TUTHILL PLASTICS GROUP, an injection-moulding company in Florida, recently welcomed a new team member to its factory. From his first day on the job he performed the repetitive tasks required of him with dexterity, working comfortably alongside longtime employees.
Seven years ago, James Harrison was at his desk researching ideas for a business using drones. Having recently left the British army, the ex-officer was researching which industries might benefit from using unmanned craft for a company he planned to launch with two former colleagues.
Robots allow manufacturers to operate more cheaply. But robots themselves aren’t cheap, limiting the ability of small manufacturers to compete with larger companies or win back business from overseas. A Baltimore startup thinks it has a solution: robots as a service.
Robots are getting cheaper and smaller and, as a result, sales have grown significantly over the past year, particularly in North America, as more companies move manufacturing operations closer to U.S. markets.
The future has already arrived in a small factory in Worcester, according to the man hired by Theresa May to put Britain at the forefront of the next industrial revolution.
Juergen Maier, the chief executive of Siemens UK, believes new technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, can deliver greater productivity and create more highly paid jobs.
German group Thyssenkrupp plans to open its own 3D printing center this year to manufacture products for its customers. As well as producing steel, submarines and elevators, Thyssenkrupp supplies thousands of tonnes of metal and plastic products and provides supply-chain management services to a quarter of a million customers worldwide.
Just a fraction of a second can make the difference in Formula One. Over the course of a season, these smallest of margins can separate the winner of the motorsport championship from the also-rans.
One of the ways UK-based McLaren-Honda is looking to capture those marginal gains is with the use of a portable 3D printer, which it took to a Grand Prix event for the first time this month in Bahrain.
It is a cold February afternoon and I am watching wheels of cheese the size of small footstools being turned and gently brushed by the world’s first and only cheddar-turning robot. “Tina the Turner”, as the robot is affectionately called, is at the frontline of cheddar innovation in the UK.
IF YOU FEEL like you’ve taken a beating after spending eight hours on a plane, try spending a shift on the assembly line that rolls out the flying metal tubes you so hate. It takes two humans to install each of the more than 60,000 rivets that hold a Boeing 777 together: one firing the rivet gun, the other holding the steel bucking bar that forces the fastener into place.
After a factory in Dongguan, China, replaced most of its workers with robots, it witnessed a spectacular rise in productivity.
While some of the world’s leaders are obsessed with keeping people out of their country, an unspoken entity is slowly but certainly taking our jobs: robots.
Boston Dynamics debuted a new two-wheeled robot called Handle that can jump over obstacles, self-balance and eventually move objects around.
A video that leaked on YouTube shows founder Marc Raibert debuting Handle at a presentation.