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The History of Automation: The Birth of Robotics

Automated machines designed to perform a specific task autonomously have likely existed since recorded history, but we are lucky to have accounts of some of the earliest known works of robotics thanks to works written by ancient Greek historians such as Athenaeus. In his work, he references amazing devices mentioned in now-lost written works by Greek mathematician and inventor Ktesibios. Ktesibios, called the “father of pneumatics” studied and wrote on the science of compressed air and its uses in pumps and pneumatic devices. We can only imagine what we would know today if copies of his works such as Memorabilia had survived. Continue reading

Trends in Robotics worth Watching

Robots in industrial automation have been in use since the turn of the 20th century. Henry Ford installed the first moving conveyor belt in his Model T factory in 1913, beginning the first wave of automation of the plant floor. General Motors was the first to install an industrial robot for material handling. Now, robots are used to handle a variety of tasks autonomously, but the most popular industrial applications are robotic handling operations, robotic welding, and robotic assembly. About twenty years ago, 90% of the robots were used in automotive plants for repetitive work. Now, robots are about 50% in automotive and the other 50% in a variety of industries from warehouses, energy plants, hospitals and other industrial settings. Continue reading

Harvard Research Reveals a Revolution in Soft Robotics

New research from Harvard’s engineering program has enabled engineers to create a better ‘soft’ robot that vastly improves on older methods of making flexible robotics that mimic the way muscles and tissue move in nature. The research appears in Advanced Materials this month. Continue reading

Thursday Podcast – Interview with MSITec on Robotics and the Future of IoT and IIoT

This week we were lucky enough to have an opportunity to sit down with MSITec to talk robotics, IoT, and industrial automation. If you’ve been dying to check out some of the real-world applications of IoT, look no further than … Continue reading