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PCB007-June2020

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34 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Matties: Build it right, enjoy the profit, and in- vest it in smart ways rather than buying shelf space in your warehouse to store boards that people may or may not buy in the future. Williams: Yes, that's a conversation I've had a number of times. They'll say, "Why do I need ISO? I have great delivery and very few cus- tomer returns. I may be building 20% over, but I always fulfill virtually 100% of my orders." But what I tell them is, "Eventually, you're going to run out of customers willing to pay for that inefficiency because if you're building 20% over, you factor that into your quote and the customer's paying for it." As soon as a cus- tomer wises up, they're going to be gone. Matties: As long as there's a place for them to go, and that's my point. Is there a market dif- ference between one shop to another? Williams: Correct, and there's a market differ- ence between a lot of shops here and in other countries. One customer I have builds 30–40% over on a lot of part numbers to ensure they can make yield and ship a complete order be- cause a complete order is more important to them than parts going into inventory or scrap. It's all about the mindset. Holden: This is a pretty dynamic industry that constantly requires reinvestment in equipment and technology, or you can't continue to ship a product that people are designing. Any waste saps away from that money available for rein- vestment growth, training, or whatever it takes to stay in there. You wouldn't be in the busi- ness for a long time, or you'd eventually be making single-sided boards. Williams: I agree. Matties: Steve, thank you for sharing your ex- pertise here. We certainly appreciate you. Williams: Thank you. PCB007 objects, much like a Venus' flytrap, to pick up items that are as much as 100 times its weight. The new sensors let the gripper not only pick up objects as delicate as potato chips but also classifies them, letting the robot better understand what it's picking up while also exhibit- ing that light touch. In another paper, researchers created a soft robotic finger called "GelFlex" that uses embedded cameras and deep learning to enable high-resolution tactile sensing and "proprioception" (awareness of positions and move- ments of the body). The gripper, which looks much like a two-finger cup grip- per you might see at a soda station, uses a tendon-driven mechanism to actuate the fin- gers. When tested on metal objects of various shapes, the system had over 96% recogni- tion accuracy. (Source: MIT News) One of the hottest topics in robotics is soft robots, which utilize squishy and flexible materials rather than traditional rigid materials. But soft robots have been limited due to their lack of good sensing. A good ro- botic gripper needs to feel what it is touching (tactile sensing) and sense the positions of its fingers (proprio- ception). Such sensing has been missing from most soft robots. Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) came up with new tools to let robots better perceive what they're interacting with: the ability to see and classify items and a softer, delicate touch. One paper builds off last ye a r 's re s e a rc h f ro m M I T and Harvard University, where a team developed a soft and strong robotic gripper in the form of a cone-shaped origa- mi structure. It collapses in on Giving Soft Robots Feeling

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