25 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Spot the robot dog joins MTC delegation to the Drives Show

The Manufacturing Technology Centre has been using the four-legged Spot robot to inspect orchards for pests and disease

Visitors to next month’s Drives & Controls Show will be able to see Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot “dog” in action. The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) will be bringing one of the handful of Spots in the UK to the show and will have experts on hand to discuss the four-legged robot which has starred in many YouTube videos. The MTC is already employing Spot in a project that is investigating the potential of using the robots to inspect fruit growing in orchards for diseases and pests, as well as determining when the fruit is ripe.

The Spot demonstration is part of the MTC’s significant presence at the show, including hosting a 100m2 pavilion and participating in several Talking Industry Live forums at the event.

The MTC’s group marketing director, Richard Watkins, says that one reason for the Centre’s presence at the Drives Show is to highlight the help it can offer manufacturers with the challenges they face as they emerge from the pandemic. A key focus will be on sustainable manufacturing and the drive towards a net-zero economy.

“We will be showcasing some of the practical support available from organisations such as the MTC and our wider High Value Manufacturing Catapult network – from new processes and technologies to supporting skills, productivity and growth across the UK manufacturing industry,” says Watkins. “We will also have some of our technology demonstrators on show, and our team will be on hand to discuss how manufacturers can access support and Government funding to accelerate productivity and growth.”

In one of the Talking Industry Live sessions, the MTC’s chief automation officer, Mike Wilson, will lead a discussion on robotics and advanced automation. In other sessions, speakers from the MTC will:
• debate with BT the topic of industrial networks, IIoT, 5G and communications; and
• take part in a discussion entitled: Bridging the Engineering Skills Gap for Factories of the Future.

As part of the Knowledge Hub series of talks, Mike Wilson will also present a new perspective on robotics and automation in the UK.

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