How to Reduce Waste With Autonomous Robots

The birth of robotics – all the way back to GM’s Unimate – was all about doing jobs that were simply too dangerous, repetitive and physiologically difficult for humans to execute safely and securely. While robots have evolved up to (but not beyond) many manufacturers’ wildest dreams, a new generation of challenges poses will force […]

Why You Should Stop Programming Your Robots

Robot programming is a complicated tax. Even novice programmers are often hot in demand, and very often they will work for integrators who operate on the basis of one-off or serial integrations with different manufacturers. These are surprisingly small businesses that are often unable to address new customers after a very short period of time, […]

What an Autonomous Robot Can and Can’t Do

Autonomous robots can perform varied tasks in a flexible, responsive manner with limited human oversight. New forms of walking, lifting and rolling robots as well as improvements to traditional industrial robots all make these systems more flexible and adaptable – particularly in unstructured environments. These new capabilities – whether it’s in remote inspection, materials handling, […]

What’s the Real Difference Between an Autonomous Robot...

Autonomous robots are any robot that performs a task or behavior with limited human oversight. While this is an emerging technology, robots already function in this way in many circumstances – unfortunately, every one of those are highly structured, mass manufacturing operations. For manufacturers who have more variation in their parts, or businesses that simply […]

How Does a Robot Reach Full Autonomy?

When most people think of fully autonomous robots, they worry about fanciful AI scenarios that have little basis in the real facts – and mysteries – we know about consciousness. While fixating on that, it becomes harder for people to see the practical value of robots that can function independently and without substantial oversight when […]

How to Reduce the Cost of Rework in Manufacturing

The cost of rework in manufacturing is growing. Retiring baby boomers and skilled laborers – along with a lack of younger workers to replace them – is effectively making the old models of factory and jobshop life obsolete. Stepping in to replace a lot of that skilled labor is automation, however automation usually requires significant […]

Manufacturing Labor Supply Is Dead – What Did it In?

There are two questions when it comes to the manufacturing sector in North America – why have jobs been going overseas and what did them in? While plenty has been made of the political ramifications for each question, the real challenge to consider is what appropriate economic choices could be made and why certain classes […]

What Is General Purpose Technology?

General purpose technology is a technology or technology set that has broad implications for a wide variety of factors in human life at any given time. In many ways, general purpose technologies pile on and magnify each other’s power, but new technologies also make us realize the inconveniences of old ones, such as advances in […]

Who Benefits Most from Robot Autonomy?

Autonomous robots are among the most likely candidates for the next generation of General Purpose Technologies. These kinds of technologies, practices or standards can affect economic output at the global level because of their ability to be applied to multiple sectors.  We know that robot autonomy has applications across both goods manufacturing and everyday services. […]