Monthly Archives: November 2017

Methods and Systems for an Autonomous Supply Chain

A Robotic Internet of “Maker Things”

  • This project is a research undertaking that seeks to develop a way to network robots & robotic manufacturing sites and coordinate their interaction with an artificial intelligence (machine learning) in such a way as to significantly increase productivity — much like the internet has “exponentiated” the dissemination and production of information.
  • We might think of other names such as “Distributed Agent Manufacturing” or an “Internet of Maker Things.
  • Broadly speaking the project seeks to implement the vision described here.
  • There are other, existing efforts in this space such as the German government Industrie 4.0. There is also Australia’s CSIRO Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap. Industrie 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing are umbrella concepts seeking to incrementally enhance supply chains and their processes using digital technologies. Our project does not aim to enhance existing supply chains, it aims to replace them. We might imagine replacing the existing fabric of tier-1, tier-2 and tier-n manufacturers with an intelligent network and just tier-n manufacturers. Towards this far reaching vision, we have designed a theoretical, mathematical framework to facilitate the scalable interaction of manufacturing agents. This framework is patent pending in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and internationally.
  • At present, we have a set of software and hardware prototypes, accompanied by simulations that implement parts of this framework.

The end goal is to be able to ask: I have a thing with the following specification. Who and what can make that for me? What is the cost of the job? How long will it take? Can the job be scheduled given available capacities? What is most efficient way to complete the job given a set of constraints? Now do it: Execute, monitor, deliver & feedback!

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