AIA Albuquerque

FUSE Makerspace is hosting AIA ABQ Summer 5×5

The FUSE Makerspace is hosting the AIA ABQ Summer 5X5 event put on by the American Institute of Architects in Albuquerque. This event involves five 5-minute presentations on innovation and trends in architecture. Come see Chris Ziomek from Build With Robots present the latest technologies and applications of robots in architecture.

Register here for the free event

  • Location: FUSE Makerspace, 101 Broadway NE Suite 3100, Albuquerque, NM, 87102
  • Date: Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Time: 5:30 to 8:00 PM

Presentations on Technology

  • James Bajek /  Midtown Metal
  • Dana Benjamin / OddAxe Industries, LLC
  • Nicholas Couty / Couty Design Build
  • Adam Halpern / Kosh Solutions
  • Chris Ziomek / Build With Robots, LLC
Toyota AI Ventures

Toyota AI Ventures is Investing in Robot Startups

Toyota AI Ventures, in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), is looking for entrepreneurs to solve problems in the areas of artificial intelligence, automated driving, and robotics. This “Call for Innovation” is designed to spur innovation in robotics, specifically mobile manipulation technologies for assistive robots that help people in and around the home. Despite advances in robotics and industrial automation, Toyota sees a gap. Toyota is looking to invest up to $2M to get assistive robots that can work around and with people in the home. Their goal is to assist startups to develop hardware and software technologies that make robots safer, more useful, and more affordable. Applications are open now through October 31, 2018. Qualified startups will be evaluated for possible funding by Toyota AI Ventures.

Vision-Based Pick-and-Place

Vision-Based Pick-and-Place

This video demonstrates the advanced automation potential of collaborative robots. We created this vision-based pick-and-place demo in 30 minutes using a CoBot from Universal Robots with end-effector hardware and software from Robotiq. Plug-and-play camera hardware and software allow quick part teaching and design changes for a fast time to production. Robotiq’s object identification software uses machine learning to fully automate the pattern recognition process. A user does not need a background in robotics or vision to develop this type of application. One simply photographs the desired object and uses a software wizard to define the selection criteria. CoBot software accomplishes the rest of the finding and gripping of randomly-arranged objects. The Robotiq Wrist Camera is ideal for CoBot pick-and-place industrial applications where objects are not palletized of prearranged.

Will a Robot take my job?

Is a Robot going to take my job?

We often get asked this question about robots and jobs. Our simple answer is “no!”… but the detailed answer is much more complex. Yes, labor is shifting to robots for many low-skill jobs, especially ones that fit the “3 Ds” of Dirty, Dangerous or Drudgery. If you live in a high-wage region like the United States, most of these jobs have been already moved to lower-cost regions. On the flip side, robot automation creates new opportunities that extend well beyond replacing low-cost labor.

Three trends help illustrate the impact of robot automation on jobs:

(1) Robot technology has matured to a point where non-experts can quickly develop and deploy robot automation.

(2) For manufactured goods, the percentage of labor costs versus other costs (raw materials, electricity, transportation, etc.) greatly influences the economic advantage and adoption rate of automation.

(3) Collaborative robot (or CoBot) technologies enable people and robots to work together for better efficiency, quality, and safety, opening up applications in new markets beyond manufacturing.

Robot technology is becoming accessible to everyone

Robot technology has matured to a point where non-experts can quickly develop and deploy robot automation. Robot vendors have made big strides in simplifying their programming software. Much robot automation is now programmed via wizards and intuitive graphical interfaces. Machine learning is being applied to automate complex software algorithms (e.g. vision-based object identification). This ease of use makes automation more accessible to everyone, more available to entrepreneurs, and more open to new applications. Accessibility is a primary factor in disruption spreading to new markets – when a technology becomes available to everyone, the applications and users and innovation explode.

The labor percentage of manufactured goods is falling

For manufactured goods, the percentage of labor costs versus other costs (raw materials, electricity, transportation, etc.) greatly influences the economic advantage and adoption rate of automation. For many products, the labor cost of manufacturing is low relative to other costs. For example, this NY Times article shows why the average cost to manufacture one pound of yarn is lower in the United States than just about everywhere else in the world including China and India. As automation is added, labor costs are replaced by capital and electricity costs. Electricity is increasingly important for the cost and location of manufacturing. With relatively low energy costs, the United States is likely to on-shore more and more manufacturing jobs, in large part due to increased automation. And those US manufacturing jobs will provide higher-wages but be fewer in total number than the off-shore jobs that they replace.

CoBots leverage people and robots working together

CoBots are highly disruptive automation because CoBots are collaborative – they are safe to work alongside humans to augment dirty, dangerous or repetitive tasks. CoBots have built-in sensors that prevent them from causing injury in the event of a collision with a person or object. This enables CoBots to be used alongside people. There are many tasks that would be very expensive to automate, such as ones that integrate a multitude of sensory feedback or require complicated motion. Conversely, having a person do repetitive or dangerous tasks often does not make economic sense either. CoBots leverage the unique advantages of people and robots working together, and can achieve more efficient processes than either alone.

Conclusion: regional shifts in labor and manufacturing

Robots and jobs are related within a worldwide shift in the location and makeup of labor and manufacturing. Those regions that embrace automation, have a well-trained workforce, and have access to new technologies will win the race to innovate. For instance, China’s share of global manufacturing output has been flattening and may begin to decline if other regions continue to replace repetitive-task labor with automation.

Not only will robotics offer more efficiency and higher quality within manufacturing, robot automation will spill over into new markets such as hospitality and retail. Already there are novelty robot bartenders, robot fast-food cooks, and robot videographers to name a few new applications. At what point does robot automation become less of a novelty and more a requirement to be competitive? Our suspicion is that we are at an tipping point and the rate of change of robot adoption is going to accelerate.

So, how does our region of New Mexico fare in this economic shift? A recent study referenced by Albuquerque Business First notes that New Mexico gets a failing grade for the health of its manufacturing industry. This does not bode well for our region as new technologies like CoBots disrupt and transform the world’s manufacturing. There will be regional winners and losers as automation provides better economics and quality for medium and low volume manufacturing operations. Build With Robots is attempting to positively impact our region by making CoBot technology accessible to everyone. We are happy to partner with forward thinkers such as CNM Ingenuity, who are leading the way in building the workforce and business opportunities to benefit from this disruption.

Collaborative Robot Welding

Build With Robots now has a Collaborative Robot Welding System on the floor at the FUSE Makerspace.  The Collaborative Robot (CoBot) Welding System can be operated by a welding expert to improve safety, quality and productivity of welding operations. For most any MIG welding project, the CoBot welder can be setup within minutes and makes near-perfect welds.

In partnership with CNM Ingenuity, Build With Robots offers a complete course in CoBot welding. This hands-on class teaches welders everything they need to deploy and utilize a CoBot welder. By the end of the one-week course, participants will be able to quickly setup and MIG weld using robot automation. Contact Build With Robots for more details.

Robotiq Grippers, Force Sensors & Cameras

Build With Robots is partnering with Robotiq to bring more robot accessories to the New Mexico region. Robotiq is a leading manufacturer of end-effectors for robots and especially for CoBots. Their end-effector solutions include grippers, force sensors and camera attachments that come with complete turn-key application software. Robotiq’s tools and application examples greatly simplify CoBot integration, so factories can start production faster.

CoBot Photographer

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is working with Albuquerque dentist & entrepreneur Steve Wagner to automate his dental photography using a UR3 CoBot. As part of a Capstone senior design project, NMSU students have developed:

  • Fully integrated automation for the CoBot and camera
  • CAD-like software for mapping the CoBot and camera path in 3 dimensions around a focal point

With this CoBot photographer, Wagner Denture Group is able to quickly setup and take hundreds of photos of their custom dental castings and implants. This is one example of the partnership between NMSU, Build With Robots and New Mexico businesses to bring CoBot technology to new markets and applications. In addition to educating students in the latest technologies, we are helping to develop a CoBot-based technology hub and business ecosystem within New Mexico.

CoBot Bartender wins 3rd Place in UNM Tech Navigator Challenge

The inaugural Tech Navigator Challenge facilitated by UNM’s Innovation Academy concluded on April 27 with pitches to panels of judges. The eight-week contest involved 11 teams who presented commercialization plans for existing technologies from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, STC.UNM, and Build With Robots.

The Build With Robots team presented a novel application for a CoBot bartender which tied for 3rd place in the competition. The team, which includes UNM students Kyle Guin, Kyle Laktasic, and Mario Avalos, along with mentor Janeen Vilven-Doggett from Peacock Law P.C., will investigate further commercialization of their CoBot bartender concept including intellectual property protection. Congratulations to the CoBot Bartender Team on their 3rd place finish!

CoBots in Legendary New Mexico

Build With Robots and CoBots make an appearance on Fox/KRQE’s Legendary New Mexico series as part of The Next Generation of CNM.

Our partnership with CNM Ingenuity to bring CoBots to the FUSE Makerspace is helping to create leading-edge companies and a future-skilled workforce. The FUSE Makerspace is ground zero for prototype manufacturing to small business creation.  A subsidiary of CNM Ingenuity, FUSE cultivates dialog between makers and deal makers to keep the state on the cutting edge of innovation.

NMMEP CoBot Seminar at San Juan College on March 20, 2018

Build With Robots partners with New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NMMEP) to introduce collaborative robots to New Mexico’s manufacturers. As part of NMMEP’s mission to strengthen and grow New Mexico’s manufacturing, NMMEP is introducing CoBot technology to give New Mexico manufacturers a competitive advantage through advanced automation.

In partnership with NMMEP, Build With Robots offers CoBot seminars and hands-on CoBot application demos. These seminars introduce New Mexico manufacturers to CoBot automation and show how CoBots are used to automate quickly and cost-effectively. Because CoBots are safe alongside people and can be re-purposed easily, they are a valuable tool for manufacturers with medium-volume or high-mix production. Overall, the partnership between Build With Robots and NMMEP is creating opportunities for New Mexico manufacturers to grow and become more competitive through innovative technology.

Upcoming CoBot seminar:
Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 12 noon – 2 p.m.
San Juan College, QBC
4601 College Blvd. Room 5017/5020
Farmington, NM 87401
Registration info:
Denise Williams, 505-860-9961