Epson bares aggressive strategy to enter robotics, wearables

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Although its market position in printers and projectors remain solid and unperturbed, Japanese tech giant Epson has revealed a bold plan to enter and capture significant market share in the areas of robotics and wearables.

robot

At a regional press briefing held in time for the Singapore F1 race where Epson is a sponsor of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, top executives identified robotics and wearables as two fields where the company has a good chance of succeeding.

At the media event, Epson said it is intensifying its robotics business, particularly for the manufacturing sector, to change the “way goods are manufactured”. To demonstrate its seriousness to compete in the field, the company introduced one of its industrial robots, the C8 series, which is infused with sensing technologies for high-precision work.

The new force sensors enable the robots to execute complex manufacturing tasks requiring high precision. With the force sensors, the robots are now able to ?feel? forces as limited as 0.1 Newton, and can perform tasks such as assembling delicate components.

The sensors can also be used on tasks requiring human sensory perception such as polishing and deburring, freeing people from repetitive manual work.

The C8 series robots carry the highest payloads in Epson?s robot range, handling up to 8 kilogram at high speeds with minimal vibration. Its advanced residual vibration control technology utilizing Epson?s Quartz Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (QMEMS) senses angular velocity and feedback to help significantly reduce vibration during motion.

The industrial robots can also be equipped with Epson Vision Guide software as an option ? advanced machine vision and image processing systems that provide an interface for developing robot vision applications.

With this, the robots are able to ?see? and identify objects intelligently during the production process, enabling it to pick randomly positioned products for high precision placing and assembly.

Globally, Epson said it is estimated that from 2016 to 2018, robot installations will increase, at least by 15% on average per year (CAGR), with about 18% in Asia and Australia. Between 2015 and 2018, it is estimated that about 1.3 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world.

ONGOING | Meet the Moverio BT300, the smart eyewear for augmented reality that Epson is launching this October. Availability will be in December or January and will sell in the US for $790. #epson

Posted by Newsbytes.PH on Sunday, September 18, 2016

As for the booming wearables market, Epson said it intends to take advantage of its heritage in watch-making and technological prowess to launch products such as smart watches and smart eyewear.

At the Singapore presser, the company previewed the Moverio BT300, a smart eyewear for augmented reality that Epson will start selling in the US in December or January for $790.

With the Moverio smart glasses, the viewers? experience takes on a different visual dimension. Projected contents are overlaid on the lenses of the glasses, showing contextual content from videos to social media feeds.

Epson?s Moverio range was first launched in 2011 with the BT-100, supplemented in 2014 with the BT-200, and again in 2016 with the Moverio Pro BT-2000.

Despite its resolve to conquer new fields, Epson said it is not necessarily taking away its focus on its traditional areas like printing and projectors.

Asked on when it would put out a 3D printer, executives said the company is still a couple of years away from having a full-fledged 3D printer.

The tech firm said the current crop of 3D printers is only capable of churning out plastic models and not real products. Epson’s version will be for the industrial and manufacturing sectors, they said.

As regards its printer business, Epson said the company is now slowly making in-roads in the business sector, with officials saying that 50% of global receipts are now printed on Epson POS printers.

Over the next few years, the environment will become a very important consideration for its printer business, the company said. One such product that will symbolize this message is the PaperLab, which can recycle papers in the homes and offices. The paper recycler is expected to become available soon.

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