Saturday, September 14, 2013

Little known uses for robots

By Frank Tobe, editor/publisher, The Robot Report

Explosives Handling

Source: Dreamstime Stock Photos.
A Chinese firm specializing in explosives manufacturing has decided to upgrade over 100 installations with parallel handling robots from Adept Technology. In a similar vein, iRobot just won a $30 million contract from the U.S. Army for robotic systems to be used for bomb disposal and other dangerous handling missions by troops and first responders.


Paint Stripping

Rendering of robots lasering paint removal from plane. Source: CTC.
Paint stripping of air force jets by robot arms gripping lasers. "Automated laser de-coating is expected to significantly reduce labor, waste, environmental risk and overall cost," said the project manager of a joint effort between CMU's NREC, the US Air Force and CTC. The laser coating remover uses a continuous wave laser to strip paint and other coatings; it replaces the traditional abrasives or chemical paint removers which generate significant hazardous wastes and air emissions.


Concrete Checking

Click to see EPRI and NY Power Authority video of robot crawler climbing dam face with echo sounding sensor. Source: EPRI
A new crawler robot developed by the EPRI (Electric Power Industry Institute) climbs up vertical surfaces and inspects, analyzes, cleans and paints. The robot is perfect for places with difficult accessibility like the face and walls of a large dam or particularly hazardous places like nuclear facilities.


Vehicle Vault and Robotic Parking

Source: RoboVault brochure.
Vehicle vaults for secure storage of valuable vehicles and robot parking systems: the RoboVault system accepts and then transports the vehicle to a controlled storage area. When it is time to retrieve the vehicle, the process is repeated in reverse. Robotic Parking Systems has robotic parking installations from Florida to Dubai, and from Abu Dhabi to Hoboken, NJ.

Just Plain Wacky

A Brooklyn-based robot artist uses his creatures for various purposes. His latest production is as a choir and musician for a performance in a church. Chico MacMurtrie is his name and his website is Amorphic Robot Works. The NY Times did an in-depth story with lots of pics. A 2012 youTube video about the artist's New Year's Eve party suggests how it might sound.