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Renaissance for robots: the work cell was regarded as "mini," but the techno-strategy behind it was leviathan.

At last year's IMTS IMTS International Manufacturing Technology Show
IMTS Improved Mobile Telephone Service
IMTS International Machine Tool Show
IMTS International Merchandise Trade Statistics
IMTS Improved Moving Target Simulator
IMTS Information Management Technical Specialist
, a Fanuc M-710iC/50 Solution Arm robot, armed with an iRVision 3D laser-vision sensor, took parts from a pile and placed them onto a regrip stand. A M-710iC/50 then took over, detecting the parts' position on the stand and rearranging those parts for its robo-buddy, a M-710iC/50S, which worked with a Fanuc a-T14iES ROBODRILL. Capping the process was a M710iC/70, which deburred, air-blew, and palletized the parts.

The late sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov Noun 1. Isaac Asimov - United States writer (born in Russia) noted for his science fiction (1920-1992)
 would have been impressed by the work cell, but not surprised. Asimov always understood what man could do with robots--and what robots could do for man. The "silicon-intelligence" and the "carbon-intelligence," he predicted, would advance "far more rapidly than either would alone."

Fanuc's Dick Motley confirmed Asimov's sentiment. "The new iRVision system raises the bar for the integration of machine vision to robotics robotics, science and technology of general purpose, programmable machine systems. Contrary to the popular fiction image of robots as ambulatory machines of human appearance capable of performing almost any task, most robotic systems are anchored to fixed positions , providing a new level of robot intelligence for machine-tending operations," he said at IMTS 2006. "Intelligent robots provide significant cost-savings advantages by eliminating the need for expensive part-feeding fixtures.

"The increased use of robots for machine tending," added Motley, "is a growing trend in the machine tool industry."

In truth, there is a growing general reliance on robotics in manufacturing. Today, you'll find 168,000 robots in use in U.S. factories, reports the Robotic Industries Association (RIA (Rich Internet Application) A Web-based application that approaches the speed and elegance of a local application. An RIA may refer to a browser-based application that uses AJAX or another enhanced coding technique. ). Only Japan uses more robots.

Some might even argue it's the beginning of a robotic renaissance in our part of the world. In the first quarter of the year, North American North American

named after North America.

North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.

North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus.
 manufacturing firms purchased 4,153 robots, says RIA, whose own recent International Robots & Vision Show brought together buyers, sellers, and other champions of the mighty robot.

"It's encouraging to see new orders growing again," says Donald A. Vincent, RIA's executive vice president. "This is the highest number of robots we've seen ordered in a quarter since midway through 2005."

The auto guys were at the forefront of the first-quarter purchases, which totaled more than $260 million. "Orders to the automotive sector jumped 25 percent in the first quarter when compared to the prior year, while orders to non-automotive companies actually fell 9 percent," Vincent reports.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the RIA, "from an applications standpoint, the first quarter saw growth in orders for robots that perform spot welding Spot welding

A resistance-welding process in which coalescence is produced by the flow of electric current through the resistance of metals held together under pressure. Usually the upper electrode moves and applies the clamping force.
, coating/ dispensing, and material-handling applications.

Adds Vincent: "We're not surprised by the growth in spot welding, since that application is closely tied to automotive."

Add the marvels of vision and motion-control technologies to robotics and you can fully appreciate Asimov's enthusiasm for the alliance between silicon-intelligence and carbon-types, especially when it comes to contemporary manufacturing.

"I see the former building the foundations of a new and unimaginably better society than we have ever experienced," wrote the author of I, Robot I, Robot is a collection of nine English language science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov, first published by Gnome Press in 1950 in an edition of 5,000 copies. . "And I see the latter building the superstructure superstructure /su·per·struc·ture/ (soo´per-struk?chur) the overlying or visible portion of a structure.

A structure above the surface.
, with a creative fantasy we dare not picture now."
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Title Annotation:first cut
Author:McKenna, Joseph F.
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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