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Smart Robots Can Now Work Right Next to Auto Workers
MIT Technology Review ^ | 9-17-2013 | Will Knight

Posted on 09/17/2013 9:12:09 AM PDT by markomalley

BMW has taken a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots in automotive manufacturing by having a handful of robots work side-by-side with human workers at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

As a new generation of safer, more user-friendly robots emerges, BMW’s man-machine collaboration could be the first of many examples of robots taking on new human tasks, and working more closely alongside humans. While many fear that this trend could put people out of work (see “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs”), proponents argue it will instead make employees more productive, relieving them of the most unpleasant and burdensome jobs.

Robots have been a part of automotive manufacturing for decades. The first industrial robot—a hulking 4,000-pound arm called the Unimate—attached die castings to car doors at a GM production line in 1961. Such manufacturing robots have been powerful and extremely precise, but it’s never been safe for humans to work alongside them. As a result, a significant number of final assembly tasks, in auto plants and elsewhere, are still performed almost entirely by hand.

(Excerpt) Read more at technologyreview.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/17/2013 9:12:09 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley
Smart robots can now work right next to Auto Workers. They've been Welding Auto Bodies for many years with Robots.
2 posted on 09/17/2013 9:17:33 AM PDT by gigster (Cogito, Ergo, Ronaldus Magnus Conservatus)
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To: markomalley
I do machine motion programming and support. The outer boundry of any automated machine programmed to move must extend three feet beyond it's area of potential movement along with any tooling or product it's holding. That means a lockout-tagout cage which cannot be opened when the machine is energized with electricity, air, hydraulics, and gravity hazards.

Nobody works along side an automated robot which would crush you like a bug or cut you in half at a pinch point. I think OSHA has something to say about that.

3 posted on 09/17/2013 9:21:28 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: markomalley

I can’t believe M.I.T. is even mentioning the argument that “technology destroys jobs.” Asinine.

If that’s the case, let’s all go back to plowing the fields with wooden hoes and oxen. Come to think of it - that’s what much of the left wants.


4 posted on 09/17/2013 9:22:32 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: markomalley; Bender2; Revolting cat!

UAW will want the robots to unionize and take more breaks.


5 posted on 09/17/2013 9:22:50 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: gigster

Been there done that...

” Fascinating 1936 Footage of Car Assembly Line”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPpTK2ezxL0


6 posted on 09/17/2013 9:23:30 AM PDT by Mechanicos (When did we amend the Constitution for a 2nd Federal Prohibition?)
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To: PGR88; Revolting cat!

Smart hoes are killing the pimping industry.


7 posted on 09/17/2013 9:23:40 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: blackdog

That’s the difference between how a “low information” person and someone that’s informed looks at “robots”.

A “robot” is a machine. It moves as it is programmed to do.
It is not some anthropomorphized metal human.


8 posted on 09/17/2013 9:24:20 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: PGR88

Those leftists to which you refer would indeed love to live in some sort of neo-feudal society where they have control of all resources and the “peasants” live and die at their whim.


9 posted on 09/17/2013 9:25:44 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: blackdog
I do machine motion programming and support. The outer boundry of any automated machine programmed to move must extend three feet beyond it's area of potential movement along with any tooling or product it's holding. That means a lockout-tagout cage which cannot be opened when the machine is energized with electricity, air, hydraulics, and gravity hazards.

Of course, this won't apply to autonomous cars, i.e., robot automobiles.

10 posted on 09/17/2013 9:29:33 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Is John's moustache long enough YET?)
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To: markomalley
Computers were supposed to save us work, instead it created a whole new industry of things that were not possible before. And more work for humans too.
I have no problem with machines taking over dangerous and unpleasant tasks.
For example, robots could revolutionize the mining industry: No humans underground. No more loss of lives. Robots and telepresence instead.

11 posted on 09/17/2013 9:32:46 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: PGR88

Sandra Fluke does not like corn husks. She wants her real boy.

On a serious note, communists hat capitalist precisely because capitalism is meant to free ornconsciousness from menial mundane tasks to go into advance thinking above the animal concerns.
It still does not prevent unconscious pervs from vaunting their OCD as something of a good paranoia even if it makes one slave.

Liberals an commies debAUche modernity to intensify means ofbpercersion, not to use he gained time for higher works an purposes. Government nanny management is being on tauting that with Obama retards.


12 posted on 09/17/2013 9:35:03 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: MrB
Servo motors are just high speed counters which provide a feedback loop so that certain changes in speed, torque, or direction can take place at specific counts. errors are prompted and executed when those numbers are outside what a person programmed them to be.

A machine with complex servo systems runs a parent or master servo motor, by which all other motors must home to or coordinate their counted positions off of. The whole shabang has to be then processed with a very high speed processor and servo control. The most common today are the Allen Bradley RS logix 5000 and their Kinetix drives. In the past, systems were proprietary to the robot manufacturers and not real end user friendly to make any changes without enormous costs. Now, anyone in house can do it. That means jobs!!!!

13 posted on 09/17/2013 9:35:06 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: MrB

Well, all I know is that according to king hussein there aren’t any bank tellers or travel agents anymore cause they done been robotized.


14 posted on 09/17/2013 9:35:39 AM PDT by rktman (Inergalactic background checks? King hussein you're first up.)
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To: gigster
They've been Welding Auto Bodies for many years with Robots.

But they have a keep out area around the robots unless they are powered down and locked to keep UAW members from being welded.

15 posted on 09/17/2013 9:36:50 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Why is our military going to be used as Al Qaeda's air force in Syria?)
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To: blackdog

Sounds like a cool job. I just brought my Mindstorm Robot to work to demo a solution for testing video calls within a conference call. The robot performs motion at various speeds to test for anamolies in frame rate, resolution, video artifacts etc. It is outside my normal job, but I would love to do this for a living.


16 posted on 09/17/2013 9:58:36 AM PDT by lormand (Inside every liberal is a dung slinging monkey)
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To: markomalley

These will be replacing the newly created $15/hr fast food workers....


17 posted on 09/17/2013 10:01:49 AM PDT by nascarnation (Democrats control the Presidency, Senate, and Media. It's an uphill climb....)
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To: markomalley

Well, robots do destroy repetitive jobs that employ the ignorant and unlearned, but they also create jobs for the willing and educable.

Problem is the schools are turning out too many of the former and not enough of the latter. American schools are a wasteland.


18 posted on 09/17/2013 10:24:30 AM PDT by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with brute force, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
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To: markomalley

Since robots are extremely efficient in their tasks, don’t take days off and don’t come to work with hangovers, it only makes sense that eventually their work performance vis-a-vis their human counterparts will be taken into account.

We will see robot foremen on assembly lines admonishing their crews.

Workstation 1. “Bob, you are falling behind. work harder.” “Thanks, Hal, I’m trying.”

Workstation 2. “Dave, you missed one screw in the thingamajig assembly. That’s 3 this week. One more and you will be up for review.”

“Hal, don’t report me. I’ve got a family to feed.”

“Dave, it’s really out of my claws.”


19 posted on 09/17/2013 10:25:18 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: blackdog
blackdog said: "Errors are prompted and executed when those numbers are outside what a person programmed them to be."

The challenge is to define what constitutes an "error" in any given circumstance and to shut down the system safely when such errors occur.

The complexity of understanding all the failure modes of a robotic system coupled with the high amount of energy available to the mechanism is what has made it difficult to have robots in the vicinity of humans.

Highly complex systems with many of the same characteristics as robots fail frequently, the most notable examples being the space shuttle and other aircraft. Despite best efforts, these systems fail.

20 posted on 09/17/2013 10:38:26 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: lormand
I'm kinda familiar with that. I do some work which takes thousands of pictures per second on a production line of a part. The database then copmares those current part pictures(pictures is a crude description technically) with millions of known "good parts", looking for anaomalies of color, spots, surface irregularities, dimension variances, mass, spectrum analysis of chemical composition, foreign contaminants, etc..... And it does that at 400 units per minute. When a bad part is identified I spray it(the computer does the timing) with an output to a spray nozzle with fuorescing ink because it is going by too fast to grab. I then have a UV photo-eye which detects the glowing part down the line and fires an output to an air blast nozzle which blasts the part off of the line and it lands in a bin for disposition. The really fun part is testing the system each hour. I'll take a wood sliver or metalic sticker and place it on or in the body of the part. I have to verify that that is the one which launches off the line later on.

Fun stuff with a purpose!

21 posted on 09/17/2013 10:49:21 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: Valpal1

hence the government sponsoring abortion, obesity, and sterility.


22 posted on 09/17/2013 10:53:49 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: nascarnation
McDonals already has an automated french fry machine.





"Hello, welcome to Costco. I love you."
"Hello, welcome to Costco. I love you."
"Hello, welcome to Costco. I love you."
"Hello, welcome to Costco. I love you."

23 posted on 09/17/2013 10:57:44 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: William Tell
If you think they fail in space, try hiring some button pusher moron off the street to operate the damn things! Then try running the stuff with management from Wharton and not MIT!

"When Bob loads his parts, he says the machine stops running, Fix it!"

Well, Bob put his parts in backwards.

"You need to be proactive and make a jig so Bob can't do that"

OK I've done that! Now Bob can't put his parts in backwards.

"Bob says the machine won't run for more than an hour"

Well, that's because Bob unboxes the parts and the empty cardboard boxes pile up and block the photo-eye safety curtain of light, which shuts off the machine.

"Do something about that!"

OK, I've made a case crusher to flatten and bale Bob's trash. "Great! But why doesn't Bob just use the bin near his work station?"

I dunno, but you told me to fix Bob's unwillingness to break flat and throw out his trash.

"That's wasting money and we're already over budget!"

Uhmmmm....OK!

I kid you not! That is what goes on in every manufacturing plant in America these days.

24 posted on 09/17/2013 11:01:51 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: William Tell

I set my overcurrent and overtorque limits within a mouse fart of low, so that an extra few ounces of resistance send a bit to the error file which soft stops the machine. Hard stops are a very, very bad thing. ie, e-stops. Machines turning at a few thousand RPM which come to an instant stop will require complete rehoming and calibration to allow a new run enable bit to latch the main control relay. Sometimes this can take hours. The law requires hard e-stops be within reach, but the regular stop button is closer and more plentiful. But the operator doesn’t care. They know if they hit the e-stop they get an hour long break.


25 posted on 09/17/2013 11:11:14 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: blackdog

solution, fire Bob and build unboxing robot.


26 posted on 09/17/2013 11:11:25 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: longtermmemmory
Bob is a breeder. His family comes from a long line of button pushers. You see them every day. You know....the ones who get in the elevator and push the floor button seven times even if it's already lit.

Bob comes to me and says "Hey blackdog, can I get you to fix my water heater? We haven't had hot water all week and my old lady is getting mad?

No Bob, I cannot, but Home depot sells new heating elements and they are easy to replace.

"OK", says Bob.

"Hey blackdog, I did what you said and I still have no hot water"

Really Bob? Tell me what is going on?

Well blackdog, I've put four of those heating elements in and I hear a bang and then nothing comes out of my faucet."

Bob, do you turn the water back on after you replace the heating elements and before you re-energize the breaker?

"Why?, What do that do?" says Bob.

27 posted on 09/17/2013 11:21:16 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: longtermmemmory

With all the Bob’s and Roberta’s out there, I’ve got a pretty good gig until retirement and then some.


28 posted on 09/17/2013 11:23:39 AM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: blackdog

Funny!

I had a similar experience at one of my customers, Delphi.

They wanted to speed up a machine which partially assembled heater cores.

My systems controlled the stepping of the machine, acceleration and deceleration.

The engineer’s goal was to take 5 to 10 seconds out of the operation cycle per minute which was easy to do EXCEPT all while I was testing the program change and parameter changes, the machine kept stopping BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT PRODUCE enough parts to keep the machine occupied.

So I asked them, are you going to modify, improve, increase production of the upstream process so you have sufficient product? NO! Was their answer! So I asked then why do you want to increase the wear on this machine to reduce its cycle time? Because my boss told me too.


29 posted on 09/17/2013 11:43:39 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam! 969)
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To: Wurlitzer
He, he.......Yep!

"Make my winder run at 1800 feet per minute."

Can the downstream brand new casepacker load and process those numbers Jim?

"I'm sure it can, and do what I tell you!"

Now the winder stops in pause every three minutes because the casepacker is backed up.

Waste takes many forms. Most of which is human.

30 posted on 09/17/2013 12:14:50 PM PDT by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: blackdog
blackdog said: "Well, Bob put his parts in backwards."

I used to explain to my manager and customers that one of the biggest challenges was the fact that the operator is unable to distinguish the logic that the system I designed used from magic.

Without some understanding of how the system works, the average operator is unable to grasp what the machine is capable of doing. Many is the time that an operator would reveal with his questions that he couldn't recognize that he was wanting the machine to read his mind.

31 posted on 09/17/2013 2:17:49 PM PDT by William Tell
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