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AMT Tech Report: Issue #300

High-performance manufacturing. AI chatbot with robotic arm control. Lost & found: Lead in Stanley cups. Common methods for finishing metal parts. ROS development alliance.
Mar 22, 2024

“The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.”

Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

1. High-Performance Manufacturing

Did you know Keanu Reeves has a bespoke motorcycle company? ARCH motorcycle makes bikes that look like a cross between a Britten V1000 and a Harley-Davidson FXDR. If you know, you know. If you don’t, take my word: They’re sick! But how do you guarantee the customer that their hundred-grand-plus motorcycle is money well spent? ARCH Motorcycle and Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division have teamed up to ensure quality control. The buyer’s spouse is their problem – unless they want one, too!

Read more here.

2. AI Chatbot With Robotic Arm Control

Covariant has developed an AI chatbot capable of controlling a robot arm. We are officially a step closer to merging LLMs with numeric controls – as in an AI chat that can spit out functioning G-code! Maybe someday. Like Tesla's data-driven approach, Covariant’s RFM-1 model, trained on text and real-world movements, shows promise for broadening robot capabilities. Challenges persist in obtaining diverse training data, but projects like RFM-1 advance robotics by connecting language understanding with physical tasks.

Read more here.

3. Lost & Found: Lead in Stanley Cups

What’s lost: understanding the craze over Stanley cups/mugs. What’s found: Some time ago, Stanley, a manufacturer of extremely well-insulated beverage containers for lizard people that need to stay hydrated with the coldest possible water on the go, was transparent (not quite common among corporations today) and said that there is a small quantity of safely contained lead in the base of their cups. The cool people at Lumafield, an accessible CT scanning company, scanned the cup and found exactly where the lead is.

Read more here.

4. Common Methods for Finishing Metal Parts

It’s time for another refresher course from Cutting Tool Engineering Magazine. Today, we’re talking honing and superfinishing metal parts. Honing involves generating perfect cylinders through wet abrasion with oil or water-miscible fluids. Superfinishing machines create mirror-like finishes using oscillating abrasives, competing with grinding for superior results. The next stage of finishing will see more new materials, which pose challenges but drive machine design innovation, and increased automation.

Read more here.

5. ROS Development Alliance

By collaborating with other companies and organizations, OSRA, the Open Source Robotics Alliance, aims to foster innovation, standardization, and interoperability within the robotics ecosystem, potentially leading to advancements in various applications such as AI, accelerated computing, and commercial robotics. Key industry players like Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Intrinsic are leading this initiative as "Platinum" members, indicating a significant commitment to support and develop these technologies.

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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