Manufacturing companies have traditionally been slow to react to the advent of digital technologies like intelligent robots, drones, sensor technology,artificial intelligence, nanotechnology & 3d Printing. Industry 4.0 has changed manufacturing. At a high-level, Industry 4.0 represents the vision of the interconnected factory where all equipment is online, and in some way, is also intelligent and capable of making its own decisions. The explosion in connected devices and platforms, abundance of data from field devices and rapidly changing technology landscape has made it imperative for companies to quickly adapt their products and services and move from physical world to a digital world. Today, Manufacturing is transforming from mass production to the one characterized by mass customization.
The future is folding, if the exhibits at a major New York tech exhibition are to be believed. Pocket size drones, 3D printers, phone accessories and cutting-edge wearables all took center stage at CE Week, which kicks off today. CE Week is designed to showcase products and services set to launch in the second half of 2016, which all focus around the world of technology. 'This is the year that a new ecosystem of products that communicate with other products, immersive entertainment systems and emerging technologies will really begin to take hold,' said Eric Schwartz, executive producer, CE Week. 'CE Week is a way for those most passionate about technology to see the future, now.' 'New York City, with its burgeoning finance, media and high tech industries provides a great backdrop.'
Imagine a robot or a drone that is made with a'skin' of sorts capable of precise amounts of shock absorption, something tailored to meet the precise needs of the device. That's exactly what MIT researchers have made possible via a new shock-absorbing 3D material for robots that offers all sorts of interesting properties, not the least of which is less bouncy, more precise and controlled landings after a blow. Think of this material as being the very thing BattleBots creators dream of. The material is soft and made with a 3D printer, and it aims to make robots and other devices fitted with it more durable. This could be robots, of course, but also other things that have to take an impact and absorb high levels of shock: helmets, for example, or smartphones.
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your fluid-filled Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. MIT has developed a 3D printer that can mix solids and liquids. With "printable hydraulics," an inkjet printer deposits individual droplets of material that are each 20 to 30 microns in diameter, or less than half the width of a human hair.
Last week was a holiday, and we're at CES this week, but nothing can stop the robot videos. Things should be back to normal around here next week (we hope). Let us know if you have videos or events to suggest, and enjoy today's Video Friday selection! Teaching robots how to avoid destruction and despise humanity at the same time is never a good idea. The world's most advanced bat robot now has membrane wings, just like real bats: A microprocessor-based onboard computer, a 6 DOF IMU sensor package, five DC motors with encoder feedback for flapping and wing articulation (asymmetric wing folding and leg/tail control), power/comm electronics, carbon-fiber frame, 3D printed parts, and silicone based membrane wings -- all at 92 grams.