VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microfactory design. Computer-aided design of a computer controlled microfactory production line. The couriers (green squares) transport a semi- finished product along the production line (grey). The robot arms (blue) perform individual tasks on the product as it passes through. A microfactory can be designed, tested & built in a few days, as opposed to several months for large-scale processes. This is especially useful when making complex, high- precision products like disk drives. The design & testing can be done anywhere in the world using virtual reality techniques via the Internet. It is the brainchild of Dr. R. Hollis of Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
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