Note: This is an excerpt from a story that originally appeared in the Albuquerque Journal.
Compact robotic arms could soon automate mundane aerospace manufacturing tasks like sanding or painting through a new Albuquerque-based startup, Kane Robotics.
Kane Aerospace, a California firm that provides automated engineering services to aerospace manufacturing companies, is partnering with Build with Robots in Albuquerque to adapt collaborative robots, or cobots, for mundane, repetitive tasks that are generally still done by workers. Unlike the bulky, multi-million dollar machines that today operate 24/7 to automate key factory operations, cobots are compact and adjustable mechanical arms programmed to do simple things alongside workers, such as sanding, drilling or cutting.
Most of those simpler tasks are not yet automated in aerospace engineering facilities, offering a market niche for Kane Robotics, said Kane Aerospace CEO John Spruce.
Spruce expects to hire about 20 engineers and technicians over the next two years who will work with Build with Robots to program cobots for specific aerospace tasks. Kane Robotics will be headquartered in Albuquerque with sales offices in aerospace hubs around the nation, Spruce said.