Developers and engineers already know that quality motion control is important to the success of robotic systems. Optimizing such systems for cost, precision, speed, and safety requires an understanding of the hardware components and software and how they are connected. The Robotics Summit & Expo 2019, which will be from June 5-6 in Boston, provides an excellent venue for learning about the latest motion-control technologies and commercial applications.
The global market for motion control and motors set new records last year, growing to $3.8 billion, according to the Motion Control & Motor Association, which is part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). It attributed that growth to increasing demand from robotics vendors, better data collection and analysis, and smaller drives such as frameless motors.
Motion control programming at the Robotics Summit
Robotics developers and engineers will find several relevant sessions in the “Technologies, Tools, and Platforms” track. For example, Doug Olson, president and CEO of Harmonic Drive will begin that track on Wednesday, June 5, with his presentation on “Emerging Technologies for Robotic Actuators.”
In the “Manufacturability, Production, and Distribution” track, Bradley Sauln, technical services engineer at Onshape, will discuss “Challenges for the Modern Robotics Designer.” Onshape provides computer-aided design (CAD) software, and Sauln will explain the importance of collaboration and the latest tools.
Commercial-grade robots need precise, multi-axis motion controls. In “Complete Motion Control System in the Palm of Your Hand,” Brian Mason, West Coast business development manager at Elmo Motion Control, will describe how miniature motion-control systems can accomplish this goal, as well as simplify programming and product design.
The difference between robots and other technologies is that they apply digital decision-making to the physical world. The panel on “Motion Control and Robotics Opportunities” will examine how new products and capabilities are leading to new applications and markets. Speakers will include James Klassen, chief technology officer at Genesis Robotics; Greg Zancewicz, vice president of business development at Motus Labs; and moderator Eugene Demaitre, senior editor at The Robot Report.
How can robotics developers take advantage of smaller, customized, and off-the-shelf components to meet demands for functionality and power efficiency? On Thursday, June 6, Carsten Horn, business development engineer at maxon precision motors, will talk about how the “outside-in, inside-out” approach will affect robot design.
As robots spread from factories and warehouses to work alongside humans, the need for safe motion increases. In “The Robotic Safety Landscape — What You Need to Know,” Ryan Braman, a test engineering manager at TUV Rheinland, will cover international standards, speed and safety monitoring, and which tasks are suitable for collaborative operation — and which ones aren’t.
Software is increasingly seen as the differentiator among robots, but developers should not overlook the importance of connecting it to good hardware design. Jach Schorsch, CEO of Innovative Mechatronic Systems, will explain the relationship and disruption of key robotics elements in “Hardware First: Democratizing the Physical Robot Will Drive Greenfield Development.”
Expo and events
Visitors to the expo floor will be able to meet more than a dozen exhibitors focusing on motion control, such as Bodine Electric Co., Celera Motion, CGI Motion, and HIWIN, in addition to the aforementioned Elmo Motion Control, Harmonic Drive, and maxon precision motor. Other relevant motion-control providers in Boston in June will include Festo, GAM, ifm, Lin Engineering, Performance Motion Devices, Renishaw, and Shinano Kenshi.
In addition, the networking breaks and receptions, the Future of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Workshop, the AWS RoboMaker Immersion Day (on June 4), and the colocated DeviceTalks Boston are opportunities for robotics developers to meet and learn more about design. Engineers can also take advantage of MassRobotics’ career fair.