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Robots have traditionally been taken up more by large manufacturing firms, which could invest in both the technology and a supporting infrastructure. But, as costs continue to fall, the technology itself is changing in ways that mean robotics can benefit almost any manufacturing environment. As well as advances in robot mechanics and developments in their controllers, the integration of robots with sensors is powering a new future for new and traditional users alike. Robots are routinely rigged to incorporate proximity, touch or laser sensors, but recent advances have shown that machine vision (MV) technology can also be used with robots. A new generation of vision enabled robots is able to make decisions based on sensory feedback from their environment. They can adapt to perhaps any manufacturing scenario.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2004-Jan. 2004