If you long for the sort of space-age future once envisioned on the Jetsons, here’s one to watch: a robot-drone combo that could soon make garbage pick-up automatic.
ROAR, which stands for Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, is a joint project of the Volvo Group in collaboration with a Swedish waste-recycling company and engineering students at two Swedish universities and Penn State.
“Within Volvo Group we foresee a future with more automation,” says Per-Lage Götvall, Volvo Patent Coordination Manager. “This project provides a way to stretch the imagination and test new concepts to shape transport solutions for tomorrow.” The concept the ROAR team came up with is shown in this video.
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Additive manufacturing, sometimes known as 3D printing, is exactly what it sounds like. Working from a computer-generated 3D model, a “printer” puts down layer after layer of plastic or metal or ceramic, adding layers until the design is realized in a finished part.
“You’re reimagining components from the ground up,” says Rich Martukanitz, director of Penn State’s Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition, known as CIMP-3D. “You can manufacture components having features and characteristics that are near impossible to do with conventional processes. And you drastically cut manufacturing time, materials — and cost.”
Continue reading Manufacturing the future