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Industrial Robotics & Automation

Industrial Robotics & Automation

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For more than 35 years, SwRI has been developing innovative automation and robotics solutions. World-class experts and experienced engineers comprise the automation engineering staff. Automation engineering facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories and large prototype areas for development.

Innovations in Automation Blog

Cybersecurity in the Age of Connected Industrial Robotics

Go to blog post: Cybersecurity in the Age of Connected Industrial Robotics

Industrial robotics continue to rise in levels of autonomy, intelligence and complexity, which enables them to fill more roles within the manufacturing process. However, as those systems rise in their independence, the need to ensure they are secure against cyberattacks has risen accordingly. Identifying the risks to robotics systems and corresponding solutions will help prevent costly cyberattacks to industrial control systems in the future.

Designing a Confined Space Robot for Complex Tasks with High Force Processes

amc confined space robot

One of the biggest drivers for automation is keeping humans out of dangerous situations. While significant effort has been invested in automating dangerous tasks in open environments, similar focus has not been placed on applying automation technologies to confined spaces. A major obstacle to this has been developing systems that can move in a physically constrained environment yet also have the stability to carry out high-force processes such as drilling, sanding, contact sensing and media blasting.

Robotic Inkjet Printing on 3D Surfaces

robotic inkjet printer

Inkjet printing methods on 2D surfaces have been a mature technology for many years within the high-resolution printing domain. Today, this technology is being expanded to 3D surfaces via robotic systems. At Southwest Research Institute, a large-scale prototype with industrial inkjet printing heads mounted to a robotic manipulator was developed, enabling digital graphic printing on 3D surfaces. Initially created for the aerospace industry, this inkjet prototype system was developed to apply colored graphics, also known as liveries, to the exterior of commercial aircraft. Since being demonstrated in 2019, SwRI has developed inkjet systems for other markets including automotive and logistics—printing both multi-colored graphics and non-graphical, functional fluids.