A Very Robotic Start to the Summer

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD

­In less than a month, we can officially say arrivederci to cold weather and hola to summer! Personally, I prefer the “middle” seasons, but this spring has been exceptionally cold. So I’m begging for the return of 天気がいいです, or nice weather.

This month brings us higher temperatures and also Motor Drives, Robotics + Controls. But before I get to that, I’d like to call out our PSDcasts and our wonderful guests who’ve made it such a brilliant success.

Take our last PSDcast (as of this writing), where Thomas Tran from Bourns discusses the alarming increase in voltage swells and what we can do about it.

Or an episode dealing with a partnership between Pivot Energy and Tapestry, Inc., (which represents lifestyle brands like Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman) to promote six community solar projects in Illinois. Pivot Energy's Josh Levy is on the call.

And in a very special installment, we spoke with LG’s Dennis Carter about the South Korean multinational conglomerate entering the U.S. EV charging market.

Speaking of which, Elon Musk dropped a huge bombshell when he laid off his entire Supercharger team, fundamentally realigning the U.S. EV charging market. We cover that news in our online blog section and the state of the market, itself, in this month’s Final Thought.

In one of several contributed articles this month, Murata’s Juhani Pelttari goes in-depth on “Transitioning from Conventional AGVs to More Autonomous Alternatives”.

Automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) are an integral automation component in the industrial space and militaries around the world. With a lineage stretching all the way back to the 1950s, and first appearing in earnest roundabout the turn of the century, AGVs have rapidly proliferated, and there should be 270,000 of them in operation by 2025.

But AGVs are already running into operational limitations (like pre-programmed software), and just like the automotive world, a certain trend is beginning to take hold.

“Progression within the automation domain has meant that a new breed of moving robots has begun to be seen, with the prospect of conventional AGVs now being superseded by smarter autonomous mobile robots,” Pelttari says.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) aren’t constricted by pre-defined paths, and they’re actually capable of adjusting to their environment dynamically. This includes accounting for a human presence, though it should also be said that, in many respects, AMR preclude the need for humans. Or at least more than AGVs.

Here’s hoping the efficiency and operational gains supersede the potential labor losses with these autonomous robots.

Enjoy the June issue!


Best Regards,


Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD