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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

$150,000 Car Of The Future: Driver Not Needed

September 6, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

If you had a chance to “drive” to work tomorrow without having to touch the steering wheel or press down a pedal, would you do it? Think of the amount of time commuters everywhere could gain back – without having to actually think about driving, commuters can now safely take a phone call, catch up on the news, or maybe even nap (if you’re the type to put complete trust into driverless technology).

‘Super Cruise’ Takes On Real-World Traffic Scenarios

September 3, 2013 3:09 pm | by GM Media | News | Comments

Development of “Super Cruise,” Cadillac’s semi-automated driving system, is advancing to the next stage of development, including real-world driving assessment and trials. Cadillac projects this technology could make its way into production models later this decade.

Self-Driving Cars Could Be On U.S. Roads By 2020

September 3, 2013 2:29 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Cars that drive themselves could be on U.S. roads by the end of this decade. But don't take your foot off the pedal just yet. Automakers, universities and others are at various stages in the development of autonomous cars. Google is testing some in California. 

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Nissan EVP Talks Self-Driving Cars

August 29, 2013 8:01 am | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

Nissan announced that the company's engineers have been carrying out intensive research on the technology for years, alongside teams from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer gives all the details on Nissan's 20-20 vision.

Nissan Announces Autonomous Drive Plan By 2020

August 28, 2013 3:45 pm | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

Nissan announces a 2020 autonomous drive timetable for bringing the high-technology cars to global markets. Nissan announced that the company's engineers have been carrying out intensive research on the technology for years, alongside teams from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo.

Nissan Pledges To Make Self-Driving Cars By 2020

August 28, 2013 2:28 pm | by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. says it will make cars that drive themselves by 2020. The Japanese automaker made the pledge Tuesday at an event in California. CEO Carlos Ghosn has said before that he wants Nissan to be the first to sell self-driving cars. But Tuesday's announcement was more specific.

Optimizing Machines Using Programmable Drives

August 28, 2013 8:02 am | by Kollmorgen | Articles | Comments

Programmable drives are becoming more sophisticated and capable, enabling controls engineers to drastically reduce project costs. On a new design, some integrators and OEMs reach for an elaborate multi-axis PLC system to solve a relatively simple application. This happens as designers work under compressed schedules, and choosing a familiar solution seems like the right thing to do.

Ford's New 3D Dirt Detection Technology

August 23, 2013 12:18 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Videos | Comments

Ford Automotive has unveiled what it says is an industry-first detection technology that uses high-resolution cameras to detect and eliminate dirt particles on a freshly-laid coat of paint. The company’s F-Series trucks are the latest vehicles to benefit from the technology, which Ford claims can detect particles smaller than a grain of salt.

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The Robotic Rembrandt

August 22, 2013 8:03 am | by eDavid | Videos | Comments

e-David uses visual feedback to create different kinds of paintings. A standard robot equipped with all necessary means for painting - five different brushes can be used, color can be selected from a repository with 24 colors, brushes can be cleaned, and colors can be distributed precisely on the canvas.

Flying Robots For New Data

August 15, 2013 8:04 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Researchers in Switzerland are developing a flying robot to navigate and collect data in cluttered environments. The robot is equipped to stick to vertical surfaces, and can recover and continue flying even after a crash. Reuters' Jim Drury reports.

Cable Management Systems Do the Robot

August 12, 2013 3:35 pm | Articles | Comments

Cable management is a crucial part of any robotic system, but the truth is that the methods used to attach and guide cables has not changed much in the past 50-plus years. In fact, it is often overlooked altogether. While managing cables and hoses may seem simple, most experts agree one of the biggest oversights designers make is underestimating cable management issues.

This Is Automation, In 1955

July 25, 2013 8:04 am | Videos | Comments

Here's an interesting look at automated manufacturing in 1955. Automation in 1955 helped companies meet the "challenge of the day," meeting competition and rising costs by moving step-by-step toward continuous automatic production. This film from General Electric shows the history of automation in the U.S. and how far it had progressed at the time.

Robots Replace Human Farm Hands

July 15, 2013 12:59 pm | by AssociatedPress | Videos | Comments

Robots and computers are already replacing workers in factories and offices. Now engineers are developing intelligent machines to do farm work and help ease a worsening labor shortage on American farms. See the engineers test the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can "thin" a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.

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Robots To Ease Farming Labor Woes

July 15, 2013 9:56 am | by Gosia Wozniacka, Terence Chea, Associated Press | News | Comments

On a windy morning in California's Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, metal contraption over rows of budding iceberg lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software on a laptop to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds. The engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can "thin" a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.

When Autonomous Cars Kill Somebody

July 15, 2013 8:01 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

As drones, bipedal robots, and algorithm technologies continue to improve, the world of autonomous everything is looming. Beyond the iPad, synchronized quad-copters, and even 3D printers, one of the world’s most powerful forms of emerging technology is the ability to make more machines and devices autonomous.

July 2013: Let's Get Visible

July 11, 2013 10:13 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In this issue, manufacturers face new resources as they look to improve the visibility of their facility's assets, Lantech talks 40 years of innovation, and IMPO readers reveal how evaluate their current equipment and potential purchases when it comes to energy efficiency, and more.

Carnegie Mellon Robots Aim To Please

July 11, 2013 8:02 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are designing modern day butlers - service robots that will one day help people with tasks like fetching coffee and cleaning up the kitchen. Ready to lend a helping hand, these service robots are equipped with data-collecting sensors, setting them apart from other, possibly less helpful, robots.

Role Of Aircraft Automation Eyed In Air Crash

July 9, 2013 10:06 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The crash landing of a South Korean airliner in San Francisco has revived concerns that airline pilots get so little opportunity these days to fly without the aid of sophisticated automation that their stick-and-rudder skills are eroding. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the accident, is a long way from reaching a conclusion as to its probable cause.

Ford's Advanced Prototyping

July 3, 2013 12:21 pm | by fordvideo1 | Videos | Comments

Ford engineers are developing a highly flexible, first-of-its-kind, patented technology to rapidly form sheet metal parts for low-volume production applications. Once fully developed, the technology (Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology, or F3T) will allow for lower costs and ultrafast delivery times for prototypes – within three business days versus conventional methods that take anywhere from two to six months.

Universal Robots Brings Manufacturing Back To U.S.

July 2, 2013 12:34 pm | by Universal Robots | Videos | Comments

To stay competitive, RSS Manufacturing & Phylrich needed an inexpensive automation solution that could easily be moved between CNC machines, assembly lines, and tube benders. The company deployed a UR5 from Universal Robots and was quickly impressed with the Danish robot arm's performance and ease of use.

NASA Officials Debut The 'Vertical Weld Center'

June 24, 2013 1:53 pm | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press | News | Comments

NASA officials publicly unveiled a new, three-story-tall cylindrical structure Friday that is a key component in constructing heavy-lift rockets for the nation's space program. It's called the "vertical weld center." The heavy metal framework holds state-of-the-art automated welding equipment, around which the Boeing Co. will build a major component of rockets for NASA's new Space Launch System: the "core stage" of the SLS rockets.

The Kill Decision Shouldn't Belong To A Robot

June 20, 2013 12:04 pm | by TED | Videos | Comments

As a novelist, Daniel Suarez spins dystopian tales of the future. But on the TEDGlobal stage, he talks us through a real-life scenario we all need to know more about: the rise of autonomous robotic weapons of war. Advanced drones, automated weapons, and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools, he suggests, could take the decision to make war out of the hands of humans.

Voice-Operated Dashboard Technology Still Risky

June 13, 2013 2:18 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Dashboard technology that lets drivers text and email with voice commands — marketed as a safer alternative — actually is more distracting than simply talking on a cellphone, a new AAA study found. Automakers have been trying to excite new-car buyers, especially younger ones, with dashboard infotainment systems that let drivers use voice commands to do things like turning on windshield wipers, posting Facebook messages or ordering pizza.

Firefighting Robot Paints 3D Thermal Images

June 13, 2013 8:04 am | by UCSDRobotics | Videos | Comments

This project integrates infrared and RGB imagery to produce dense 3D environment models reconstructed from multiple views. The resulting 3D map contains both thermal and RGB information which can be used in robotic fire-fighting applications to identify victims and active fire areas.

Driverless Car Steering Course To Road-Readiness

June 13, 2013 8:01 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

Researchers at Carnegie Melon University are putting the finishing touches on their version of a driverless car that, they say, lays the groundwork for computers to replace humans in the driver seat within a decade and will make roads safer. Reuters' Ben Gruber went for a ride.

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