Robot Crushes Man At Automotive Factory

A sombre story has emerged of a robot which inadvertently killed a man at a factory in Germany. This tragic incident happened during the installation of a robot which is designed and programmed to assist within the automotive construction process at the factory operated by the well-renowned company Volkswagen.

A spokesman by the name of Heiko Hillwig, not an owl from Potter, blamed “human error” which resulted in the death of the contract worker. He stated that it [robot] can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process and the task with which the robot undertakes is to grab auto parts and manipulate them. Unfortunately, the robot grabbed a person and slammed him against a metal plate which must have been a horrific experience for onlookers.

German prosecutors are analysing this incident before deciding whether to file charges against any culpable individuals. This case highlights both safety procedures and also our relationship with tech; after all, a robot cannot kill anyone as yet because its actions are pre-programmed by a human. It will be compelling to see how blame is proportioned for this incident since a person lost their life to what looks to be a freak accident at the hands or arm of a robot.

On a side note, this case might set a precedent on how law defines what constitutes murder in the future, after all, as tech becomes more advanced and the level of interaction by humans becomes greater for the functionally of a real world AI, how long will it be before a person programs a robot to kill another human?

Image Courtesy of theoldrobot

Thank You thelocal.de for providing us with this information

Colorful Announces Their iGame GeForce GTX 960 KUDAN Mini-ITX Graphics Card

Colorful has revealed their iGame GeForce GTX 960 KUDAN Mini-ITX graphics solution, featuring a custom PCB design and factory overclock frequencies.

The GeForce GTX 960 KUDAN is said to be one of the very few Mini-ITX designs with a GM206 chip, making it very popular in the $200 range market. The graphics solution is said to have a low-wattage percentage and provide great 1080p performance.

In terms of specs, the graphics card comes with 1024 CUDA cores, 64 texture mapping units, 32 raster operation units and a 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM with a 128-bit memory interface. While the memory is clocked at 7010 MHz, the GPU clock comes in two blocks.

The factory overclocked specs that come with the card are set at 1127 MHz base and 1178 MHz boost, but a second OC BIOS is said to be available that can ramp up the card to 1152 MHz and 1216 MHz respectively at the push of the button.

Looking at the aesthetics of the card, we see that it features the same design as the iGame GeForce GTX 980 KUDAN, only a bit smaller. It boasts only one fan, but given its low-budget design, it is enough to keep the Mini-ITX card cool.

Power is said to be provided via a 6-pin connector, having the card coming with a 120W TDP. There is also a single SLI connector present on the card and comes with a single DVI, HDMI and three DisplayPort connectors.

Colorful has already listed the card on its website, but details regarding its availability and pricing have yet to be made available.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Android 5.1 Rolls Out for the Nexus 10

Android 5.1 build LMY47D has arrived via OTA this Saturday for the Nexus 10 tablet, which is not that unexpected since Google released the factory image for the device two weeks ago. Compared to the Android 5.0, Android 5.1 is just 104.4 MB, though it is still best to update the software via Wi-Fi.

It is said that Android 5.1 brings performance enhancements, bug fixes and stability improvements. Those who have installed it have noticed an improvement in how fast the tablet boots up since the Android 5.0.2 update.

Also, to be noted is that the update, being OTA, will be broken down in waves. This means that some users won’t receive the update until after a few days. The best thing to do is keep an eye on your device’s battery and prepare for it to be available in your region.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Samsung Invests $3 Billion in a New Vietnamese Manufacturing Plant

In an interesting move, Samsung have announced that they are to spend up to $3 billion on a smartphone manufacturing plant in Vietnam.

The new plant will join their existing $2 billion factory in the country, making the Korean giant’s presence in Vietnam even larger. There seems to be a rather noticeable shift in manufacturing from China to Vietnam, as Samsung’s plans add to Intel, LG, Panasonic and Microsoft’s expanded manufacturing presence there. It seems that it is becoming cheaper to manufacture in Vietnam over China, as tax breaks and very cheap labour make it very attractive to companies like Samsung.

Daniel Gleeson, a senior analyst at the IHS Technology consultancy told the BBC “In a way China is a victim of its own success – it’s becoming so successful as an economy that it’s becoming too expensive to do a lot of the manufacturing it used to attract”. It’s been observed that China is becoming more involved with the design and development of consumer technology devices, with the advent of companies like Xiaomi and Lenovo.

Source: BBC News

Wearable Chair Developed by Swiss Startup

Noonee is a Swiss startup who claim to be the forefront of “Chairolution® “Bringing forth a new era of wearable ergonomic leg devices”.

Have you been excited recently for wearable technology such as Google Glass, Smart Watches or even hats that double as tissue dispensers? A wearable chair probably wasn’t the logical progression you were thinking of. But before you grab your pitchforks and start commenting on your social media channels, this invention isn’t necessarily designed for general and public use. Working and standing in a factory on extended shifts takes a large toll on your physical endurance, noonee are trying to provide a viable solution.

Their ‘chairless chair’ is a locking leg support device. Once you strap yourself in, you can press a button and take the weight off yourself without effort. Made out of aluminium and carbon fiber, the frame is designed to hold whichever position you are currently assuming – meaning you don’t have to compromise with standard set positions.

Engaget helped explain the science behind the device:

“The secret sauce here is a battery-powered dampening system eases the load on your lower back and legs by supporting your body weight and directing it down into your heels.”

Audi and BMW are said to soon be taking on this prototype unit for on-field testing, let’s see if it can stand up to the test.

Are you often attending expos, trade shows or events? Maybe we’ll see these as a public reality – unfortunately, we haven’t had any price indication as of yet.

Image courtesy of noonee

First Robot Olympics To be Hosted by Tokyo in 2020

Japan has high hopes of bringing a new type of Olympics in 2020, alongside the actual summer games. Shimzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, said that he hopes to bring the world’s first Robot Olympics, having discussed the creation of ‘robotic revolution’. He apparently wants to gather all robots around the world and place them in an event where they could compete based on their technological skills. Abe states that this event could increase the value seen in the robotics industry, while also boosting the nation’s economy and encourage people to sign up for the robot factory workforce.

It is not currently clear on what to expect from the event just yet. The Prime Minister is said to be keen on showing off technical talents for robots, focusing on care and industrial use. It is said that there are more and more reports about robots taking over human jobs, with 47% of the US labor (702 humans) being threatened by the change. One example of a technologically advanced robot is Baxter, made by Rethink Robotics, who can already learn from human factory supervisors. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are also said to be working on a robot that can think like a person, with many more examples being out there. Therefore, it’s everybody’s guess on what to expect from the 2020 Robot Olympics.

Thank you comparemymobile.com for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of comparemymobile.com

iPhones Are a Run-of-the-Mill Discovery For a Japanese Grain Depot

We hear lots of bizarre news stories over the course of each year, many of them not surprisingly relating to Apples iDevices and in particular the iPhone and this story is of no exception. A Japanese grain milling depot has discovered on numerous occasions that iPhones are turning up in their grain prior to milling.

On one occasion, Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitley though his beloved iPhone was lost as he dropped it into a grain silo holding 280,000 lb of grain which was destined for the milling plant in Japan. Although Kevin knew where his iPhone was, the task of searching through such an immense volume of grain was impossible and he deemed his iPhone and its contents to be lost forever.

After being dropped into the silo, the phone and its grain companions made their way down the road to another holding facility in Inola after which it went down the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers to an even larger holing facility in Louisiana.

Little did he know however that nine months down the line and after sailing over to Japan, workers found his phone in their shipment and remarkably in one piece. After being discovered, workers contacted Whitney to inform him that they had his phone in their hands and it was soon on its way back home to Oklahoma a full nine months after it was dropped.

“It’s crazy I can’t believe it. What really shocked me about it all was what a small world it is,” Whitney told KFOR. “There a lot of a lot of meaningful pictures on it so we are real glad to get the phone back.”

According to the mill, at least one iPhone per month is found in their shipments of grain and although Whitney’s phone was discovered in one piece before the grain was sent to be milled, other handsets are not so fortunate. In some instances the phones end up in the mill where the crushing forces cause the phones to explode, writing off over a ton of flour and feed grain in the process.

Source: The Blaze

Samsung Uncovers Labor Violations at Dozens of Chinese Supplier Factories


Electronics manufacturer Samsung conducted an external audit that found employee rights violations at dozens of suppliers located in China, though none of the charges related to child labor.

The company has more than 200 suppliers in China, and found that a “majority of suppliers do not comply with China’s legally permitted overtime hours,” with Samsung requesting that the companies cut back on overtime.  Samsung hopes to see illegal overtime practices end by the end of this year.

Of note, the report found 33 suppliers violated local insurance regulations, while 39 suppliers paid fixed wages and no overtime to employees.

As Samsung rose to the top of the electronics world, powered by successful smartphones and tablets, the company has received higher scrutiny from watchdog groups.

In South Korea, the company was criticized when a hardware factory used chemicals that led to leukemia and fatalities of some workers. A 2012 report from the China Labor Watch group found working conditions were considered “inhumane,” including the use of child labor to meet supply demands.

Manufacturers find success using China’s large work force to assemble electronics – but must deal with labor issues, which ranges from child labor and excessive overtime to employee suicides.

Thank you to The Guardian for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of AP

InWin Factory Tour Computex Part 3

Welcome back to our tour of the InWin factory in Taiwan, we’ve already looked at how InWin create their plastic chassis moulds and metal components in the last two parts of the tour. Now we move on to some of the finer details in the production line.

As you can see in the picture above, the panels are ran through a special spray painting machine which gives them the first part of the final finish. This is done in a sealed room and protective breathing gear must be worn while working here.

Once sprayed, the panels are laid out on trays to cool and dry, making them ready for the next step in production.

Some of the panels are also run through an oven to help seal and dry the paint work, and given that Taiwan is already a hot place, you can imagine it’s pretty hot here, we suspected it was around 45c and we were only there for a few minutes.

Our favourite feature of the factory wasn’t the cool products we saw, it was these air conditioning units on the wall, we spent way longer than InWin would have liked staring at this while enjoying the cool air it provided.

The final details of the builds require a more hands on approach, printing techniques are used to put logos and other designs onto chassis panels, each one done one at a time.

Smaller components require bigger production lines, allowing finer details and cleaning of parts such as the 5.25″ drive bay covers, buttons and front panels.

Once all the parts are complete, having gone through their extensive manufacturing processes, they’re bolted together. Here you can see a team of people screwing together the H-Frame mini.

A final few screws and a clean, they’re wrapped and placed in their boxes.

Leaving the final product ready to go to retail.

One of the super computers used to run the production lines, nothing major, but we love a good giggle at old computers.

Here you can see the two banks of tooling machines we saw in part 2, it’s a huge line up of machines at full speed we find that InWin can turn out around 1 million cases a month here!

All the products are then stacked up neatly, ready to ship out around the world for resale.

And here we see InWin loading up a fresh batch of the finished products. All of which were designed, manufactured and dispatched from this factory. From the smallest parts to the biggest panels, InWin do it all themselves and we’re very grateful they let us in to see how it all comes together.

InWin Factory Tour Computex 2014 Part 2

Welcome to part two of our InWin factory tour, we’ve already seen how they produce their tooling components and injection moulds to create the plastic components of a chassis, so what’s next? Well since some of the biggest parts of a chassis are the panels, which come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but also consist of many other small metal components such as hard drive bays, motherboard backplate etc, you need a lot of big machines to create them.

CNC machines are a big aspect of this and InWin have some pretty powerful ones that offer a multitude of cutting techniques, although the most popular here is certainly the laser cutters such as the one below.

The CNC machine above is churning out metal components, which are then stacked in these bays ready to work their way further down the production line.

The cut panels are still in the early states, but if I’m not mistaken, these are going to become server chassis.

Further down we have some even more impressive CNC machines, these two giant cutters can perform 64 different cuts thanks to its huge tool bank, allowing it to produce complete components and several of them at any one time.

Here you can see one of the parts it has made, which looks like a hard drive bay before it has been bent into shape. The giant machine has used multiple tools at once to cut the multitude of shapes required for this design.

There are a lot of tools needed for each production run, which are all kept on hand here. Obviously there are a few missing, since they’re in the machines which are currently cutting.

Here are even more tooling components which are used as templates for chassis components, just like the moulds we say in the first part of the tour, they’re huge and heavy, even those used for small components are likely a 100lbs and above.

This is one of the technical aspects of the production line, metal sheets are folded in a press by an engineer. Each fold has to be lined up by hand and done one at a time, so more complete chassis designs can take quite a while to perform.

This was easily one of the coolest things on the tour, a simple metal sheet starts its life here and is picked up by the suction cups above, before being passed along to the machine on the left.

It is then drilled, stamped, pressed and beaten by one machine at a time before being passed onto the next one in this long line. Each has their own job to perform and the final component is put in a stack all the was at the end of this row of machines.

More tooling once again, this machine here is used to drill the motherboard screw holes into the motherboard back plate.

Smaller components require finer machines ad continual die stamping is used to create thing such as PCI slot covers, brackets and covers.

Metal roll is fed through the machine and literally stamps out the shapes and components needed.

Check out part 3 of the tour here.

InWin Factory Tour Computex 2014 Part 1

We’ve been very fortunate this week, as the eTeknix team were invited along to a special tour of the InWin factory in Taipei, allowing us a first hand look at every aspect of product design, development and production. InWin have proven themselves time and time again over the last few years with their special edition cases such as the H-frame and D-Frame, that they have a passion for engineering great products. So let’s get started and take a quick look at some of the aspect of how InWin produce these products.

The first room we entered was filled with high-end machines that construct and test various components. This included CNC equipment, an EDM (electrical discharge machine), laser measuring systems and more. In here they can create the various tooling components needed for moulds, presses, stamps and other manufacturing components required.

the laser measuring system checks the tolerances of a component against its intended specifications, as things need to be absolutely precise before going into mass production.

Multiple devices are required to complete the early manufacturing processes as some machine can cut edges, others can only cut rounded shapes and devices such as the wire cut can create perfect square edges, which when combined can produce the various components moulds and tools required for the production of a chassis.

Here you can see the tooling mould for a chassis, the lines down the left side of it are what will later for the PCI expansion slots on the back.

Each one of these components is a tool, used by the larger machines in the factory as a guide to cut and stamp out USB ports, audio jacks and other bumps, grooves and cuts; can also confirm they’re freaking heavy to hold too.

In the next room we have the next step in creation some of the incredibly complex moulds that are needed to create a PC chassis, right from the high-end models that InWin make, right down to their small budget and OEM models.

These two huge moulds way hundreds of pounds and are used in an injection moulding system to create the little chassis front panel you can see on display in front of them.

Again here we have two more huge moulds, these two are used to form that intricate little front panel cover you can see on the table.

There are often hundred of parts to each mould, taking a huge amount of engineering to create using the tools in this room, as well as the cutting and measuring equipment we saw in the previous room.

These moulds are huge and InWin have a huge amount of them stacked up and ready to go for each product they create, while also keeping older models on hand should they need to produce a revision or re-use components.

Two huge lines of massive machines use plastic, which is injected under high pressure and force into the moulds, then released down a conveyor belt to be prepared and stacked, ready for the next step in production.

The plastic used for the moulds starts out as simple plastic chips, any left over or waste plastic trimmed from the mould is later recycled back into these chips so that nothing is wasted.

We will be back very shortly with part 2 of the tour, stay tuned.

Update: Read part 2 here.

iPhone 6 Leaked Images Appear Confirming Bigger Size Device

More rumors surrounding the latest iteration from Apple in their iPhone lineup shows a Chinese forum with leaked images of the front panel of the phone and a molding of the device. No details have surfaced with the pictures other than the following translation:

“has always been to cover structural design drawings or leaked before the iPhone 6 icons, of course, this is already sufficient to prove 4.7 inches of news, but things have not finished, there are 6 iPhone front glass image appears. This picture is taken at the factory site, we can see that the iPhone 6 While the white panel screen than the iPhone 5S big a circle, but on a straight plane, opening and overall shape does not seem to change much, watching Figure:”

The translated text tells us that the iPhone 6 pictures were taken at the factory site, but from the background, looks more like a derelict factory building.

The below picture shows the size different between the previous generation iPhone, confirming rumors of a larger device in the iPhone 6.

Thank you to jiyouhui.it168 for providing this information.

Images courtesy of jiyouhui.it168