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With Human Metalworkers Hard to Come By, Robotic Blacksmiths Step Up

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A robot forms metal sheets at Machina Labs in Chatsworth, CA.

Machina’s robots are too slow to replace the mass production portion of this equation. But they’re ideal for the earlier stages of the process, helping companies test their ideas before they commit money to final production.

Credit: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Chatsworth, CA-based startup Machina Labs has developed an automated metalworking system in the midst of a metalworker shortage.

The system involves two robots positioned on either side of a large metal sheet, with one robot supporting the back of the sheet while the other shapes the metal.

The technology feeds metal characteristics into computer vision and artificial intelligence systems that watch the shaping process.

Although Machina's robots cannot mass-produce metal parts, they can help companies try out design concepts before moving to final production.

The technology also may appeal to companies that need to produce a few dozen or a few hundred metal parts, but lack the capital for mold-making.

From Bloomberg
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