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Rescue robot developed for disaster recovery in hazardous environments
A REMOTELY-OPERATED rescue robot built to help with disaster recovery in hazardous industrial environments has been developed by a pioneering firm. Forth, based in the UK, has developed the rescue robot for Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria. In the event of an incident the robot can be sent in remotely and operated at a safe distance from a command and control centre. The robot is built on a 1.6 tonne JCB compact excavator platform, specially adapted to withstand conditions in hazardous environments, and fitted with robotics systems and wireless technology as well as specialist cameras and lights. The robot has the ability to tow a trailer with a fitted hopper that can disperse a bund of sand to contain any type of spillage. Also fitted to the robot is an affixative spraying system that is used assist in the containment of a nuclear spillage. It also has the use of a large grapple hook that will be used to move any obstruction the robot may come across. A specialist 700bar rescue tool similar to that used by the UK Fire and Rescue Service has also been fitted to the robot so it can cut through any hazards in its way and access the rescue zone. A mobile command and control centre, fitted with live video streaming capability, will be towed to within a 150-metre radius of the rescue zone. The rescue robot will be deployed and will be able to be safely and remotely operated throughout its mission. Previous machines which have been used by Sellafield have needed a tether. This is the first product of its type which has been developed for the plant which can be remotely operated. Mark Telford, managing director of Forth, said: “This is a first for Sellafield to have this type of remotely-operated rescue robot. “It is important for operators like Sellafield to plan for different scenarios and we are proud to have come up with such an innovative solution. “We can adapt this technology for any industry or any organisation which would benefit from a rescue robot helping keep humans safe. “We have developed this 1.6-tonne robot because it was what was required for this particular task. “But we could develop a product of any size - it could be 10-tonnes, for example, if that was what was needed - and fitted with any type of tools for a range of tasks. “It’s the ability to remotely operate it from a control and command centre which makes it so versatile in a range of hazardous environments.” Mark said now the robot has been developed for Sellafield, he would welcome other organisations coming forward to Forth if they thought they would benefit from a similar type of technology. “As a company we specialise in taking problem statements from clients, often involving protecting operators by distancing them from the workface. “We develop new methods using new tech which provides a solution and allows the client to do what was previously not considered possible. “When we have developed that technology - such as in this case for Sellafield - we want to use that learning and apply it to other solutions for other organisations across a range of different industries. “We very much welcome organisations getting in touch with us and letting us know their problems so we can see if we can provide a solution.” An ‘intelligent’ underwater autonomous survey robot fitted with sonar technology to detect and avoid obstacles so it can be used near critical infrastructure was recently successfully showcased in a live demonstration at Forth’s headquarters. Autonomous Aquatic Inspection and Intervention (A2I2) robot developed by a collaboration of companies from across the UK successfully completed its nuclear use case drop two trials at Forth’s Deep Recovery Facility in Cumbria in March. The A2I2 collaborative R&D project, led by Rovco and supported by Innovate UK under the Industrial Strategy Research Fund, involves Forth, Rovco, D-RisQ, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Thales UK and The University of Manchester. The project’s goal is to develop underwater autonomous vehicles which can improve safety and reduce the challenges of operating in hazardous environments, such as in ponds at nuclear sites. Forth is also working with partners across Europe on the RESURGAM (Robotic Survey, Repair and Agile Manufacture) project and using its expertise to develop underwater friction stir welding technology to help make repairs to ships' hulls safer, faster and more cost-efficient than conventional welding. For more information visit www.forth.uk.com
SMPTE Webcast on On-Set Virtual Production Initiative to Showcase First Rapid Industry Solution (RIS)
SMPTE®, a leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, will host a webcast at 1 p.m. EDT on June 29 to introduce the On-Set Virtual Production initiative, the first in the Society's planned series of Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS) intended to address rapidly evolving technologies and their application across the media and entertainment industry. The June 29 webcast will feature the companies that have signed on to move this initiative forward. Participants will learn about the benefits of the SMPTE RIS program and about the On-Set Virtual Production initiative in particular — and how their organizations can get involved in and benefit from this work. "At disguise, we work with clients on a daily basis to help them navigate the evolving technologies around content creation and storytelling. When SMPTE came to us to present the RIS, we knew we needed to get involved," said Raed Al Tikriti, chief product officer at disguise. "The notion of bringing information together in a curated fashion is critical to the democratization of this technology." "SMPTE has long provided the industry with tools, standards, and education on emerging technologies," said Barbara H. Lange, executive director at SMPTE. "Now, to respond to technology challenges with greater agility, SMPTE has developed a new type of initiative — the Rapid Industry Solution — to help industry professionals tackle the complexities of new technologies and applications. This webcast will offer a quick look at our first RIS and provide details on how it will simplify and support on-set virtual production, which unites traditional production tools with virtual and augmented reality, CGI, and game-engine technologies in real time." For this On-Set Virtual Production initiative, SMPTE is establishing an Advisory Group drawing from emerging technology, traditional production, manufacturing, and education organizations to provide expertise in interoperability, workflows, and best practices. Advisory Group participants thus far include disguise, ICVR, Lux Machina, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Whistling Woods International. A dedicated project manager and a more flexible technology review model will facilitate a faster response than can be realized through the conventional SMPTE framework. The Advisory Group participants will determine the direction of the work, which can take the form of technical interoperability, educational initiatives, or other solutions that will benefit the industry. Results of the work will be open and free to the industry, including creative and technical individuals and organizations focused on hardware, software, and every type of service. Recognizing that the challenges of on-set virtual production demand a rapid response, SMPTE designed the RIS program to begin delivering results within a year. The Society and its industry participants will undertake this work while validating the RIS model as a means of addressing other emerging technologies. While the webcast is free, registration is required. More information and a sign-up form are online at smpte.org/past-events/virtual-production-initiative
Robotics innovator Createc to provide custom sensor integrations for Boston Dynamics Spot
Createc, a pioneering UK robotics and computer vision company that provides solutions to the civil nuclear, defence, rail, marine, and security sectors from its bases in Cumbria and Oxford in the UK, will serve as a technical integrator and commercial reseller of Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots. Matt Mellor, CEO of Createc which is the holder of two Queen’s Awards for Innovation and International Trade, said: “We are very positive about the future for robotics for nuclear decommissioning and collaborating with a company like Boston Dynamics is in line with that vision. “The opportunity for robots like Spot to do more and to take more people out of hazardous environments is a very good thing for society. “Over time we are going to have a lot more robots, and we will have improved collaboration between human and machine.” The relationship between the companies came about after Createc had been introduced to the capabilities of Boston Dynamics robots while working on research and development projects. Matt said: “Legged Robots are being increasingly adopted in a range of industrial settings for inspection and intervention; industrial environments are built for people, so robots with legs and arms that mimic the capabilities of people are a great fit. “We have been using quadruped robotics in our work with Oxford University’s Robotics Institute for survey and inspections in hazardous environments and looking into ways of removing the need to put human operators into those situations. As part of that work we have seen what Spot is capable of.” Createc, formed more than ten years ago, has an impressive track record of commercialisation of its innovative technology, including its pioneering N-Visage® technology which was used in the clean-up following the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan. The company has since gone on to enjoy global success with a range of innovations. Createc is widely recognised for its success in innovation and problem solving in computer imaging as well as robotics, pioneering some of the latest technology which is being deployed around the world to provide accurate, and readily available, information, such as for the nuclear industry. Createc applies its thinking and technologies to any problem to find a solution and takes a flexible approach to applying them - so they can be adapted for a range of industries and a range of situations. Matt said: “My motivation comes from bringing something completely new to life which results in the world being a better place. “We look at the way we can do something, not where we can do it. Seeing all the pieces come together and creating this thing which creates an economic benefit and also has a positive impact on the world is really satisfying.” Matt sees the relationship with Boston Dynamics as providing Createc with a highly mobile solution through its Spot robot, and he anticipates Createc can help Boston Dynamics build new application capabilities and commercial opportunities. Createc has been working with Boston Dynamics’ Spot - a four-legged agile robot with advanced mobility and perception to navigate stairs, gravel, and rough terrain while collecting 2D and 3D information with on board sensors, automating some common data collection and inspection tasks. The company has been using Spot primarily in nuclear decommissioning applications so far but expects to expand to other industrial uses in the future. . Matt said: “If you are trying to do things in industrial environments, then robots like Spot give you a big advantage as they can move around obstacles on the floor, or step over obstacles just like a human would, and in a way which wheeled vehicles are not able to. It recognises terrain and is able to adjust its movements accordingly. “Boston Dynamics is developing new levels of autonomy and we see advantages in collaborating to build new inspection tools and systems that enable tasks in hazardous environments to be carried out more safely, more efficiently and more cost effectively.” Employing almost 30 people in a diverse, agile team of technical experts from fields such as Computer Vision, Robotics, Nuclear Measurement and Optics, Createc can efficiently build prototype systems and develop them into full products.
PulPac reveals world’s first standardized Dry Molded Fiber Production Unit
Following the accelerating progress of the Dry Molded Fiber technology and the great interest from the industry, PulPac, together with partners now reveals a standardized production line – the PulPac Production Unit 300 ton (PU300). Shifting from plastic converting or traditional fiber molding to Dry Molded Fiber is easier than ever, and even more attractive for the converters and brands that wish to be leaders in the race for sustainable packaging. The PulPac PU300 is engineered as a modular industrial production line, ready for food grade production of high volume and affordable Dry Molded Fiber products. The very first demonstration line has been set up in PulPac’s Tech Center in Sweden, where industrial food grade manufacturing of sustainable spoons made of pure cellulose fibers has begun. Starting annual capacity is 230 million spoons. Single-use cutlery is a very interesting segment with billions of units demanded each year, and especially given the EU-wide ban on non-sustainable plastic cutlery coming to effect July 1st this year. “The versatility, cost structure and market readiness of Dry Molded Fiber opens exciting opportunities for both fiber and plastic converters. In a few years, it will be possible to manufacture Dry Molded Fiber bottles and other complex products. But already today you can commercialize affordable high-volume products like spoons, trays, lids, bowls, – paper products that can hold grease and water without toxic chemicals – which are all ready for production with the PU300 platform,” says Sanna Fager, Chief Commercial Officer at PulPac The dry process enables the PulPac PU300 to run extremely fast. Cycle time and production rates is on par with plastic manufacturing, and up to ten times faster than conventional fiber molding. Furthermore, Dry Molding does not waste valuable water resources nor impact the wastewater infrastructure. The process is much more energy-efficient than conventional fiber molding and enables material efficiency of up to 99% with in-line recycling. In summary, these process advantages yield up to 90% lower CO2 emissions at similar unit costs as plastic. “The PU300 machine platform is a milestone for making affordable fiber-based packaging globally available. To meet the massive interest from brands and converters, we are now scaling supply chains by building a global community of world leading Dry Molded Fiber suppliers. We welcome converters, machine builders, brands and fiber providers to join us and transform the industry from within. Simplifying the transition and support our clients to get going with their own Dry Molded Fiber manufacturing is core priority in order to reach our goal of replacing +1 million tons of plastic by 2025,” says Linus Larsson, CEO and Co-founder. Many global brands and leading packaging manufacturers are already taking their operations to the forefront, together with PulPac and its partners. The first Dry Molded Fiber products will reach the market in a variety of segments this year.
Detection Technology expands the X-Scan T camera family
Detection Technology, a global leader in X-ray detector solutions, has expanded its X-Scan T camera family to address a wide range of industrial inspection needs. Today, the company has launched four new variants of the TDI-based (Time Delay Integration) product family. The new variants are available in lengths of 307 mm, 512 mm, 614 mm, and 820 mm that perfect the company’s existing offering, and are fitted for the mainstream system configurations and production belt widths in the target segment. The X-Scan T is built on a well-proven and modular platform that is easy to scale for a variety of X-ray imaging needs. “The new variants come with the added value features, for which our X-Scan T product family is known in the industry and our customers have been thanking us. For example, our customers have been delighted with its capability to provide better imaging performance than standard detector solutions, even if X-ray source power has been more than halved. This highlights the fact that we have succeeded in providing a solution that promotes system efficiency and cost drivers, and increasingly important environmental aspects, not to mention how its target applications have a positive impact on building a more sustainable future by reducing variation and throwaway waste in production lines. As another example, its scanning speed seems to be a feature that is highly valued in fast-paced manufacturing,” says Tomi Fält, Director of Product Management at Detection Technology. The X-Scan T product family provides high sensitivity with a low X-ray dose. As a result, image quality meets the most stringent requirements of industrial applications. At the same time, it significantly reduces the required X-ray power and doubles the detector lifetime under X-ray when compared to the industry average. Furthermore, the low-dose operation mode enables the minimization of shielding of X-ray systems, generating total cost savings and streamlining system designs. The TDI technology features high sensitivity and enhanced contrast resolution. In addition, the unique photodiode-based sensor provided only by Detection Technology, the fast and sensitive scintillator, and the signal processing chain, which is capable of reading each single pixel, further boost the imaging performance of the series. With the application-optimized readout electronics and pixel sizes, the series now features an improved scanning speed of 180 m/min that meets the requirements of the fastest target applications. Equipped with a built-in control unit, embedded TDI algorithm, and other data processing functions, the X-Scan T is a true plug-and-play–type detector solution. The series comes with robust mechanics, reliable industrial connections, and bidirectional scanning operation for improved usability. “We have optimized the X-Scan T series for demanding industrial environments. The X-Scan T is an ideal solution, especially for the food industry, which values fast throughput times, precise material discrimination, and low power consumption on harsh production lines, and aims to reduce the amount of waste for cost and sustainability reasons. For example, the X-Scan T is a perfect match for quality inspection in high-speed bottling and canning lines, and bone detection in meat and seafood processes. In addition, this digital detector series serves the battery industry.” Detection Technology extended its portfolio to TDI scanning technology in 2019. The company expects TDI to become one of the major technologies for in-line industrial inspection applications, especially in the food industry.
PulPac and TechTribe partners in industrial automation to develop standardized solutions for Dry Molded Fiber
PulPac’s “Dry Molded Fiber” is a patented manufacturing technology for the circular economy – using renewable pulp and cellulose resources to produce low cost, high performance, fiber-based packaging, and single-use products. Dry Molded Fiber gives up to 80-90% lower CO2 footprint at the same or lower cost as plastic. TechTribe has a strong track record in integrating components with other technologies and automating the processes to develop reliable and efficient production lines. “With 35’ years of experience in industrial automation and extensive experience dealing with fiber production lines, we are very excited to support development to drive efficiency and automation in Dry Molded Fiber. The process is truly a breakthrough in fiber molding, with production speeds on par with plastics and extremely cost effective output – remarkably with low energy consumption and no wastewater.” says Mikael Svensson, CEO at TechTribe. TechTribe is committed to bring sustainable solutions to the market together with PulPac. The parties will work together to develop production lines and solutions for the Dry Molded Fiber community. “We welcome the know-how and capabilities brought by such a skillful partner and industrial automation provider as TechTribe to the Dry Molded Fiber community supporting development of a solution optimized to work with modular production platforms “, says Linus Larsson, founder and CEO at PulPac.
Film Development Machinery Becomes Fully Operational at Toray’s Mishima Plant
Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that film development machinery that it installed at its Mishima Plant has become fully operational. This new setup will enable the company to create advanced offerings for an increasingly sophisticated and diverse film market. The machinery can develop an array of films by leveraging Toray’s strengths in precision nano-multilayer design, NANOALLOY®, performance nano-coating, and other underlying technologies. It also harnesses the company’s capabilities in film design technologies. Toray designed the machinery to be almost as large as that for production while running in a clean room environment. Limitations to development using normal mass-production machinery include prototyping timing issues associated with the operational situations of facilities, as well as restrictions with appliable technologies because of equipment specifications. These factors have sometimes impeded supplies of development samples. The new machinery will enable Toray to slash development lead times, from creating new technologies and product concepts on small pilot machines during research stages through establishing manufacturing technologies at mass-production levels. Toray will take advantage of this new machinery to develop new films for high-definition electronic devices and displays. It will also be able to more swiftly innovate technologies and products for the automotive, energy, environment and life innovation fields, which offer considerable growth potential. Toray looks to expand its business in markets for high-value-added offerings by cultivating ideas that anticipate market needs. Toray will continue leveraging its core technologies of synthetic organic and polymer chemistry, biotechnology, and nanotechnology to research and develop advanced materials that transform societies in keeping with its commitment to innovating ideas, technologies, and products that deliver new value.
Digital Twin Factory : tri-party technology agreement creates new dawn for architecture and infrastructure
Thousands of global smart city and infrastructure ‘build back better’ projects can now be enabled by a ‘Digital Twin Factory’ alliance between three companies. Digital Twins – highly detailed virtual 3D models driven by massed data – have already been hailed as key to an expansive new age of sustainable and efficient architecture, planning, and infrastructure, also able to drive down carbon emissions in the face of Climate Change. The roll-out of this pivotal technology is now being dramatically accelerated, say the three partners: The Agile Fractal Grid (AFG) – developer of a ‘a fractal system of systems’ able to design and integrate new age communications, energy, and other infrastructures. Cityzenith – creator of the revolutionary Digital Twin (DT) platform SmartWorldOS™ that will power the new DT Factory rollout and is already committed to a ‘Clean Cities – Clean Future’ urban de-carbonization mission. Fractal Twins– a new company established to deliver a fully supported and customized version of SmartWorldOS™, as a part of AFG’s ‘Fractal Family’ of products and services. Their long-term agreement follows 2020 talks as AFG developed a comprehensive smart infrastructure and carbon-neutral, energy grid project and Cityzenith’s powerful and versatile SmartWorldOS™ was selected as the perfect fit for AFG’s own software platform services. Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen said: “We have since reached ‘critical mass’ by adding Fractal Twins to the mix, enabling us to accelerate creation of hundreds, or even thousands of DT projects that work off the same blueprint patterns. “We can now go global with speeding post-COVID recovery and driving down global emissions to avoid the devastating human and economic cost of Climate Change. “Effectively, we will create an ‘embedded’ SmartWorldOS™ Digital Twin studio – a ‘factory’ – to deliver at scale for Fractal Twins and AFG, customized to specific functionality, smart service applications – including energy grids, smart buildings, manufacturing, smart transportation, entertainment, healthcare and agriculture. “Further, we are establishing a pipeline of cutting-edge projects, highlighting the potential of the merged platforms: clean, renewable energy infrastructure and transition projects in the US; a communications rollout across the US; smart cities in the US, Africa, and Canada; global port projects; and energy transition projects in Scandinavia. AFG CEO John Reynolds said “This contract hot wires Cityzenith’s own versatile DT platform into our network to unlock enhanced opportunities and visions as the world seeks to build back better after COVID-19 and respond to the immense challenges posed by Climate Change. “Smart cities, infrastructures and energy grids are the key to meeting that threat and the global ambitions set under the 2015 Paris Agreement.” Fractal Twins CEO Ron Toll added: “This is an exciting opportunity not only for three ground-breaking companies, but for our world, as we enter a new age, one shaken by recent global events but alive to new technology and new directions.”
Japanese Manufacturers Cooperate on Development of Hydrogen Fueled Marine Engines
On April 27th, 2021, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd., and Japan Engine Corporation formed a consortium of Japanese engine manufacturers to pursue joint development of hydrogen fueled marine engines for ocean-going and coastal vessels towards establishing a world-leading position in hydrogen engine technologies. With the growing need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, marine engines are expected to transition to various alternative fuels in the coming years. Among the many alternatives, hydrogen is attracting global interest for its application in a wide range of energy and mobility industrial sectors as a fuel that offers zero-emissions. The companies are looking to develop technologies in the hydrogen value chain towards global expansion of this important alternative fuel. By cooperating on common fundamental technologies such as basic experiments and analysis on hydrogen combustion, materials, and sealing techniques, as well as classification society requirements, each company aims to bring hydrogen-fueled engines to the market by 2025. Kawasaki Heavy Industries will develop medium-speed 4-stroke engines, Yanmar Power Technology will focus on medium- and high-speed 4-stroke engines, and Japan Engine Corporation will embark on the development of low-speed 2-stroke engines. All three simultaneous developments will enhance the product lineup of propulsion and auxiliary (generator) engines for a wide range of vessels. In addition, a hydrogen fuel storage and supply system will be developed as part of the integrated hydrogen fuel system. By developing advanced hydrogen marine engine technologies based on the distinctive engines and quickly launching in the market, the consortium will contribute to the Japanese shipbuilding industry. Furthermore, the companies aim to revitalize the Japanese maritime industry and realize a sustainable society by promoting the uptake of hydrogen fueled engine technology for marine vessels.
Allen Plastic Offering One-Stop Packaging Solutions With Its Horizontal Shrink Sleeving Machines
Allen Plastic Industries Co., Ltd, the total solution provider of shrink sleeve packaging offers shrink sleeve materials and applicators to the world. Allen Plastic will be showcasing its new product, Horizontal Shrink Sleeving Machine at upcoming industry events, including Taipei Pack 2021 in Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center from Jun 23 to Jun 26. Inspired by the market gap of automatic machines for small containers such as lipstick, eyebrow, and pen, Horizontal Shrink Sleeving Machine with smooth setting shift is designed for these small-diameter containers and high–response electric components. It can also be customized to satisfy every client’s needs and PLC controlling system in cosmetic, pharmaceutical, stationery, and food industries. The machine is stable, durable and responsive, and is easy to operate and maintain, saving valuable manpower and improving overall production efficiency, which is especially critical in sustaining operation during the pandemic. Competitive Advantages: • Fully automated machine system • Programmable logic control • Suitable for various width range and label position application • Patented design and quality assurance (ISO 9001:2015, TÜV Rheinland and SGS certified)
Toray’s Advanced High-Surface-Area Ultrafiltration (UF) Membrane Modules Selected at Large-Scale Water Treatment Facilities Worldwide
Toray Industries, Inc. is pleased to announce that a large-scale wastewater treatment facility has started purifying water with Toray's latest UF membrane technology. The wastewater facility located in Wuxi New District, an industrial park in Wuxi, China, was built by GreenTech Environmental Co., Ltd., a leading provider of advanced membrane treatment solutions. GreenTech selected Toray's advanced high-surface-area HFUG-2020AN UF mode (hereinafter referred to as HFUG) for its unparalleled performance to meet China's stringent Class III surface water quality requirement and to offer significant cost reductions for the 34,000 metric ton facility. Keeping capital and operating expenses low by not drastically modifying existing configurations and increasing throughput is a goal of water treatment technologies today. On its durable Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane layer, the HFUG has a pore size of 0.01 micron, equivalent to one-fifth thousandth the diameter of a human hair, effectively removing suspended solids and microorganisms in the wastewater. Using the same proven membrane layer, Toray has applied proprietary fabrication methods to produce thinner hollow fibers while maintaining integrity and permeability. The thinner hollow-fibers in the HFUG result in an active membrane area of 90 square meters, a 25 percent increase than models with similar dimensions. Furthermore, the high-surface-area module requires less piping and valve components and an overall reduction of system real estate by 20 percent, significantly reducing capital costs. Since its commercialization in 2019, water and wastewater treatment facilities worldwide have adopted the new UF technology. In Idaho, United States, a water district selected the HFUG to treat up to 10,000 metric tons of sewage daily. In Poland, a industrial water treatment facility uses the HFUG to supply 7,500 metric tons of water every day. The HFUG is recognized for its superior operational stability, compact offering, and economic performance. As part of the Toray Group's Sustainability Vision and long-term corporate vision, Toray Vision 2030, Toray aims to use the HFUG and membrane technologies in RO, NF, UF, and MBR resolve global water challenges.
What Brings Us Happiness? Panasonic Answered Through "Robotics for Well-Being" Webinar
▲ Panasonic's panel session with a theme of "Robotics for Well-Being" was held as a webinar due to the cancellation of SXSW 2020. (Image from Panasonic website) Due to COVID-19, the world's largest content festival, SXSW 2020, which was scheduled to be held in Austin, Texas, from March 13 to 22, has been canceled. However, as everything is being digitalized, on the morning of April 9, the "Robotics for Well-Being" Panel Session hosted by Panasonic was held as a webinar through the video conferencing service Zoom. The speakers of the session were Takeshi Ando, Head of the Panasonic Aug Lab, Ann Greenberg, CEO of Entertainment AI, and Harold E. Puthoff, CEO of EarthTech International. Each speaker commented on how technology can help business, science, and entertainment combine and create new solutions to make human's lives happier. They discussed how to understand reality and enrich experiences through "human-centered storytelling" and technical solutions. The session also presented how AI, robots, and human assist devices can bring happiness at the physical, emotional, and social levels. ▲ Takeshi Ando, Head of the Panasonic Aug Lab ▲ "Babypapa" for families with babies (Image from Panasonic website) Panasonic Aug Lab, which Takeshi Ando belongs to, is a division that researches ways to improve the quality of life using AI and technology. He introduced the works going on in this lab. First, Tomato Harvesting Robots and Delivery Robots that deliver goods while avoiding obstacles safely in hospitals, etc., were mentioned to explain that it is possible to improve productivity and efficiency through automation. Also, he showed a wheelchair for patients with cerebral palsy, which was conducted at Waseda University in 2010 by him. He said that it brought great happiness to patients and their families.Ando showed the graphs of GDP and life satisfaction in Japan and the US. In the graphs, GDP continues to rise, but life satisfaction remains the same or gets worse in both Japan and the US. So, "It is not just Japan's problem. It is a global problem. We need augmentation through automation with robots," he said. The word 'Augmentation' in the Panasonic Aug Lab is an effort to enrich life and add happiness. He also stated that well-being requires efforts in physical, emotional, and social levels.As a prototype that can bring well-being from all those aspects, Babypapa, was introduced. Babypapa is a robot developed for families with babies. It helps children who are alone to be bored, to observe facial expressions, take pictures of the most beautiful and precious moments, and improve social experiences. Ando explained that Babypapa makes it possible to share sincere and steady emotional sympathy without forcing communication. He also added that it is okay to use only one, but if three units are used, they can work together to create a better synergy effect."More than 700 ideas are coming out of the Panasonic Aug Lab, and about 20 projects are in progress. Panasonic strives not only for social well-being but also for individuals'. As COVID-19 isolated people and we are all in a physically and mentally debilitating state, it is time to develop new technologies using AI, 5G, and robots," said Takeshi Ando. ▲ Ann Greenberg, CEO of Entertainment AI ▲ Ann Nonymous™ advocates for a high tech-future as a virtual human. A pioneer of digital media who developed the democratization of media, Ann Greenberg first introduced her company, Entertainment AI (or Sceneplay Inc.). Entertainment AI is a smart content company that enables users to appear in content along with their friends and favorite creators and gets all participants paid through the automation of media creation. The automation could be done by using Smart Script, which is a tool that generates smart content. The smart content can be personalized according to the needs of users after micronizing the content and making every element cryptographically secure. Ann emphasized Hyper-personalization' and Human-centered Storytelling. Hyper-personalization can be realized through the smart content provided by Entertainment AI, and it changes depending on who the user is and what they want with any media such as live actions, animations, puppets, and even robots. And when it comes to Human-centered Storytelling, she explained that it corresponds to the ultimate goal of Entertainment AI and said: "We are all protagonists in the story of our lives, and anyone can be a creator." Ann introduced the prototype, Ann Nonymous, which is currently being studied at the company. She explained that Ann Nonymous is the world's first collaborative virtual human and influencer based on Entertainment AI's "Big Sister" platform. The Big Sister platform is contrary to the term "Big Brother," which originated in British novelist George Orwell's "1984." Moreover, she added that it advocates for a high tech-future with a human heart. "Technology will help overcome the limitations of social distance and communication caused by COVID-19. As the age of co-creation is approaching, it will be possible to create a society of more advanced technology by harmonizing robots and various creativity that humans can create," said Ann Greenberg. ▲ Harold E. Puthoff, CEO of EarthTech International ▲ To The Stars Academy (TTSA) is working on a lot of research to improve social well-being. (Image from TTSA website) Founder of EarthTech International and physicist of Stanford Research Institute, Harold E. Puthoff introduced himself as "a someone who always stands at the intersection of Biology, Physics, and Technology with passion for searching for solutions to impossible problems and opportunities where others see difficulties." Then, he cited the Casimir Effect, which is caused by the quantum-theoretic effect of vacuum, to explain that any new kind of energy source with potential will power micro-devices that assist humans in achieving harmony with nature and with each other, like Casimir force. Moreover, Puthoff explained Secure Communication as a technique that can be explained through quantum physics theory. The electromagnetic field that we are currently using in Wi-Fi or radio is affected by geophysical factors, plasma, water, etc., but as for Electromagnetic Potential of quantum physics, even electromagnetic shielding cannot be a barrier. He said that this new form of secure and private communication could provide stability in our lives.He then referred to the Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) developed by Stanford University as an example of the micro-devices mentioned above. This interface is a device that translates neuronal information into commands capable of controlling external software or hardware such as a computer or robotic arm. "Tapping, understanding, and manipulating brain waves and synaptic energy will enhance emotional, physical, and social human well-being," said Puthoff.Lastly, Puthoff introduced To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA). He co-founded TTSA with Tom DeLonge, and many scientists are working to create a more advanced society and open new paths at TTSA. It focuses on collecting and researching anomalous data to develop technologies. In particular, its entertainment division aims to tell people complex and challenging scientific theories and techniques with easy and fun stories.
Liebherr Container Cranes secures further megamax cranes orders for German Ports
Killarney (Ireland), October 2019 - Liebherr Container Cranes are pleased to announce that they have received an order for two megamax ship to shore (STS) container cranes for the MSC Gate Terminal Bremerhaven. The cranes which are due for handover before the end of 2020 have an outreach of 73 m (25 container rows), a backreach of 25 m, a span of 30.48 m and a lift height over rail of 51.2 m which makes them amongst the largest cranes sold by Liebherr and easily able to handle the world’s largest container vessels. MSC Gate Bremerhaven is a joint venture between EUROGATE and TIL Terminal Investments Limited, a related company of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, and which operates the berths and terminal facilities exclusively for MSC vessels. Earlier this year, EUROGATE placed an order with Liebherr for 6 megamax STS Cranes for their container terminal in Hamburg. The cranes will be delivered and handed over by the summer of 2020. In 2018, Liebherr delivered six similar ultra large STS cranes to the North Sea Terminal, Bremerhaven and have received an order for an additional four cranes, due for handover next year. The cranes for MSC Gate Bremerhaven will be the latest in a long line of STS cranes delivered to the Hamburg/Bremerhaven region and will mark the 22nd and 23rd large ship to shore crane delivered since the start of 2017 when the first two of five STS cranes were delivered to HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort in Hamburg. “Recent years have seen Liebherr establish and grow our presence at a number of different ports and terminals in the North Sea.” Says Gerry Bunyan, Sales and Marketing Manager with Liebherr Container Cranes. He continues, “We are delighted to be part of our customers’ success stories as they drive business at some of Europe’s largest ports. Liebherr Container Cranes takes great pride in building long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with our customers and we look forward to building on our recent successes in the region.”
CAM Strategies From OPEN MIND Make Ultra-Smooth Surfaces a Reality
Wessling (Germany), 16 September 2019 – OPEN MIND offers a number of strategies for high-precision processing as standard functions within it hyperMILL® CAD/CAM suite. hyperMILL® allows tolerances in the µm range and ultra-smooth surfaces to be created. This often makes reworking processes like secondary polishing or hand finishing obsolete. The “Surface Precision Mode” option achieves higher quality surface finish on machined surfaces compared to traditional methods. This capability is a standard feature within hyperMILL CAM software. Toolpaths are calculated using the actual part surface model (and not an approximated calculation model). This allows tolerances in the µm range and ultra-smooth surfaces to be produced. Indiscernible transitions A further component for high-precision surface processing is the “Smooth Overlap” function to improve blending between tool path regions. The cutter path has been optimized to generate a perfect, barely perceptible transition between adjacent surfaces or tool path regions. The user can easily control the smooth overlap parameters, if needed. Precise edges In order to improve the machining result for component edges, the boundary of selected milling surfaces can be extended during programming by using the “Automatic Face Extension” function. These adjustments are made with a selection within the CAM strategy. It greatly simplifies programming since users no longer have to switch to the CAD system to make these adjustments. As a modern and flexible CAM solution, hyperMILL® features options for highly precise processing in many of its standard strategies. This concept is being further expanded. Future strategies will enable increased manufacturing precision and improved surfaces with options for high-precision milling.
RoboCup WM 2019: B-Human aims to regain the title
This summer, the football robots of B-Human are also playing for the World Cup. In Sydney, the team supported by CONTACT Software is now competing against the world's best teams to win the RoboCup World Championship again. B-Human - the team of the University of Bremen and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) - is the most successful one in the RoboCup Standard Platform League. In Australia, the reigning German Champion and Vice World Champion will fight from 2 to 8 July 2019 to bring the World Cup in robot football back home again. DEEP LEARNING This year a new robot version is being used for the first time: the NAO V6. Its computing power is many times higher than that of its predecessor and enables the execution of particularly sophisticated algorithms. However, the software that each team develops itself is decisive for victory. The declared goal of the RoboCup is to get closer and closer to the rules of human football. The game processes are becoming more and more demanding and require new algorithms adapted to the complexity. For example, the tournaments no longer take place in exhibition halls under constant artificial light, but preferably near large window fronts and thus under changing lighting conditions. In order to master these difficult conditions for machine image processing, B-Human is increasingly using deep learning methods. The Bremen team will present its scientific work on this topic at the RoboCup Symposium following the World Championships. TECHNICAL CHALLENGE In addition to the competition games, B-Human also takes part in the so-called Technical Challenge. This year's challenge is to locate the referee whistle correctly and as quickly as possible. In addition, the Bremen team will show how two NAOs lead a team colleague with "blindfolded eyes" - i.e. concealed cameras. "B-Human has been playing at a consistently high level for years and has already become world champion six times," says Dr. Roland Drewinski, Head of Marketing at CONTACT Software. "We keep our fingers crossed that this will also work in 2019."
James Watt engine steams back to life with 3D-printed model
A team of University of Glasgow students have used cutting-edge construction technology to build a model of one of James Watt’s pioneering steam engines, two centuries after his death. Members of the School of Engineering’s JetX student society spent five months putting together a 3D-printed scale model of a Boulton-Watt steam engine. Their model, which is about a metre in length, uses more than 800 parts. The design builds upon the earlier adaptation of Oliver Smith’s drawing for a model-sized beam engine by John Fall. The result is the largest additively manufactured working model of this design which features over 150 3D-printed parts - a process which took 845 hours of printing in total, consuming more than 2.2km of printing filament in the process. While the original model was run on steam, the model uses an additional gear to move itself and demonstrate the engine’s range of motion at the touch of a button. The model will be on display at the University Library from Thursday 6 June as part of a public exhibition which explores Watt’s life, achievements and legacy. Watt was working as an instrument-maker at the University of Glasgow when, in 1765, he made improvements to a Newcomen steam engine, adding a separate condenser which made it vastly more efficient. His insight helped kickstart the industrial revolution and create the modern world. The library exhibition the latest in a year-long series of events at the University to mark the 200th anniversary of Watt’s death, which include a symposium and public lecture on the University campus today (Wednesday June 5). Also kicking off on Thursday is the 13th annual Glasgow Science Festival, which this year is themed ‘Glasgow STEAMS ahead’ in honour of Watt and will feature numerous Watt-related events during its run until June 16. Chris Triantafyllou, president of JetX, led on the design and construction of the model. He said: “The past five months have been very busy but we’re really pleased with the final model. The whole building process utilised a lot of design and prototyping practices we've learned throughout the years of developing jet engine models. “The University of Glasgow is rightly proud of its association with James Watt, and his legacy helps make it an inspiring place to study. We’re glad we’ve had the chance to contribute to the University’s 200th anniversary celebrations, and we hope that visitors to the exhibition in the library get as much enjoyment out of it as we do.” Professor Colin McInnes is the University’s James Watt Chair, Professor of Engineering Science. He said: “The JetX team have achieved something remarkable with the construction of this model, which is a fitting tribute to the vision of James Watt in this bicentenary year. “The engine is stunning, and credit to JetX for their imagination, dedication and diligence, not just in this project but also in their self-directed jet engine designs. The School of Engineering is keen to instil in students the importance of creative thinking in engineering, and JetX are a prime example of how creativity can inspire exciting new projects.” The award-winning JetX Engineering society is a club for jet engine enthusiasts, and provides engineering students with the chance to design, develop and build models of the types of engines used in the modern aerospace industry. Since the society was established in 2014, its members have successfully completed two sub-scale testing models which include real-time monitoring systems and formed a partnership with the University of Sheffield’s Control, Monitoring & Systems Engineering University Technology Centre. The Jet-X team’s model will be on display in the University of Glasgow Library on Hillhead Street from Thursday 6 June until the end of the year.
Bucket manufacturer Lennéers chooses Hardox wear plate from SSAB for increased wear resistance and reduced weight
Swedish bucket manufacturer Lennéers uses Hardox wear plate from SSAB in all its products. Hardox abrasion-resistant steel enables Lennéers to deliver top-quality construction and agricultural equipment that is strong, light, and long lasting. Founded in 2015, Lennéers is a Swedish producer of construction equipment and, more specifically, buckets, for use in construction projects. While Hardox wear plate from SSAB is used in all Lennéers’ buckets, some 80 percent of its products also carry the Hardox In My Body certification. When a product is branded with Hardox In My Body, this certifies that it is made from Hardox wear plate and will therefore deliver unsurpassed wear resistance and impact strength, saving time and money down the road. Lennéers manufactures a total of 31 different Hardox In My Body-branded excavator, VA, sorting, cable and planning buckets. “Our customers demand equipment that will stand the test of time,” says Lennéers’ founder and managing director, Dennis Lennéer. “They also want it to weigh less to optimize fuel efficiency.” When products are exposed to tough conditions in the field, it is crucial that they are made from the best material. Lennéer believes Hardox wear plate from SSAB makes sense for customers from the point of view of both quality and cost. “A cheap product often doesn’t end up being cheaper down the line,” he says. “With this material we can guarantee that our products will last longer than competitor products that aren’t made from Hardox.” Habib Asgari has been working as a welder at Lennéers for about a year. He is responsible for welding and assembling the buckets. “Hardox is different to other materials because it’s so easy to weld. From a production perspective it’s a good material to work with,” he says. So far, the market has been positive to Lennéers’ products and business is good. Dennis Lennéer says the main success factors are his company’s ability to listen to customers and respond to their demands, along with the strength of the Hardox brand. “The customers didn’t choose us at first. It wasn’t until we implemented Hardox that business started booming. I would go so far and say that the sales have increased with 200-300 percent,” he admits. “Working with SSAB is a no-brainer,” he continues. “Partly because it’s what our customers want but also due to the product development support we receive from SSAB. This helps us select the right material and design the best possible products for the future.”