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AMT Tech Report: Issue #195

Ford Maverick: interior not included. The White House finally recognizes AM as emerging technology. People like working with robots. Pain-sensing semiconductors. Camshaft machining.
Feb 18, 2022

“I love the drawing board because most of the work I do is of half scale, so I can have the complete car in front of me, whereas the CAD system limits you to the size of the screen.”

– Adrian Newey

1. Ford Maverick: Interior Not Included

So, let’s say you’re thinking about spending $20,000 over sticker price (#chipshortage) for your new, underpowered, compact, economy pickup just so you can say you’re among the first to own one. You drive over to the dealer, and there it is! You eagerly open the door and look for a place to put your 64-ounce super-sized soda – only to find there’s no cup holder. The salesperson says, “It’s okay! The car comes with CAD files of its interior so you can 3D-print bespoke cup holders just for you!” Before Chevy and Mopar fans start laughing, please remember that American cars, in general, don’t have the strongest track record for automotive interiors. Seriously, it’s become cliché for automotive magazines to declare “Chevy finally gave the Corvette a nice interior!” with every new generation. They’ve been saying that since at least the debut of the C5 in 1996, and it’s still not true.

Read more here.

2. The White House Finally Recognizes AM as Emerging Technology

… after it’s already emerged. I’m not going to stop saying that; 3D printing’s here to stay. Sorry, not sorry. Anyway, the White House has updated its Critical and Emerging Technologies list. “The document builds upon the White House’s October 2020 National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies released by then President Donald Trump, and will inform a forthcoming strategy on US technological competitiveness and national security, in addition to potentially informing future efforts to prioritize the technologies named.” 

Read more here.

3. People Like Working With Robots

Through data analysis that extracted key themes from responses, Harvard researchers found that respondents’ attitudes were about 40% negative and 60% positive when it came to automation in the workplace. Well, there you go.

Read more here.

4. Pain-Sensing Semiconductors

“Korean researchers have developed a semiconductor that receives signals only when the stimulus is strong enough. This technology can facilitate the development of a robot that can feel pain from external stimuli.” OK, so it’s physical pain and not emotional. So, no, robots are not yet suitable drinking buddies. On the other hand, now would be a good time to start working on mechanical sympathy. Man, just when I thought Korean robotics and automation was cooling down, too!

Read more here.

5. Camshaft Machining

Dude, I seriously love ctemag.com. Is it the hottest and latest news ever? No. They don’t write what you want; they write what you need. Their stuff is all about appreciation. So, what are we taking the time to appreciate now? Camshafts are the “mechanical programming” that the common internal combustion engine needs to function properly. It’s clockwork. And just like actual clockwork, there’s a lot that goes into perfectly manufacturing the (arguably) most critical moving part in a piston engine.

Read more here.

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Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
Recent technology News
We are excited to welcome Silicon Valley Robotics (SVR) into the AMT community. Andra Keay, the managing director and founder of the non-profit robotics organization, has joined AMT as vice president of Global Robotics.
Collaborative robots (cobots) aren’t superheroes, but they are rescuing manufacturers of all sizes from the grip of a crippling labor shortage. Their ease of use and flexibility to take on many tasks are increasing their popularity.
We’ve seen an exponential growth in investments into robotics companies formed in the last 10 years, and every indicator suggests that this is just the start. There’s a growing demand for robotics and automation in the United States.
Robot capabilities are accelerating at a record pace. Get a grip on their unprecedented leap in capabilities by leading national robot expert Andra Keay, managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics, at AMT’s 2022 MFG Meeting, April 27-30, in Florida.
What funding data says about the future for robotics, additive manufacturing, and the software tying it all together.
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