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Techwebcast Episode 466


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Mt Stromlo Observatory projects Cassini crashing into Saturn with Epson


Mt Stromlo Observatory projects Cassini crashing into Saturn with Epson

SYDNEY, 13 February 2018 – Mt Stromlo Observatory has been in operation for over 100 years – from studying the Sun to discovering what most of the Universe is made up of. In 2003, most of the Observatory was destroyed in the Canberra bushfires and the visitor center was closed. In 2015, Dr. Brad Tucker launched a quest to rebuild the Visitor Centre and for that, in part, he turned to Epson and their projectors.

Tucker explained, “The project involved completing the rebuilding from the fire damage, creating a space to host the public and showcase the great work we are doing. As part of the project, I wanted to be able to have the functionally to display projections that we have created – traveling around Mars and through space, the ability to show 3D visualizations of our research and also a high-quality projector for showing our great images and hosting the public for talks and events. A projector this versatile and one that would also have enough resolution to be visible with lights and other displays on had to be good and to find it I reached out to Epson.”

The Epson team helped Tucker find the best projectors and integrated them as part of a sponsorship program. Currently, Mt Stromlo Observatory uses a range of Epson G-series projectors.

Tucker continued, “Upon learning our requirements of what we wanted it for, and our budget, Epson put together a recommendation and package that we could afford and use. They could have supplied lower quality and cheaper models, but they did not want us to compromise on quality or have our images suffer.”

During the winter months, Mt Stromlo Observatory runs monthly public nights where the public comes up for stargazing and talks inside the visitor center, also now seen via Epson projectors.

Tucker added, “We get around 1,000 – 1,200 people for each public night. Two different Noble Prize winners have used the Epson projectors, we have also shown a movie about the deployment of NASA’s new James Webb Telescope and even the scientists behind the movie Interstellar showed how they created the visualizations for the movie on our Epson projectors. You do not want something like Interstellar to be shown on a low-resolution projector – this is why the Epson projectors are perfect for the job.”

Earlier this year, the observatory started planning for the end of the Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.

Tucker continued, “The issue we kept running into was that too many people wanted to attend and we could not fit them all inside. At the same time, we were in discussion with Epson about a permanent outside projection solution on the Particle Physics tower at the main ANU campus. After those tests, I realized the perfect solution for the end of Cassini was an outside projection on our large telescope dome. Once again Epson without hesitation offered to bring down their EB-L25000UNL 25,000 lumens laser projector capable of projecting on a 50 square meter curved dome so all attendees could see the end of Cassini. It was this that allowed us to share with the public the final moments of the mission as it crashed into Saturn. We also streamed it inside on one of our Epson G-series projectors.”

Dr. Brad Tucker is clearly passionate about his work and the work of Mt Stromlo Observatory, a passion that also extends to his Epson projectors. He concluded, “Epson not only has appreciated the need to showcase images and visualizations with excellent resolution, they understand that research, education, and engaging with the public are important aspects and are willing to help. Not many companies do that nowadays.”

Picture credit:
Epson projectors in use at Mt Stromlo Observatory


About Epson and Epson Australia
Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables, and robotics. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 80,000 employees in 86 companies around the world and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.

Epson Australia offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the commercial, industrial, consumer, business, photography and graphic arts markets, and is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) solutions for the retail market. Epson is the market leader in Australia and worldwide in sales of projectors for the home, office, and education. Established in 1983 Epson Australia is headquartered in North Ryde NSW and is a subsidiary of the Epson Group headquartered in Japan.

Epson releases 4 new robots

Epson releases 4 new robots
Includes autonomous dual-arm robot and three new industrial robots

SYDNEY, 14 December 2017 – Epson has commercialised a “seeing, sensing, thinking, working” autonomous dual-arm robot named the WorkSense W-01 that will expand the scope of automated production.

In recent years, manufacturers’ needs have grown more diverse with demand for products fluctuating sharply and a growing necessity to flexibly accommodate small-lot production and just-in-time (JIT) production. Industrial robots are conventionally installed in a fixed location on a line to perform a given task. The WorkSense W-01, however, was developed for easy mobility so that it can be wheeled from place to place to perform assembly, transport, and other tasks. The features described below enable the robot to automate production tasks that previously defied automation.

To watch a video that showcases the features of the WorkSense W-01 video click here:

The robot is equipped with 4 head-unit cameras and 2 arm-mounted cameras that give the robot human-like vision, enabling it to accurately detect an object’s position and orientation in three-dimensional space. And even if the location of objects and obstacles changes, the robot is able to independently “see” and determine their position.

The robot arms are outfitted with Epson’s highly sensitive, precision force sensors, which are already available on sale. The robot is thus able to perform delicate assembly, transport, and other tasks that require human-like force control to avoid damaging objects. Multipurpose hands that can grasp, grip, and clamp objects of various shapes and sizes are included as standard end-of-arm tooling. They can manipulate tools and jigs that were designed for humans.
The robot is able to accurately detect the position and orientation of objects in three-dimensional space, so even if the robot is relocated, it can immediately start work—with no programming change required. This gives the robot the ability to flexibly adapt to sudden changes in production. So, for example, it can be wheeled to different locations to perform different tasks every day, if need be. The robot independently decides the path and orientation of its 7-axis arms and is able to avoid obstacles.
The robot’s two 7-axis arms move like human arms. The dual arms move independently from one another to allow the robot to perform tasks that a single-arm robot cannot, such as tightening a screw in a component with one arm while holding the component in place with the other.The WorkSense brand name was coined to represent the concept of a robot that sees, senses, thinks, and works. With its WorkSense robot, Epson is targeting market segments where demand for small-lot production and JIT production are particularly high, such as automotive parts production.

Yoshifumi Yoshida, chief operating officer of Epson’s Robotics Solutions Operations Division, says, “Epson’s Corporate Vision expresses a strong commitment to driving robotics innovation. We are refining our core technologies that combine sensors and smart features, as well as our efficient, compact, and precision technologies, with the aim of realising a future in which robots are widely used to serve and support people. We see the WorkSense W-01, which harnesses the power of Epson’s deep portfolio of technology, as bringing us one step closer to bringing about such a future.”

Epson has also developed prototypes of three new models of industrial robots, the vertically articulated N6 and VT6 robots and the T6 SCARA robot, to meet the wide-ranging needs of manufacturers.

■ N6
Epson’s N series of compact 6-axis robots is capable of performing tasks in tight spaces more efficiently than earlier robots thanks to a uniquely engineered “folding” arm. The N6, which will join the N2 in the N series, was developed to meet the needs of customers who want to transport relatively heavy objects and transport objects over a wide area. Floor-mounted, the N6 has a
6-kg payload capacity and an arm length of 1,000 mm, both considerably larger than the N2. The N6 is ideal for tasks such as loading and unloading electronic components and automotive parts to and from test equipment or shelving and removing medical products. It can reach a wide range of places such as high and low shelves using a smaller installation footprint than earlier 6-axis robots. These features will enable the robot to increase productivity and the efficiency with which factory space is used.

■ VT6
Engineered for maximum usability and a low total cost of ownership (TCO), the 6-axis VT6 is built to automate simple, repetitive material handling tasks that humans find tedious. Manufacturers have been reluctant to automate material handling tasks that add little value because of the expense and trouble involved in building production lines. Epson is bringing down this barrier with the affordably priced and easy to install VT6. Drawing on the miniature controller technology it developed for its T series of SCARA robots, Epson equipped this entry-level robot with a built-in controller. Among the many possible uses for this robot are machine tending applications in which components or workpieces are loaded into and unloaded from test equipment.

■ T6
Equipped with a built-in controller, the T series of SCARA robots are designed for installation simplicity and maximum usability. They are ideal for automating simple material handling tasks. The T6 has doubled the payload capacity (6 kg) of Epson’s T3 robot and thus can transport larger, heavier objects. This robot can be outfitted with heavy end-effectors, such as dual end-effectors that can hold two objects at once, to help manufacturers increase factory productivity.

Follow Epson on social media:
Facebook: @EpsonAustralia
Twitter: @EpsonAust
Instagram: @EpsonAust


About Epson and Epson Australia

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a line-up that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 80,000 employees in 86 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.

Epson Australia offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the commercial, industrial, consumer, business, photography and graphic arts markets, and is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) solutions for the retail market. Epson is the market leader in Australia and worldwide in sales of projectors for the home, office and education. Established in 1983 Epson Australia is headquartered in North Ryde NSW and is a subsidiary of the Epson Group headquartered in Japan.

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