The saying goes that the only thing constant is change, and nowhere is that so true as in the robotics industry. The never-ending need for advancement and innovation is certainly challenging, but it’s also part of what makes mechatronics and automation work so much fun.
In late 2015, Houston Mechatronics President and CEO Matt Ondler met up with Electronic Design’s William Wong to talk Houston Mechatronics’ future, industry obstacles and the opportunities robotic technology offers industries such as oil and gas. View an excerpt from the interview below:
Wong: What do you see as the challenges ahead in the robotics and automation industry?
Ondler: I believe there are a few interesting problems and challenges. One is building machines for unstructured environments. It is one thing to build a robot that operates in an environment that is known and doesn’t change—or at least not very often—but more challenging to build a machine that can handle and adapt to ever-changing environments. For example a typical industrial welding robot operates in a very structured environment. The car chassis arrives into the work cell in the same orientation and position every time. The robot does exactly the same thing every time. It is much more difficult to build a machine to operate in an unstructured environment, something like recovering debris that has fallen off an off-shore drilling rig.
Sure, the industry faces challenge, but what industry doesn’t? What’s important is a company’s willingness — and ability — to face those issues and advance today’s technologies. Read the full interview on Electronic Design’s website.