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AMT Tech Report: Issue #273

Additive? Maybe. Cool? Yes! Teaching robots with AI and VR. The end of cheap chips. Search and rescue robots. 3D printed dental aligners.
Aug 18, 2023

“If cats could talk to cops, they wouldn't”

– An anonymous non-cat, probably

1. Additive? Maybe. Cool? YES!

Thermwood has launched a novel CNC machining technique called cut layer additive. This approach mirrors layered 3D printing systems and uses machine learning software to transform CAD data into individual layers for assembly. The process involves machining each layer, which is then manually assembled into the final object. While the assembly is currently manual, Thermwood may automate this process in the future. The technique has already been used in the production of an aerospace tool and a drone pattern. 

Read more here.

2. Teaching Robots With AI and VR

Graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University are training robotic arms to emulate humanlike movements by using artificial intelligence and virtual reality. They found that using different augmentations of human movements significantly reduced the robot's learning time. The team plans to teach robots to work with deformable materials next, which may be beneficial for domestic assistant robots. 

Read more here.

3. The End of Cheap Chips

You think CPUs and GPUs are expensive now? Ha! I get that the United States might have standards and regulations that can slow stuff down, but how much of this is genuinely for the right reasons, and how much is just costly red tape? Tensions are rising between Arizona workers and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., as the chipmaker is requesting E-2 visas for Taiwanese workers, citing a lack of U.S. skill for their semiconductor factory’s construction. 

Read more here.

4. Search and Rescue Robots

Researchers are developing advanced search and rescue robots that can navigate disaster zones, potentially transforming disaster relief efforts. These robots can fly, climb, and roll to places that are difficult for humans to reach and can communicate with each other on missions. Despite various challenges, such as dangerous environments and signal loss, the use of robot teams has proven effective.These teams can be equipped with different tools to suit different conditions and can cooperate autonomously on tasks. 

Learn More.

5. 3D Printed Dental Aligners

When I was in elementary school, I had my braces replaced with a retainer. My parents paid $1,000, or about $1,775 in today’s money. Within a week, I’d left it on a cafeteria tray and tossed it. I saw my mom dumpster dive that day, only to emerge with no retainer and no dignity – but with an apoplectic disposition I had not seen before. AM might not stop child beatings but may decrease the severity! Full disclosure: My mom didn’t beat me. My parents sent me to an all-boys military boarding school. They beat me.

Learn More.

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Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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