Friday, October 22, 2010

Please Vote in Midterm and Let’s Pray

Waiting in Job Fair

 Right: Republican volunteer, left: Democratic volunteer, in voting site of Raleigh, NC

Please Vote in Midterm and Let’s Pray
The midterm is coming. Please vote!
I have talked to my friends: “ voting means a lot for us”.
We would like the nominees to hear our voices, but I know that some of them did not listen; they talked too much. The voting can force them to listen to us or they will lose you and more voters. Let us vote. To vote is to take responsibilities of citizen.
If you will be traveling out of US on the date November 2, go to early voting. If you like the nominees very much, take advantage of early voting.
In the year of 2004 president voting, I was traveling in China. The Chinese Government officer served us a very delicious dinner. In the dinner, I said that I personally did not like president nominee Jr. W. Bush. I wanted go back US as early as possible for voting. A Chinese friend said that he liked W. Bush and quit sured that he would be continually on the seat. Then we bet on the table of dinner. I took every penny out of  my packet  and put on the table, which were one hundred thirty two U.S. dollars and twenty-six cents. A few days later, he informed me that he would like to dismiss the bet because that would take one quarter of his monthly salary. I wrote an email to promise whatever he would lose or not, he would take the price because he voted. A month later, I was happy to know that U.S. Consulate in China had set an even of voting in the building to let Chinese citizens to free vote the president of U.S. like the game we had played. The players would answer a few questions and vote. They could get rewards in voting I supposed . This was the most wonderful event. U.S. Consulate found good way to show United States of America.
Talking with Chinese Governor of Guangxi,China
Me(center) and other two scholars from North America
The sad thing happened to me for the voting result is that W. Bush won. 99% of Americans lost. So did I. I lost one third of my stock values and a lot of businesses. How about you? In last year, my health insurance went up 45% and it looks like it keeps going. I don’t dare to bet with my Chinese friends any more except my business turning up.
Do you know what great thing I can do? Voting!!! Again and again. The situation will be getting to be fine. United States has system to improve itself quickly.
I have put the sign plate of my favored nominee on the front yard of my house already and prayed. I am not going to tell you whom I will vote. What I can tell is that I will early vote.
I know that you are frustrated on the economic situation. If you would like better one tomorrow, just vote.
If you care about your children and families, just vote.
If you like the nominee, vote him/her. Or if you don’t like the nominee, simply vote other.
If you lost job, or you fear to lost job, just vote.
If you don’t have health insurances, or you want keep your insurances, or you want better one, just vote.
If you want end the two wars, please vote.
If you like owning your house, vote for it.

    I am sure that we will win! The world became flat and America still lead in many fields.
    Make America stronger! Don't close the door. Action is the treatment of fear! Please vote and pray in different words and various languages.
    May God bless America!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What Industrial Robots do the Customers Want(Part one)?

Utah/MIT Hand, I was in teaching kids as volunteer.

      Industrial Robots have the history of half a century from the time George Devol applied for the first robotics patents in 1954 (granted in 1961). It is officially defined by ISO as an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes [Wik2010].
    I was involved in robotics research in an outstanding robotics lab as PhD student and research assistant at the time of end of decade 1980. My professor Zhexiang Li from MIT had many ideas in developing arms and got half million dollar grant to do so. Based on his proposal, we have built a Direct Drive Arm with four axes in the lab. The direct drive arm uses rare-earth motors with samarium-cobalt magnets, which produce much stronger magnetic fields and hence high torques[An1988]. In this way, we limited mechanical gearing. Today, this technique is used in electric cars and hard disks in computers. The lab director, Professor Paul Wright from Carnegie-Mellon University had good ideas in sensing and CNC manufacturing, who help me a lot in the lab. Professor Jacob Schwartz is a pioneer in computing and computer language. I learnt programming skills from him and his students. there were so many smart guys in the lab. I miss them a lot. After worked three years in the lab, I thought I was well equipped to solve problems in industries.

    I walked in a window and door manufacture in New York and offer my solution to the process of loading glass to CNC cutting by applying a six axes robot. After the demo in performance of the robot, the owner of the company said: “it’s good for you. We need an inexpensive solution and just get the job done!” It would cost $70,000 for a big robot to load 72” x 84” size glass plus labor and fixture device. Later, I came back with a new solution that had developed sensor and two axes drivers. When I prepared doing pre-installation, a supervisor did manually loading glass as usual. Suddenly, the glass sheets crashed and fall down. One piece of glass cut the arm of supervisor. I closed my eyes to avoid seeing it. He was sent to hospital and out of work for two months. When he came back, his hand had no feeling because his arm nerves were cut. The doctor said that it would take three years for the nerves growing to the hand from the arm. I recognized this is something different from working in the research lab, like in frontier of battle. I was told by manage that everyone working in this place had experience of being cut. It was true. Before I finished the project, I became the one being cut. I was cut on my hand by a crashed glass and could not stop freely bleeding for a while.

I am in front of Free Fall machine.
      Two months later, the new solution (see the vedio on line) was working on line. The workers are out of this most dangers area in glass cutting. The owner of the manufacture is very happy to see its performance. It cost only one of third of the previous robot solution. Some one in the field gave a name to this solution as “Free Fall Loading”. Two years later, five machine companies copied and sold it in North America. You know who they are, that is not my point because after eighteen years of the invention, even the patents will be expired if it has ones[Pat2001]. My point is there are still 60% of window and door manufactures have not used the machines in glass loading. During this time of period, some of glass workers were seriously cut in death including one in the city I living. It is counted as 1/3 of our customers have that. I feel sorry that Smart Line Inc. has not had money to do the marketing and sales campaigns. Now it is good that we have blogs and website to nurture our customers.

     Someone said this is not robot for it has only two axes that fall out of definition of robot by ISO that states as “ three or more axes.” Here is the thing: Do we have to meet customer need? Or, do we have to meet definition of robot. As the customer said before, he needed an inexpensive machine and just got job done. It is clear that he did not want spend more money to pay fancy thing. He just wanted the job done. No more and no less. Instead of using six axes, we just used two axes and save $50,000 for our customer. In the later version, we saved more and putted additional $10,000 back into customer packet. Professor Paul Wright (UC Berkeley) and Professor Jacob Schwartz (NYU) name this kind of machines as “Smart Machine” which simplified the driver systems by applying sensors and/or computing. This concept applied in defense arm as “Smart Bomb” that has similar function as missile but it only cost 20% of missile and has more accuricy in targeting.
    (Next article we will discuss new robot developments, some cool stuffs.)

[An1988] page 33. Chae H. An, Christopher G. Atkeson, John Hollerbach, Model-based Control of a Robot Manipulator, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1988.
[Wik2010] Industrial Robot, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2010.
[Pat2000] "1-D. How long do patent rights last? Effective June 2000, every patent is guaranteed an inforce period of  at least 17 years." David Pressman, Patent It Yourself, Nolo, 2000.