are increasing the use of machinery.
“The automation embraced by employers has survived the transition of the economy from recession to recovery and is gaining new life now that many companies are struggling to attract enough workers to meet growing demand.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports: “Greater automation helped U.S. companies navigate the unprecedented disruption of the pandemic. Inflation-adjusted U.S. productivity has risen nearly 4 percent since the last quarter of 2019, an almost double increase per employee in the last five quarters.”
Is there a retraining for vaccination for a future unemployment pandemic?