PACE https://pacetoday.com.au Process & Control Engineering Tue, 22 Jan 2019 00:35:53 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 https://pacetoday.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/prime-creative-media-50x50.png PACE https://pacetoday.com.au 32 32 Still Working – ifm cables https://pacetoday.com.au/still-working-ifm-cables/ https://pacetoday.com.au/still-working-ifm-cables/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 00:35:53 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47813 ifm takes pride in how robust and reliable its sensors are. In this video Glenn Thornton and Roland Denholm from ifm Australia test the products in some fun but challenging ways, all the while showing that their products are still working.

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ifm takes pride in how robust and reliable its sensors are. In this video Glenn Thornton and Roland Denholm from ifm Australia test the products in some fun but challenging ways, all the while showing that their products are still working.

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Researchers develop 3D-printed piano-playing robot https://pacetoday.com.au/researchers-develop-3d-printed-piano-playing-robot/ https://pacetoday.com.au/researchers-develop-3d-printed-piano-playing-robot/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 02:55:44 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47809 Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. The robot hand, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, was made by 3D-printing soft and rigid materials together to replicate of all the bones and ligaments — but not the muscles or … Continue reading Researchers develop 3D-printed piano-playing robot

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Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist.

The robot hand, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, was made by 3D-printing soft and rigid materials together to replicate of all the bones and ligaments — but not the muscles or tendons — in a human hand. Even though this limited the robot hand’s range of motion compared to a human hand, the researchers found that a surprisingly wide range of movement was still possible by relying on the hand’s mechanical design.

Using this passive movement — in which the fingers cannot move independently — the robot was able to mimic different styles of piano playing without changing the material or mechanical properties of the hand. The results, reported in the journal Science Robotics, could help inform the design of robots that are capable of more natural movement with minimal energy use.

Complex movement in animals and machines results from the interplay between the brain (or controller), the environment and the mechanical body. The mechanical properties and design of systems are important for intelligent functioning, and help both animals and machines to move in complex ways without expending unnecessary amounts of energy.

“We can use passivity to achieve a wide range of movement in robots: walking, swimming or flying, for example,” said Josie Hughes from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, the paper’s first author.

“Smart mechanical design enables us to achieve the maximum range of movement with minimal control costs: we wanted to see just how much movement we could get with mechanics alone.”

Over the past several years, soft components have begun to be integrated into robotics design thanks to advances in 3D printing techniques, which has allowed researchers to add complexity to these passive systems.

The human hand is incredibly complex, and recreating all of its dexterity and adaptability in a robot is a massive research challenge. Most of today’s advanced robots are not capable of manipulation tasks which small children can perform with ease.

“The basic motivation of this project is to understand embodied intelligence, that is, the intelligence in our mechanical body,” said Dr Fumiya Iida, who led the research.

“Our bodies consist of smart mechanical designs such as bones, ligaments, and skins that help us behave intelligently even without active brain-led control. By using the state-of-the-art 3D printing technology to print human-like soft hands, we are now able to explore the importance of physical designs, in isolation from active control, which is impossible to do with human piano players as the brain cannot be ‘switched off’ like our robot.”

“Piano playing is an ideal test for these passive systems, as it’s a complex and nuanced challenge requiring a significant range of behaviours in order to achieve different playing styles,” said Hughes.

The robot was “taught” to play by considering how the mechanics, material properties, environment and wrist actuation all affect the dynamic model of the hand. By actuating the wrist, it is possible to choose how the hand interacts with the piano, allowing the embodied intelligence of the hand to determine how it interacts with the environment.

The researchers programmed the robot to play a number of short musical phrases with clipped (staccato) or smooth (legato) notes, achieved through the movement of the wrist. “It’s just the basics at this point, but even with this single movement, we can still get quite complex and nuanced behaviour,” said Hughes.

Despite the limitations of the robot hand, the researchers say their approach will drive further research into the underlying principles of skeletal dynamics to achieve complex movement tasks, as well as learning where the limitations for passive movement systems lie.

“This approach to mechanical design can change how we build robotics,” said Iida. “The fabrication approach allows us to design mechanically intelligent structures in a way that is highly scalable.”

“We can extend this research to investigate how we can achieve even more complex manipulation tasks: developing robots which can perform medical procedures or handle fragile objects, for instance,” said Hughes. “This approach also reduces the amount of machine learning required to control the hand; by developing mechanical systems with intelligence built in, it makes control much easier for robots to learn.”

The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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RMIT research using sensor technology to trial ‘smart city’ management https://pacetoday.com.au/rmit-research-using-sensor-technology-trial-smart-city-management/ https://pacetoday.com.au/rmit-research-using-sensor-technology-trial-smart-city-management/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 02:44:47 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47806 RMIT researchers are installing sensors throughout Rye on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular  to monitor traffic, parking, crowd numbers and even toilet usage to better manage holiday crowds. The collaboration between RMIT, Mornington Peninsula Shire and other partners is to use the sensor technology to explore how future cities might operate. RMIT University’s Associate Professor Flora Salim, … Continue reading RMIT research using sensor technology to trial ‘smart city’ management

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RMIT researchers are installing sensors throughout Rye on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular  to monitor traffic, parking, crowd numbers and even toilet usage to better manage holiday crowds.

The collaboration between RMIT, Mornington Peninsula Shire and other partners is to use the sensor technology to explore how future cities might operate.

RMIT University’s Associate Professor Flora Salim, the project’s lead researcher, said traffic sensors would feed into smart signs displaying real-time availability of parking, while also guiding traffic to the least congested route.

“We’re also putting sensors on BBQs and in bins to let council workers know when they need attention, and air quality sensors at toilet blocks,” Salim said.

“Even the historic Rye Pier will have air and water quality sensors.”

The initial trial is monitoring more than 650 parking spaces, 20 bins, five toilet blocks, four BBQ facilities as well as 1 km of the main shopping street and 9 Ha of foreshore area. The sensors are currently being installed and trialled over this summer and the next, with the project to continue rolling out over subsequent years.

But Salim said smart street signs and facility monitoring was only the beginning.

“Eventually we’ll be using artificial intelligence for predictive modelling of all this data for towns all along the coast, trained on historic data but also informed by weather and events information,” she said.

“Local government will have dashboards with all this real-time information as well as forecasts for infrastructure development, while visitors can use an app to plan their ideal trip to the beach with the best route, parking and beach facilities.”

Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor, councillor David Gill, said the project was driven by high tourism demand on the Peninsula, particularly during the summer and holiday season.

“Rye township has been inundated with visitors, increasing pressures on parking, traffic, and amenities,” Gill said. “This project will allow the shire to demonstrate the use of smart technologies to improve liveability of busy towns, for example finding a park.”

Following the tests, the system will be replicated and scaled up for other beachside towns along the Mornington Peninsula with high demand pressures.

Salim said that the next 10 years would see this kind of data-driven technologies used more and more to better organise cities.

“Truly smart cities need to be able to aid both the citizens as well as local governments in making intelligence-informed decisions or even automating and delegating some of these planning decisions,” Salim said.

“For planning purposes, operational managers will be able anticipate seasonal, regular and irregular mobility and usage patterns by residents and visitors, who in turn can truly enjoy living in and visiting the shire without the stresses or traffic, finding a car park, knowing which beach is least crowded or which BBQs will be available along their route.”

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Women in STEM ambassador to launch 10-year plan at UNSW https://pacetoday.com.au/women-stem-ambassador-launch-10-year-plan-unsw/ https://pacetoday.com.au/women-stem-ambassador-launch-10-year-plan-unsw/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 02:25:06 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47803 Australia’s first ambassador for Women in STEM, astrophysicist Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, is to join UNSW as Professor of Practice in Science Communication. UNSW has also been named the host organisation for her Women in STEM ambassador role. Harvey-Smith, an award-winning astrophysicist with 15 years’ experience conducting and publishing fundamental astrophysics research at universities and research … Continue reading Women in STEM ambassador to launch 10-year plan at UNSW

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Australia’s first ambassador for Women in STEM, astrophysicist Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, is to join UNSW as Professor of Practice in Science Communication. UNSW has also been named the host organisation for her Women in STEM ambassador role.

Harvey-Smith, an award-winning astrophysicist with 15 years’ experience conducting and publishing fundamental astrophysics research at universities and research institutes, said she was excited to embark on a new challenge after over a decade of research.

“After 15 years of conducting research into the mysteries of the universe and developing some of the world’s most technologically advanced astrophysical observatories I am now taking on a new challenge: to help smash barriers to inclusion in STEM and to create a stronger, more inclusive STEM sector fit to drive Australia’s economic success in the coming decades,” Harvey-Smith said.

She said her immediate priority would be to help develop and launch Australia’s 10-year plan for Women in STEM, which will provide a roadmap for developing and retaining the talent pipeline that we will need as a nation to embrace the new industries of the 21st century.

“I’m delighted to be joining UNSW – which is already engaged in developing diversity of talent and an inclusive culture as a cornerstone of the University’s 2025 strategic plan,” Harvey-Smith said.

“I’m looking forward to tackling this important role with a talented and committed team around me.”

UNSW’s dean of science, Professor Emma Johnston, said she was thrilled to welcome Lisa Harvey-Smith to the university.

“We are proud to welcome Lisa to UNSW as Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador – the appointment is crucial for Australia, as we need more women to enter, stay, and succeed in STEM areas,” Johnston said.

“One way to work towards that is to ensure girls and women have role models to look up to – and Lisa is an inspiring scientist and communicator.

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Industry 4.0 partnership formed between Swinburne, IMCRC and Sleep Corp https://pacetoday.com.au/industry-4-0-partnership-formed-swinburne-imcrc-sleep-corp/ https://pacetoday.com.au/industry-4-0-partnership-formed-swinburne-imcrc-sleep-corp/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2019 02:15:30 +0000 http://pacetoday.com.au/?p=47800 A partnership has been formed between Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), Swinburne University of Technology and Sleep Corp to boost advanced manufacturing in Australia. The partnership is to analyse Sleep Corp’s business and see what improvements can be made as they move towards Industry 4.0, with a view to move to fully automated manufacturing. … Continue reading Industry 4.0 partnership formed between Swinburne, IMCRC and Sleep Corp

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A partnership has been formed between Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), Swinburne University of Technology and Sleep Corp to boost advanced manufacturing in Australia.

The partnership is to analyse Sleep Corp’s business and see what improvements can be made as they move towards Industry 4.0, with a view to move to fully automated manufacturing.

Over two years, researchers from Swinburne will work closely with Sleep Corp to set up a Virtual Manufacturing System (VMS) that connects robotics-based machinery to a digital twin that will attempt to provide a faster and more flexible manufacturing approach to address changing customer requirements while maintaining cost competitiveness for the company’s range of products.

“Swinburne is at the forefront in delivering to Australian industry using transformative augmented and virtual reality tools,” said Dr Ambarish Kulkarni, who is a senior lecturer in computer aided engineering at Swinburne.

“Industry 4.0 has been implemented previously in manufacturing industries by Swinburne with sustained productivity and quality gains.”

Researchers will connect and integrate all manufacturing operations ranging from tailoring, cutting and sewing to packaging in one VMS application which then will be linked to SleepCorp’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and data analysis/analytics to provide enhanced visibility across the manufacturing value chain.

“This is another great example of how smart companies can collaborate with Australian Universities to undertake joint Industry 4.0 research and development programs that deliver real world outcomes,” said David Chuter, the CEO and managing director of IMCRC.

Sleep Corp, headquartered in Melbourne, is the home of the Protect-A-Bed brand as well as others including Buddies, Moonshadow, Dreampad and SnoreBeGone.

“Sleep Corp’s goal is to continue to be a proud Australian-owned and made manufacturer, exceeding retailers and consumers expectations alike, on a world stage, with an extraordinary offer that is delivered as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible,” said David Kaplan, founder and managing director of Sleep Corp.

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