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Welcome to Kollmorgen's Blog in Motion.  We have been adding information and knowledge to the great web based world for many years - through white papers, technical documents, and even webinars.  Kollmorgen enjoys sharing our knowledge with you, as well as identifying other motion related tidbits through our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube feeds.  Our newest source is Blog in Motion, covering a wide range of topics, as well as some interesting contributing authors with lots of Motion experience.  If Motion Matters to you, stop by, follow, like, and sign up so you can stay tuned for what Kollmorgen has in store for you!

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are designed to move materials in factories and goods in warehouses. They are more friendly than manually operated vehicles and more flexible than fixed automation solutions such as conveyor belts.

Who you are defines how you think of robotics and automation.  Software experts and IT may think of internet bots.  They might also think about the new, emerging field of Robotics Process Automation (RPA), which is software that can do mundane and administrative computer tasks.  RPA reduces repetitive tasks such as checking, verifying and transferring data.  Manufacturing facilities will think about physical robots or cobots that are also deployed to handle repetitive tasks such as loading and unloading a CNC machine or installing a computer cover.  They can also be used to automate dangerous tasks such as lifting, welding or removing paint.

What is COTS?

12 Jun 2018
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What is COTS?  If you want info on COTS, let’s assume you’re somehow related to the defense industry. If you’re looking for info on camping equipment, sorry, but you’re probably in the wrong place… COTS is a term that has been thrown around the industry for almost 25 years now, but how is it relevant to us today? 

Short for Commercial Off-The-Shelf, COTS describes products that are manufactured and readily available for sale to the public that can be used on defense programs.  The Department of Defense defines this in the governing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as a formal term defining products (and services) that are available in the commercial marketplace that can be bought and used for government contracts.

Throughout the Iron Man series, Tony repeatedly tells the articulated cobot that he’s doing it wrong, he even goes so far to place a dunce cap on its head and put it in the corner. And this brings me to an important aspect of a cobot: teachability.

We’ve all seen the movies…the one where the ‘intelligent’ robots go off-piste and bring untold chaos to the human race.  It never really turns out rosy just as the end credit start to fall.

However, regardless of Hollywood’s ‘predictions’, no matter where I go or where I look (as part of my role in Kollmorgen’s Aerospace & Defence team) I am constantly tripping over a growing exposure to robotics and Intelligent robots in the Defence sector; air, land, sea and subsea.
Huge demand for robots, cobots, AI and Industry 4.0 is driving innovation hubs across the globe.  Whether the focus is software, industrial robots, cobots, medical robots or something else - the best way to facilitate and attract talent is to huddle around academic centers and universities.  Thus is born a Robotics Cluster, which is a group of entities that – formally or informally – locate in close geographical proximity.
A collaborative robot (Cobot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. This is in contrast with other robots, designed to operate autonomously. A "cobot" is a robot that works in tandem with a human worker. The assumption is that a cobot and a human can produce an end result better and faster than either could do working alone.

If you are a supplier of components or sub-systems (Tier 2, 3, etc.) into the Global Defense Market, you understand the high standards this industry sets for your products.  Exceptional quality, continuous reliability and long-term sustainability are imperative in an industry where most of the equipment is designed to protect the end-user: The Warfighter.

Over Christmas my family and I traveled to Cape Canaveral, Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Since the trip (and even before) my house has been a buzz about rockets, astronauts, count downs, stages, boosters, and did I mention rockets? Naturally, I was one of the 3 million people to watch the launch of the Falcon Heavy live. And over the last few days, there have been several things that I have found myself reflecting on – and it isn’t nostalgia for the space race – its excitement.

A collaborative robot (or Cobot) is a robot that is made to work with or interact with human co-workers. For most of us normal folks, the most well-known example is Tony Stark’s robotic arm. (For those reading who are wondering why I don’t refer to the arm as JARVIS, it’s because JARVIS is the AI and controls other things but not the robotic arm.) Tony has bit of an unhealthy relationship with the robotic arm, he insults it, puts it in a dunce cap, puts it in time out, or threatens to dismantle it. At which point the robotic arm usually hangs his robotic limb downward into sadness. But, the robotic arm is there to do work for Tony in his basement. He may have a large house, but he doesn’t want a 10-foot-tall robot behind a fence. He wants an assistant, a co-worker of sorts that can help build his Iron Man suits.

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