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A club comprising eight UK firms has been formed to further the development of speech recognition with the aim of commercialising the technology developed at the National Physical Laboratory.
Today robots can be given a complete optical system with lenses, image sensors, multiplexing systems and computer. All of these are in minimal size and avoid the mainframe computer requirements previously necessary.
A comprehensive multisensor system using threedimensional vision, a laser rangefinder, an ultrasonic proximity sensor, and an infrared radar for position location, have been built into a mobile robot.
Linescan cameras, commonly used for simple gauging and inspection applications, now with the advent of the microprocessor, have powers of rudimentary intelligence such that they can be used increasingly with the machines of tomorrow.
One of Japan's largest distribution centres has introduced an automatic sorting system using voice input. The workforce has been halved.
A universal system for supplying components from a bowl feeder to an assembly line or directly into subassemblies has been developed by Skinko Engineering
This year's AUTOFACT WEST moved to California where, through its close attention to assembly, vision and tactile sensing, the exhibition and conference reflected advanced systems activity in this region of the US.
At a time when there is a seeming influx of imports the US is turning increasingly to the exploitation of its advanced technology and manufacturing research. One key area is that of sensor research which is likely to have major implications.
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