Published: Tuesday, 26 May 2015

PlansOur solution was conceived in the late 80's at the height of the cold war from robotics research at the National Bureau of Standards, now National Institute of Standards and Technology a government research facility and program funded by the Navy and Department of Defense. It was kept quiet due to moral reservations, its perceived value and lack of the supporting technology required.

The RCS project, originally Robot Control System was later renamed Real-time Control System when President Reagan halted government funding for robotics research in 1984. It was part of the AMRF, Automated Manufacturing Research Facility, project (video on youtube) who's purpose was to develop a fully automated factory for manufacturing items such as tanks that could be run 24 hours 7 days a week with no human interaction. Reagan then threatened the Russians with the Star Wars program (aka SDI, Strategic Defense Initiative). This was followed by Glasnost and the fall of the Berlin Wall. At that time we were being asked to work on an unmanned combat jet.

This research provided the foundation for and ultimately lead to the development of technologies such as the tomahawk missile and predator drones as well as creating many new standards for modern day manufacturing such as CNC machines and the like. After some 30 years these innovations have finally made it into industry such as the interchangeable robot grippers used in the Tesla factory and delivery cart robots used at Amazon.

This advancement in architecture was kept quiet until recent developments in wireless infrastructure, low power multi-type/multi-core processors, lithium battery chemistries and miniaturization of electronics driven by the smart phone industry have made it an attractive venture. In addition, with the advent of the social network and world economy, the political climate is such that we feel this technology is less likely to be used for aggression.


Additional links:

Print We didn't have the internet back then... Imagine that.

Journal of Manufacturing Systems

Cincinnati Milacron - T3

Video on - What you don't see in this video is the robot that unloads artillery shell bundles from a truck in the next room.

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