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TEDxBayArea 10/23, Breakthrough Automation Will Bring Manufacturing Back

From: Elise
Sent on: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:51 AM
This looks like a good event too although it's $35.  ~Elise

TEDxBayArea presents:

Breakthrough Automation Will Bring Manufacturing Back

Tuesday, October 23, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Mountain View


The US lives at least 4% above its means. That is, our balance of trade is such that we depend on borrowing to allow a living standard well above domestic production of goods and services. MOST OF THAT IS MANUFACTURED GOODS. It would take a 40% increase of manufacturing output to bring the balance of manufactured goods into balance. Two large terms dominate the imbalance in manufactured goods; electronics and sewn items, e.g., garments. Was that cell phone or pair of pants made in the US? Almost certainly no.

R&D at Georgia Tech and a single inspiration by one of its professors appears to open the way for domestic production of clothing at less cost than is now experienced in China and elsewhere in the Far East. SoftWear Automation, Inc. has started an effort supported by the Department of Defense's DARPA that aims to build work-cells for the automated cutting and sewing of fabric. The effort is to enhance the capability to respond rapidly to needs for sewn items in the case of surprise military need by bringing most of the garment industry back. This is achieved through a high-tech applications of a single idea, the real measure of displacement in sewing is thread count of the passing fabric, not inches or meters. This enables accurate and fully automated sewing even when significant distortions of the fabric are present, the reason automation has not been cost effective to date. The patented technology should convert a labor-intensive industry to one that is capital-intensive and economical anywhere. But the thread counting method requires very modern cost-effective technologies: machine vision at high rates and high performance servo control of many motions.

Dr. Steve Dickerson Sc.D.
Professor Emeritus, Georgia Tech
Founder Modnar Corporation, DVT Corporation, CAMotion, Inc., RideCell LLC, SoftWear Automation, Inc.

Tuesday, October 23

Samovar Conference Hall
1077 Independence Avenue
Mountain View, CA, 94043

Email: [address removed]
Phone: [masked]
Contact: Tatyana Kanzaveli

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