Prepare for the Overlords!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

PC World - Robots Need a Sensitive Touch

PC World - Robots Need a Sensitive Touch: "That will be the tipping point. Once robots can manipulate things in our environment in a safe way, they can do virtually anything a human can possibly do physically"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog: "The law of unintended consequences is what happens when a simple system tries to regulate a complex system. The political system is simple, it operates with limited information (rational ignorance), short time horizons, low feedback, and poor and misaligned incentives. Society in contrast is a complex, evolving, high-feedback, incentive-driven system. When a simple system tries to regulate a complex system you often get unintended consequences."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Force Control

Until now, robots used for this task have been position controlled, moving according to defined positions and speeds. But if the robot is struggling to trace a programmed path, the robot’s servo will increase power until maximum torque, resulting in a collision with the excess material along the way.

As a result, the robot stops, the tool breaks or the workpiece is damaged. To limit such damage, shops often run conventional castcleaning robots at slower speeds, but doing that reduces productivity.

This conventional approach also requires complex and time-consuming programming as the robot path needs to be as exact as possible. The expectation is that the grinding or polishing will deliver consistent results. In reality, the cast products are all individual with different tolerances, and this generates inconsistent process results.

A new dedicated robotbased system, called Force Control Machining from ABB Automation Technologies AB, eliminates these challenges and the bottlenecks associated with traditional finishing processes.

The system is designed to improve part quality, reduce programming time, speed part deburring cycle times and increase tool life. It provides force control for machining applications in which a robot needs to be sensitive to process forces. At the heart of ABB’s system are two advanced software features – FC Pressure and FC SpeedChange.

FC Pressure is aimed at processes that demand highquality surface finishes. It allows a robot to effectively “feel” its surroundings and follow the casting surface, changing its position to apply a constant pressure on the surface, even if the exact position of the surface is unknown. This consistent contact removes debris, such as burrs, at the same depth, and such force control accuracy delivers good surface finishes, even where a 5 Newton force difference can hugely impact final quality.

This feature adjusts the robot’s path to maintain a consistent pressure. It is especially well-suited for polishing, grinding and cleaning surfaces that need to be even and smooth such as with water taps, turbines/ propeller blades, electronic parts and automotive components.

For processes in which path accuracy is important and finished

Monday, January 14, 2008

Paleo-Future: Our Dread of Robots (1932)

Paleo-Future: Our Dread of Robots (1932): "The September 27, 1932 Ruston Daily Leader (Ruston, Louisiana) ran a cautionary editorial about an inventor who was supposedly shot by his own robot. From the late 1920s until the late 1930s you can find countless news articles of the wondrous feats robots were supposed to have performed.

The uneasy feelings we had about automation and mechanization are articulated quite well by the editorial. The end of the piece is accurate in stating, 'Machinery has created a revolution in our life. The wage-earner, the farmer, the soldier, the merchant, the politician, the schoolmaster, the printer - all of us, in every moment of our lives, live differently than our ancestors lived because of the constant increase in the mechanization of society"

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eureka, California, United States
As Popeye once said,"I ams what I am." But then again maybe I'm not