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Microsoft robots give a taste of factories in the future

Margi Murphy | April 15, 2015
Kuka robots use Microsoft's Windows, IoT and Kinect technology to assist employees on the factory floor.

Microsoft has teamed up with leading robotics manufacturer Kuka to create a self-standing robot that can work on factory assembly lines.

The robot, which uses the Microsoft IoT, Kinect and Windows software, can be remotely monitored from a tablet or device like the Microsoft Band wearable.

Demonstrated at Hanover Messe, an industrial fair in Germany this week, the Kuka machine, a lightweight, multi-jointed arm demonstrated how it could thread a small tube into the back of a dishwasher - a manoeuvre that would usually cause damage to the items due to the power of an automated movement.

If any problems occur and persist, an alert will be sent to a nearby technician, on their Microsoft Band or Windows tablet, who can also view the entire assembly line through a dashboard.

Microsoft said on its blog: "If a certain piece of the dishwasher is breaking more frequently than other pieces, for example, advanced data stream analysis can help understand what may be causing the issue or use predictions to recommend pre-emptive repairs with machine learning technology."

Kuka's chief technology officer said: "Robots serve as the link between IT and production, between humans and technology".

 

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