Tag Archives: Robotics

Michigan VEX Robotics State Championships Feb. 19 at MSU

EAST LANSING – Around 500 of Michigan’s youngest robotic masters are coming to Michigan State University in East Lansing for the Michigan VEX Robotics State Championships, Sunday, Feb. 19.

Competitors from 48 high school and 28 middle school teams will gather in Jenison Field House during the tournament that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:15 a.m.

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2016 Breaks Records For Robot Orders, Shipments

ANN ARBOR — The Robotic Industries Association, the Ann Arbor-based advocate for the robotics industry, announced an all-time record in 2016 for North American robot orders and shipments.

During the year, 34,606 robots valued at approximately $1.9 billion were ordered in North America, representing growth of 10 percent in units over 2015.

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Record Number of Robots Ordered in First Half of 2016

ANN ARBOR — The North American automation industry has set new records to begin 2016, according to the Association for Advancing Automation, the industry’s Ann Arbor-based trade group.

A3 tracks the robotics, machine vision and motion control markets for its three member organizations, the Robotic Industries Association, AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, and the Motion Control & Motor Association.

A3 is at its highest membership level ever, welcoming 119 new member companies so far in 2016. A3 now represents 965 member companies directly involved with robotics, vision, motion control and motors.

Robot Statistics

A total of 14,583 robots valued at approximately $817 million were ordered from North American companies during the first half of 2016. The number of units ordered in the first six months marks a new record to begin the year, growing 2 percent over the same period in 2015, which held the previous record. Order revenue decreased slightly by three percent in the first half of 2016. In the same time, 13,620 robots valued at $838 million were shipped to North American customers. These figures represent the second highest total for units shipped and a new record for shipment revenue in the first half of a year.

The number of robots ordered by automakers and suppliers rose 16 percent and 4 percent respectively to begin the year, and was the largest driver of the market’s record performance. Similarly, the food and consumer goods industry soared in the first half of the year, ordering 41 percent more robots than the same period in 2015. Total orders to all other non-automotive industries fell 14 percent. In terms of applications, the biggest increases were realized in inspection (69 percent), assembly (38 percent), and spot welding (21 percent). RIA estimates that some 265,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to only Japan and China.

“The robotics industry is thriving today as more companies of all sizes are realizing the benefits of automation,” said Jeff Burnstein, A3 president. “The increasing functionality, flexibility, affordability and safety of robots today contributes to how this dynamic market is reshaping the global manufacturing landscape.”

Motion Control & Motor Statistics

Global shipments for motion control products grew 3 percent to $1.54 billion in the first half of 2016.

“The encouraging first half performance was largely driven by growth in three important product categories,” said Alex Shikany, MCMA Director of Market Analysis. “Two of the largest segments we track, actuators/mechanical systems (up 11 percent and electronic drives (up 8 percent), saw strong growth in the first half of the year. Motion controllers, one of the hottest current product markets, also increased by eight percent in the first half of 2016.”

The second quarter of 2016 increased on a year over year basis 5 percent to $820 million. The categories which grew the most in the second quarter were electronic drives (up 16 percent), actuators and mechanical systems (up 12 percent, and motion controllers (up 11 percent). Additionally, the latest MCMA survey of motion control and motor suppliers revealed that the majority of industry experts believe the market will increase in the next six months.

Vision & Imaging Statistics

The machine vision market entered 2016 on the heels of two consecutive record-setting years for sales in North America. Despite a 7 percent cyclical contraction in the first half of the year to $1.1 billion, which was largely tied to the stagnation in the semiconductor industry, the machine vision market in North America remains a key growth segment within the booming automation landscape.

As the “eyes” of emerging smart-factories and robotic systems, machine vision is critical to the success of next-generation automation solutions. Products such as smart cameras, which are complete vision systems contained within the same camera enclosure, are opening new application areas for manufacturers. In North America, the smart camera category has grown four percent year over year to $157 million in the first half of 2016.

Statistics from the second quarter of 2016 indicate that the cyclical slowdown this market experienced to begin the year is subsiding. For example, machine vision systems (which includes smart cameras and application specific machine vision systems) grew seven percent to $495 million, compared to the first quarter of 2016. Similarly, machine vision component markets, which includes cameras, lighting, optics, imaging boards, and software, grew two percent to $80 million. Correspondingly, total machine vision sales in the second quarter of 2016 increased six percent over the first quarter.

Burnstein also noted that A3 is seeing the growing demand for machine vision, robotics, and related automation in events like the upcoming Automate 2017 trade show.

“The exhibit floor at Automate 2017 is expected to be significantly larger than our 2015 event,” he said. “This growth is attributed to the fact that leading automation companies are reaching out to small and medium sized customers. These companies, many of whom are just now beginning to explore automation, make up the core of the Automate 2017 attendee base.”

Automate 2017, the industry’s trade conference, will take place April 3-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago. For details on Automate, which is held every two years, visit http://www.automateshow.com.

More at http://www.A3automate.org, http://www.robotics.org, http://www.visiononline.org and http://www.motioncontrolonline.org.

Robofest: A global celebration of human imagination and robot skill

SOUTHFIELD – Nearly 500 students on 176 teams from 10 nations competed Friday and Saturday in the World Championships of Robofest, a worldwide youth robotics competition held since 1999 at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

In keeping with the international nature of the competition, teams winning top awards were from China, Colombia, Ghana, Korea, and the United States.

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New Labs At LTU Part Of M2 TechCast

FERNDALE – In a segment of the M2 TechCast podcast, Joe Veryser, campus architect at Lawrence Technological University, describes the new $16.9 million Taubman Complex on campus that will house new laboratories for biotechnology, robotics and more.

The 36,000-square-foot building will also be the home of the Marburger STEM Center, a new office at Lawrence Tech intended to consolidate, promote and grow the university’s efforts to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and career choices among K-12 students.

What is intended as the first phase of a larger A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture, and Life Sciences Complex will provide Lawrence Tech students and faculty with much-needed classroom, lab, and work space to support emerging, multi-disciplinary programs. It will enjoy a prominent place on campus, linking the Science Building and the current Engineering Building, which also will be undergoing a major renovation.

The project will house the robotics program on the first floor, science labs on the second floor, and biomedical labs and open areas for student work teams on the third floor. Other spaces will be allocated in the modular design as technologies and needs evolve. It will open in August.

The building was designed to standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, an independent third-party appraisal system for high-tech green buildings. The new complex has advanced green plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems.

To listen to the rest of this story, click on this link.

The M2 TechCast is hosted by Mike Brennan, founder and publisher of Michigan Technology News, http://www.mitechnews.com, and Matt Roush, director of the university news bureau at Lawrence Tech. Both have been covering high-tech in Michigan as journalists for more than 20 years. The M2 TechCast airs live on the internet at 3 p.m. Eastern time Mondays at http://www.podcastdetroit.com. Past podcasts are available on demand at http://www.podcastdetroit.com/mi-tech-cast.

The M2 TechCast is part of Podcast Detroit, a network of more than 30 locally produced podcasts on a wide variety of topics, anchored by IT in the D. the nation’s No. 1 tech podcast, which regularly draws more than 300,000 listeners a week.

Robofest Returns To LTU

SOUTHFIELD — Early spring means that it’s Robofest season – all over the world.

Robofest is a festival of competitions and events with autonomous robots that encourages students – from fifth grade to college – to have fun, while learning the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), along with computer science.

Students design, construct and program the robots, which operate entirely autonomously in seven different styles of competition. Unlike other competitions that require a particular kind of robot kit be used, Robofest participants are free to use any robotics kits or components that they choose. Competitions are arranged at the junior (5th-8th grade), senior (9th-12th grade) or collegiate levels.

The international competition was designed and developed by Lawrence Technological University Professor CJ Chung, Ph.D.

Since 2000, nearly 18,000 students from around the world have competed in Robofest.

The Michigan Robofest championship will be held Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lawrence Tech’s Southfield campus. The Robofest World Championship will be held Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14, also at LTU.

Michigan preliminary competitions coming up in the weeks ahead are:
* Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bethany Christian School, Troy
* Tuesday, April 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, part of Michigan Robotics Day
* Thursday, April 7, 1 to 5 p.m., Emerson Elementary/Middle School, Detroit
* Friday, April 8, 5 to 9 p.m., University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Detroit
* Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Gallimore Elementary School, Canton Township
* Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Achieve Charter Academy, Canton Township
* Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Canton Charter Academy, Canton Township
* Thursday, April 14, 5 to 9 p.m., William D. Ford Career Technical Center, Westland
* Saturday, April 16, 2-7 p.m. Oakland County Executive Building, Waterford Township
* Saturday, April 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wayne County Community College District Western Campus, Belleville

Competitions for this year’s world championship are being held in 11 U.S. states, as well as in Canada, China, Egypt, India and Lebanon. Chung said Robofest growth has been especially strong in India, where there are four regional competitions this year, and in China, where the event is now covered by major newspapers such as China Daily.

Chung teaches coding courses for computer science majors in LTU’s College of Arts and Sciences, as well as for LTU’s robotic engineering program in its College of Engineering, a degree that combines mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. Chung says events like Robofest do a great job of teaching computer science – which is increasingly a graduation requirement in high schools – in a way that shows students the practical applications of the concepts they’re learning.

More at http://www.robofest.net.

2016 Michigan Robotics Day Coming To Ann Arbor

ANN ARBOR — Michigan Robotics Day will be held Tuesday, April 5 at the University of Michigan’s North Campus Research Complex.

The event will feature a technical keynote from Dr. Wolfram Burgard, professor of computer science at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and leader of the research lab for autonomous intelligent systems.

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2015 A Record Year For Fanuc — 400,000 Robots Sold

ROCHESTER HILLS — Fanuc America Corp., the Rochester Hills-based supplier of robotics and factory automation, said Monday that its parent company, Oshino, Japan-based Fanuc Corp., set a new record for production in 2015, with more than 400,000 robots sold worldwide during the year.

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LTU Hosts Robot Olympiad National Championships Saturday

SOUTHFIELD — On Saturday, Sept. 19, Lawrence Technological University will host the national championships to determine who will represent the United States at the World Robot Olympiad to be held Nov. 6-8 in Doha, Qatar.

The competition will be held at the Don Ridler Field House on LTU’s campus at 21000 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield. The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m., and the closing ceremony is scheduled to start at 4:40 p.m. The event is open to the public, and admission and parking are free.

For more information, go to http://www.wroboto.us.

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Macomb CC Sets ‘RET Days’ For Grades 6-12

WARREN — Thousands of middle and high school students are expected at Macomb Community College’s South Campus in Warren Dec. 2 and 3 for the college’s annual RET Days — Robotics, Engineering and Technology.

Companies and organizations are still being sought to participate by operating hands-on engineering and robotics activities at the event.

The event aims to give students the latest information on careers in robotics, engineering and technology, through the exhibitors’ activities. Past years’ activities have included programming robots, piloting remotely operated vehicles, programming 3D printers, making automotive clay models, and working in renewable energy technologies like biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, and solar powered vehicles.

Registration as an exhbitor closes Sept. 30. For further information, contact Valerie Corbett at vcorbett@macomb.edu or (586) 498-4002.

Sponsorships of the event are also available at levels ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. For more information, contact orbett or Kathleen Wentzel at wentzelk@macomb.edu or (586) 445-7212.

Registration to attend the event opens Oct. 1 and closes Nov. 11.

The event is held Wednesday, Dec. 2 and Thursday, Dec. 3 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 11:30 to 2 p.m. both days. The venue is the Sports and Expo Center (P Building) at MCC’s South Campus, 14500 E. 12 Mile Road in Warren. More at http://www.macomb.edu/RET.

Although the event is aimed at Macomb County students, students from anywhere are welcome — prior years’ event have attracted students from as far away as the Grand Rapids area and northwest Ohio.

The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, the Macomb Community College Foundation and the Macomb Intermediate School District.