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AMT Tech Report: Issue #188

Carbon ceramic brakes are the GOAT but not yet. Robots almost doubled around the world. The year of the robot. Top 8 AI/ML trends for 2022. Fast cars need to be made with fast networks.
Dec 17, 2021

“Don't take criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from.”

– AAA+, Exhibition Grade, Ultra-Premium Dad Advice

1. Carbon Ceramic Brakes Are the GOAT but Not Yet

As Jeremy Clarkson once said, “Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary – that’s what gets you.” So, allow me to pump the brakes on this video real quick. As you will see, carbon ceramic brakes are, in fact, the ultimate way to quickly convert a wheeled vehicle’s kinetic energy into thermal energy or heat … That is, on paper. There are two fatal flaws to carbon ceramic brakes that this glorified ad for Brembo merely hints at: Cost and manufacturing. Those two things are inversely proportional. If one of them is high, the other is low.

Carbon ceramic brakes alone cost more than most cars because the current state manufacturing process for them is terrible. “But if you pay the high price for them, you’ll actually save money because they’ll last forever!” Sure, they SHOULD last forever, but because manufacturing them involves weeks of manual, non-automated tasks, they’re made poorly and will need to be replaced just as soon as cast iron. We’re not there yet, but we will be. Don’t worry. In the meantime, I’d avoid the $7,000 dealer option because I can’t stomach a $30,000 brake job. Wait for the manufacturing process to be automated.

Watch the video here.

2. Robots Almost Doubled Around the World

I come bearing graphs! Well at least one graph. Whatever, man – here are some tangible numbers: “The use of industrial robots in factories around the world is accelerating at a high rate: 126 robots per 10,000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries – nearly double the number five years ago (2015: 66 units), according to the 2021 World Robot Report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).” There’s a red shift in robotics!

Read more here.

3. The Year of the Robot

Here’s what Pieter Abbeel, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab, co-director of the Berkeley AI Research lab, co-founder and chief scientist of Covariant, and host of the The Robot Brains podcast has to say about the next phase of robotics.

Read more here.

4. Top 8 AI/ML Trends for 2022

All aboard! This train’s leaving, and whether you like it or not, the future of manufacturing technology and our industry will be greatly influenced – if not dependent on – some of these trends! Pack your bags for 2022, or get left behind. “The AI/ML industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33% by 2027. Estimates suggest that businesses will have at least 35 AI initiatives in their business operations by 2022.”

Read more here.

5. Fast Cars Need to Be Made With Fast Networks

Ben and I spoke about this on one of our recent podcast episodes, but we love talking about cars, and actual industrial use cases for 5G networks don't get enough attention. So, this bears repeating: “Networking, digitalization and automation are shaping not only the vehicles, but also the production processes of the future. The 5G research network in place in Leipzig makes it possible to test a variety of systems in the production context that would benefit from a switch to wireless communication, and the mobility enabled by it, in a risk-free and flexible manner. The application of the network is being piloted in the body shop.”

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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