03. January 2017

MSc Program Engineering Management - Excursion ROBOTICS LAB

Class 2016-2018 | Robotics Lab

In the course of the visit to the TU Wien Robotics Lab, the class of 2016/18 had the opportunity to experience a variety of systems first hand.
First, we were introduced to a CAD (Computer Aided Design) system, in direct (or indirect, via a USB port) connection with a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine, in this case a molding cutter in order to sharpen our perspective on the systems involved. As a contrast, the “classic“ molding cutter and turnery, to be fully manually set and adjusted, seemed antique.

YASKAWA Motoman, with a teach panel to program the robotic arms movements was next. Those robots can be used in variety of production functions across industries and are rather flexible in terms of adaptability and programmability (welding, palletizing, painting and handling robots, laboratory and clean room applications).

Furthermore, we did see “Billy and Billine“, basically, a programmable high tech toy robot from Korea, which is used as a practical research piece, for example, in terms of programming and communication between robots. Another, comparatively longer term project is ARCHIE. It is a humanoid robot project which started in 2004.

Last, but not least we had a short introduction to the world of robo soccer and the competitions and production/programming challenges around it. Conclusion of this visit is that Robots are no longer just used in industrial environments, factories, warehouses and laboratories. They aim to become part of the society we live in as well as part of our lives (domotics).

The passage of time will possibly bring lower costs and new technologies which will narrow the intelligence gap between robots and humans and will enable their widespread purchase. For the moment, highly advanced robots, especially humanoid ones, are found in comparatively limited numbers on the market, due to low demand and high prices. Nonetheless, it can be expected to see many changes still in this field in the future, especially in Japan and some other Asian markets where demand is high.



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