If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Doosan cobots have a track record in several markets worldwide including Germany, France and China, with capabilities such as a working radius of 900 to 1,700 millimetres and a load capacity of 6 to 15 kilograms. The company gave a demonstration of six cobots collaborating with two human workers to execute fine motor activities on an auto assembly line. The six cobots conducted nine different applications such as inspection, assembly, placement of parts and more, underlining the fact that cobots can be used in almost any production process. During Automate 2019, RG Industries signed a dealership agreement with Doosan Robotics to be their first distributor in the North American market. Through the partnership, Doosan plans to launch its cobots in nine U.S. states including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and Delaware.
When Neha Samad, who works as a senior operator at New Engineering Works' factory in Jamshedpur, was asked to train a robot to carry out maintenance of the automated machine she works with, she felt empowered, not threatened. "Before collaborative robots were introduced on the factory floor, we had to stand for more than eight hours to operate our machines and we did all the physical work, like loading and unloading components on the conveyer belt," she says. The chief executive officer of the company, Divesh Debuka, introduced "cobots", small collaborative robots by Universal Robots, in the factory three years ago to make output more efficient. Samad adapted, learnt and quickly figured how to give instructions to the cobot and make it do the physical part of her job. Her daily job, like the other human operators in the factory, became overseeing and operating machines and the cobots and keeping a tab on quality.
Traditional machine control technologies are based on the work of application-specific engineers. To tackle a certain task a control engineer would need to understand it in terms of physical requirements, work on a traditional physics-based solution for it and transfer the knowledge obtained into source code. In an AI-based approach, the engineer will be more focused on data. The challenge to be solved is first described through data collection and then the engineer works with an abstract data-based representation of the physical problem. Therefore, the data engineer may not need to understand the physical details of a problem to generate a data-based solution for it.
The 2018 Holiday shopping season was the biggest on record for e-commerce, with nearly $126 billion in online sales. But as e-commerce continues to expand, the demand for warehouse workers is growing faster than the labor supply and creating an increased need for automation. Given its dominance in e-commerce and the massive scale of its business, there's no surprise that Amazon was one of the first companies to supplement their human workforce with robotics. Since the acquisition of Kiva in 2012, a growing army of robots performs an increasing variety of tasks at Amazon facilities. However, those tasks remain limited in their ability to displace their human counterparts entirely.
The idea of robotics and automation is extensively implemented in the supply chain. The modern generations of robots are easy to program, more flexible and within your means. Their role is to assist workers with repetitive and physically challenging tasks. Gartner predicts that by 2023, over 30% of active warehouse workers will increase in number with the hiring of collaborative robots. A majority of warehouse operations have relied merely on human-executed processes, but next-generation autonomous mobile robots are on the lookout to transform warehouse operations.
Since the first industrial robot, Unimate, was installed at a GM plant in the 1950s, industrial automation has been associated with big businesses running huge operations that involve massive production lines. The size, shape, and dynamics of industrial robots long reflected this reality. Industrial robots were big, noisy, massively powerful, and required their own cages to keep them well away from human workforces. A radical transformation in industrial automation has occurred over the past decade, and it's as much a technological shift as a consequence of the changing economy, one increasingly reliant on small runs, fast shipping, and nimble operations. A new generation of robots reflects these changes. They are quickly deployable, task-agnostic, smaller than their clunky forebears, and can work alongside humans outside of cages. To be sure, huge companies like Amazon, which acquired logistics robot maker Kiva for a staggering $775 million in 2012, have driven the shift in industrial automation.
Industrial automation is enjoying a golden era of adoption and technological advancement, and consumer robotics may not be far behind. It's painfully easy to find hyped projections, but there's a palpable sense that 2019 will be a pivotal year for the robotics sector. I reached out to four of the brightest minds and biggest influencers in the industry to get their takeaways on 2018 and perspectives on what trends we can expect in robotics in 2019. Here's what they had to say. Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics, and Brian Gerkey, CEO of Open Robotics, both point to 2019 being the year cloud robotics becomes vital to industrial automation.
The next frontier for robotics is in durable goods assembly, which has seen multiple failed experiments in industrial automation to date. Now huge improvements are possible Title: The End of Fear, and How It Will Change Durable Goods Manufacturing Length of presentation: 45 minutes (including time for questions) Point 1: Even in the largest and most sophisticated manufacturers in the world, much of durable goods manufacturing is highly manual. Attempts at intensive automation in this sector have been made and have failed repeatedly over the past 40 years, most recently at Tesla Motors. In fact, full automation in final assembly tends to correlate inversely with profitability, quality and returns on investment in durable goods manufacturing. Instead, the most successful manufacturers are the ones who recognize and make use of the ingenuity of production workers.
Boston-based Rethink Robotics, one of a handful of pioneering companies that led the charge to move industrial robots out of cages and alongside human workers, announced Wednesday it was ceasing operations. The news was largely unexpected and has sent shock waves through the robotics industry, where Rethink has been held up as a model of the new industrial automation paradigm. The Boston Globe is reporting that Rethink was in the final stages of a deal to stave off closure by selling itself to an unnamed buyer. Ultimately, that deal fell through and the robotics firm had no alternative but shut its doors. CEO Scott Eckert says the company ran perilously low on cash.
The Bad Boy of Robotics was in high spirits. Rodney Brooks had a lot to show us as we zigzagged through Rethink Robotics' office in Boston on a June morning in 2012. That was the day Brooks introduced us to Baxter, a robot he said would transform manufacturing and "sell like hotcakes." So it was with a bit of sadness that we found out last night that Rethink is shutting down. After a long 10-year run (the company was founded as Heartland Robotics, remember?) and US $150 million raised from investors, Rethink ran out of steam as sales fell short of the company's goals.