ADAM mobile robot RAPs
RMT Robotics implement audio playback to make working with ADAM robotics safer, informative.
RMT Robotics, a Cimcorp Oy company, announces the first implementation of its Adam RAP (Reactive Audio Playback) system at Otis Technology, a New York-based gun cleaning systems manufacturer and assembly operation. The new programmable sound system includes interactive voice messages and a mobile “vehicle in motion” jukebox for every mood and season. Together with the Otis operational group, RMT engineers customized the Adam sound application to play “text to speech” messages, sound bites or musical interludes that can be either actively or passively triggered in reaction to a variety of operational conditions and system inputs.
The Adam RAP application is designed to play various sound bites in response to queues embedded in the control system to enhance the user friendliness of the overall system. The use of sound (either voice or familiar noises/melodies) encourages the acceptance of Adam by the human workforce and minimizes potential monotony in the workplace by reducing the sound redundancy that occurs with traditional beeper based annunciations.
“In developing the Adam RAP module we wanted to create a “new vehicle in motion” function that not only improves safety but leverages the power of the platform to enhance the interactive experience between humans and the mobile robots that they work with every day,” said Bill Torrens, Director of Sales & Marketing for RMT Robotics.
Adam robots have been working side by side with Otis employees since July 2009, streamlining the manufacturing and assembly processes, and allowing workers to be redeployed into more value-added areas of the operation. In accordance with the company’s lean philosophy of continuous innovation and improvement, the employees of Otis met and voted to add the option of programmable sound to its Adam fleet. The initial purpose of the audio application was to proactively enhance safety in the work place, by raising worker awareness of the robots through a variety of sounds.
“Because of the low height of the Adams, we found a benefit in being able to use sound to track their location,” says Cara Peebles, Marketing Coordinator for Otis Technology. “While ADAM was originally equipped with both an obstacle avoidance technology and a standard beeping warning system the team opted to listen to music rather than the typical beeps in most warning systems. Like a mobile jukebox, music ADAM automatically plays music when it is in motion. Workers elected to listen to spooky noises and music for Halloween and reprogrammed their robots with Christmas tunes in December.”
“Now that Adam can “speak” and interact with workers, there is an improved harmonization between the work force and the robots that serve them,” says Torrens. “The fact that Adam can also entertain while enhancing safety and efficiency in the process is an added bonus.”
According to Peebles, future plans for their Adam robots include daily personnel announcements and reminders for company social events. “Ultimately, we are working towards an unprecedented level of voice interaction and are systematically exploring the boundaries of what software applications can do,” she said.
Control Engineering has a blog on Automated Guided Vehicles- Catch what's moving.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.