An Answer to Labor Shortages? Adaptive Robotics, from Flexiv and Cardinal Machine Company


In today’s hurtling-at-warp-speeds world of tech, robotics solutions have transcended the bounds of “only in sci-fi” and are actively being deployed across industries. That said, the fact that this is achievable doesn’t diminish its capacity to instill amazement; we are living through the infancy of robotics normalizations and countless the-sky’s-the-limit kind of leaps in AI-driven innovation. Such technologies are marvels, in their own right; robotics solutions are able to strengthen workplace efficiencies, automate the tedium of repetitively manual tasks, boost safety standards (i.e. by deploying said robots in lieu of human workers, especially in hazardous conditions) and – similar to that previous point – they free up human resources in general so we may redirect our attention to more creative and time-efficient endeavors. And when robotics solutions are able to promisingly address global challenges like labor shortages and accessibility, workforce gaps can be filled and sustainable practices enacted.

The long story short? No breakthrough comes without its bumps in the road, but (in regard to robotics, specifically) solidly encouraging outcomes have been (and will continue to be) within reach.

Enter customizable, adaptive, and easy-to-program robotics solutions from Flexiv. Last week, Flexiv announced its new partnership with Cardinal Machine Company, designer and builder of special machines, tooling, fixtures, and factory automation systems.

This Flexiv-Cardinal collab, according to the two companies, will “equip Cardinal with the ability to deploy robotics solutions which leverage industry-leading force sensitivity and AI.” Jobs like sanding, polishing and palletizing (as well as myriad delicate assembly tasks) – i.e. jobs that typically exclusively require manual labor – will be automatable.

With the mission to develop and apply top-tier, human-inspired robotics to important use cases, Flexiv and Cardinal plan to take their combined decades of experience in machine-learning undertakings and create user-friendly, durably maintainable, and cutting-edge robotics.

Per Howard Huang, Flexiv’s Business Director for North America:

“This strategic partnership with Cardinal marks a significant milestone for Flexiv. With the labor shortage showing no signs of abating and manufacturing being a vital part of modernized economy, we hope that Flexiv’s robotic solutions can be used to fill some of the vacancies negatively impacting supply chains. Thanks to Cardinal, we have a real chance to make a positive difference and empower businesses not only to survive, but to excel.”

Per Brian Pennington, president of Cardinal:

“We are excited and look forward to a successful, long-term partnership with Flexiv. By Flexiv’s teams making their adaptive force control technology available to us, we can provide our customers with complex automation solutions in key areas that previously required human intervention. Combining adaptive force control technology with smart robots that can work collaboratively with human operators offers even more potential to complex tasks’ enriched solutions.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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