Del Vecchio e la svolta high tech di Luxottica: «Non possiamo invecchiare»

Nasce presso il quartier generale di Luxottica una digital factory nella quale si progetteranno – in collaborazione con esperti della Silicon Valley – vetrine ed espositori intelligenti, tecnologie di realtà virtuale e aumentata per “indossare” virtualmente anche modelli di occhiali non presenti in negozio e altre soluzioni messe a disposizione da tecnologie ormai disponibili sul mercato.

Nei nuovi negozi dell’azienda ai clienti verrà proposta una user experience personalizzata e high tech per assisterli nella scelta.

“Amazon e Google? Non li vediamo come concorrenti”, dice Del Vecchio, “semmai possono essere buoni clienti”.

Source: Corriere della Sera

Implementing first Industry 4.0 Use Cases with IOTA DAG Tangle — Machine Tagging for Digital Twins

Industry 4.0 is powered by the fusion of technologies that are connecting the dots between the physical, digital and biological spheres.

IOTA is a Distributed Ledger Technology based on an architecture different from the typical BlockChain. More particularly, IOTA was designed with scalability and security in mind, and its unique tangle configuration (a directed acyclic graph), together with the more common distribution and cryptography tools and algorithms are proving successful meeting its main goals.

This post is particularly interesting because it couples the novelty of the IOTA DLT system with another innovative concept which is starting to appear in the Industry4.0 context: the digital representation of objects, a fundamental component of digital fabrication and (even more) personalized manifacturing. Check it out!

 

Source: Implementing first Industry 4.0 Use Cases with IOTA DAG Tangle — Machine Tagging for Digital Twins

Work in the World 4.0: Great Interest in NCCR Research during ETH Treffpunkt Science City

The digital revolution turns the working world on its head. As part of ETH Zurich’s Treffpunkt Science City spring 2017 programme “Work in the World 4.0”, the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication provided over a 130 interested kids and teens insight into the future of architecture.

Read the whole story here: Work in the World 4.0: Great Interest in NCCR Research during ETH Treffpunkt Science City | dfab

Robots Lay Three Times as Many Bricks as Construction Workers – MIT Technology Review

Creators of a new bricklaying robot say its purpose is to leverage human jobs, not entirely replace them.

It’s a human-robot team where the robot is responsible for the more rote tasks: picking up bricks, applying mortar, and placing them in their designated location. A human handles the more nuanced activities, like setting up the worksite, laying bricks in tricky areas, such as corners, and handling aesthetic details, like cleaning up excess mortar.

See SAM at work in this video:

and here is the full story: Robots Lay Three Times as Many Bricks as Construction Workers – MIT Technology Review

Does Patented Intellectual Property Still Matter? Yes, Depending on Who You Are – IPWatchdog.com

One may defend patented inventions against unauthorized use by everyone and anyone. However, it is disingenuous to say it is reasonable for them to do so.

A great piece. This is my favourite part:

“An easy reading of patent law tells us that an individual inventor, or SME, may defend patented inventions against unauthorized use – by everyone and anyone.  However, it is disingenuous to say it is reasonable for them to do so, no matter what Congressional soundbites trumpet.  The system is severely biased against these entities to the point of no longer serving them.  Among other things, an individual inventor must overcome:

  • Zero chance of preventing an infringer from using his or her invention. If an inventor receives a favorable judgment, the court will require monetary compensation to be the remedy for both past and future infringement.  The high-tech titan’s business is never threatened; it only monitors the number of zeros in potential judgments which, with billions in the bank, it can easily afford.  Huawei’s General Counsel – and every other high-tech titan GC – loses no sleep.
  • Gang-tackling and serial IPR filing are often coordinated among high-tech titans. By separating suggested prior art and filing multiple IPRs spread out over time, titans place enormous financial impoverishment and delay of justice in the courts on the shoulders of the inventor.  Why?  Because they can.  Because under the law it makes business sense.  Apple alone has filed more than 200 PTAB petitions.  The power imbalance between the two sides is insurmountable.
  • The inventor has no safe harbor that defines rules of engagement guaranteed to protect him from eventual demands by a titan for all its litigation expense, much of which is generated by actions taken by the titan to maximize the inventor’s bleeding. It is impossible to imagine Joe Inventor accepting the risk of being required to repay Google for its team of outside litigation attorneys.

Another nearly insurmountable problem is high-tech titans do not negotiate when first shown proof that they infringe individual inventor or SME patents.  The American Invents Act (AIA) effectively grants protected status to titans for infringement of small entity patents because it provides opportunities to impose enforcement costs and risks of financial destruction – detailed above – if the little guy pursues legal options to be compensated for his or her inventiveness.  Industry insiders referred to this as “efficient infringement”.

 

Source: Does Patented Intellectual Property Still Matter? Yes, Depending on Who You Are – IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law

New Robotic Fabrication Laboratory Sets Worldwide Standards for Large-Scale Robotic Fabrication in Architecture

At ETH Zurich, researchers of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication together with colleagues from the Institute for Technology in Architecture (ITA) now have the opportunity to conduct full building scale research in the world’s first facility for collaborative robotic digital fabrication in architecture.

A Worldwide Unique Research Facility
Located within the Arch_Tec_Lab, the RFL consists of four ceiling-mounted robots which can access the entire laboratory hall and are able to work collaboratively or independently across a total volume of 45 x 17 x 6 meters. Advanced security systems enable the simultaneous use of the robots for both smaller and larger scale projects to be undertaken simultaneously. The flexibility of this set-up permits experimentation in the field of robotic fabrication at scales up to the full-size of a two story building, a first for such research facilities in the world

Source: New Robotic Fabrication Laboratory Sets Worldwide Standards for Large-Scale Robotic Fabrication in Architecture | dfab

Mesh Mould | Building complex concrete structures

Using digital fabrication technologies scientists at ETH Zurich are developing a robotic system able to build complex concrete structures directly on the construction site.

ABB robot building a complex metal mesh
The robot used to build complex metal meshes

This project explores the folding of two separate yet essential concrete construction components – reinforcement and formwork – into a unified robotic fabrication process.

The idea is a digitally-controlled extrusion process of “leaking formwork” elements for non-standard concrete structures. The goal is to obtain environmentally sound, structurally lean structures that can be efficiently fabricated. Directly on the construction site!

During the first research phase a spatial robotic extrusion process was developed, allowing to examine the interdependencies of mesh typology and rheological behaviour of concrete (see Mesh Mould 2012 – 2014, Gramazio Kohler Research).

The on-going second research phase focuses on the translation of the structurally weak polymer-based extrusion process into a fully load-bearing steel-construction system.

Detail of the tool used to build the metal meshes
Detail of the tool used to build the metal meshes

Source: Mesh Mould | dfab

3D printing using rocks. Aka Rock Print, an Architectural installation at the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015

If you thought you knew everything about 3D printing, be ready to change your mind after you check out this architectural installation 🙂

This semi-manual 3D printing process alternates layers of rocks and metal wire patterns “drawn” by a robotic arm. When the surrounding wooden supports are taken out, the rocks that are not kept together by the metal wire fall off, leaving a self-supporting structure.

The video below – from Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich – shows the installation and de-installation procedures. A joint project with MIT Self-Assembly Lab.

The installation setup
Getting ready to start the installation

Robotic Aggregation of Materials with Irregular Geometry | dfab

While many digital fabrication processes in architecture focus on using standardised prefabricated materials, NCCR Digital Fabrication researchers Martin Wermelinger and Fadri Furrer aim to use unprocessed materials found on-site to create new structures. An interdisciplinary research team from the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL), the Robotic Systems Lab (RSL), and Gramazio Kohler Research (GKR), from ETH Zurich combines knowledge in the areas of object detection, simulated construction, robotic manipulation, and structural planning to address this novel idea. As a proof of concept, the team has now successfully achieved autonomous robotic stacking of irregular stones without the use of mortars or adhesives.

 

Source: Robotic Aggregation of Materials with Irregular Geometry | dfab