Content By Quality Digest

David Mitchell’s picture

By: David Mitchell

Using a novel capability to reason about shape, function, and attachment of unrelated parts, researchers have for the first time successfully trained an intelligent agent to create basic tools by combining objects.

The breakthrough comes from Georgia Tech’s Robot Autonomy and Interactive Learning (RAIL) research lab and is a significant step toward enabling intelligent agents to devise more advanced tools that could prove useful in hazardous—and potentially life-threatening—environments.

The concept may sound familiar. It’s called “MacGyvering,” based off the name of a 1980s—and recently rebooted—television series. In the series, the title character is known for his unconventional problem-solving ability using differing resources available to him.

For years, computer scientists and others have been working to provide robots with similar capabilities. In their new robot-MacGyvering work, RAIL lab researchers led by associate professor Sonia Chernova used as a starting point a robotics technique previously developed by former Georgia Tech professor Mike Stilman.

Multiple Authors
By: Phanish Puranam, Agustin Chevez

Flying sharks, waterfalls in the lobby, in-house top chefs, and dogs in the workplace. These are just a few tangible examples of experience design reimagining organizations beyond the traditional scope of organization design.

Organization design is concerned with how to shape interactions among members to further certain strategic goals. It typically involves decisions about authority and incentives, selection and recruitment processes, leadership, and culture. But the physical space within which an organization’s members interact has not historically been a part of the design palette. That’s changing rapidly today.

The concept of experience design (introduced by Pine and Gilmore) has been influential in the world of customer interactions. Principles traditionally used to attract, captivate, and retain customers are now being used by organizations to win talent in highly competitive labor markets. The idea, though new to office culture, is basically intuitive: Make work a fun, rewarding place to be, and employees will want to come on board, stay put, and work hard. Hence, the proliferation of foosball tables, bean bag chairs, and other rec-room-style touches in offices aspiring to hipness.

L.S. Starrett Co.’s picture

By: L.S. Starrett Co.

(Starrett: Athol, MA) -- The L.S. Starrett Co., a leading global manufacturer of precision measuring tools and gages, metrology systems, and more, has significantly expanded its line of Benchtop Hardness Testers, adding seven Rockwell systems, eight Vickers systems and one Brinell system, a total of 16 new testers. “From basic analog and manual control, to advanced digital and fully automated systems, our new Hardness lineup offers customers a complete and comprehensive range of solutions for any or all of their hardness testing needs,” says Emerson Leme, vice president of Industrial Products—North America.

The new Starrett Rockwell Hardness Systems include two regular Rockwell Digital Testers, two Superficial Rockwell Testers, (one dial and one digital), two Twin Rockwell-Superficial Rockwell Testers (one dial and one digital), and two Twin Rockwell-Superficial testers with a Dolphin Nose design that are fully automated digital systems with output to PC and capable of measuring 30 different Rockwell scales.

Omnex 10-1-19 Webinar Link

Omnex 10-1-19 Webinar Link

DNV GL’s picture

By: DNV GL

Workplace safety is a complex issue, addressing everything from rules for operating heavy machinery to guidelines for respecting your fellow employees. For many of these issues we, as a business community, have developed and applied a variety of best practices and global standards—such as ISO 45001—to help establish and preserve a safe and healthy working environment for everyone.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor estimates that two million employees are victims of workplace violence annually, resulting in a loss of 1.2 million workdays and an estimated $55 million in lost wages.  The long-term costs to business continuity and the human capital that supports it are almost staggering. 

As a society, we work toward the prevention of accidents that result in personal injuries; we have policies about professional behavior and decorum, and plans to deal with emergencies by natural causes such as fires, floods, and electrical outages. What we must now develop are the operational plans and policies to deal with targeted violence such as active shooter events. 

The New RS6 Laser Scanner – All the Performance, All of the Time

The new RS6 Laser Scanner for the Absolute Arm makes 3D laser scanning better and easier than ever. Built on innovative SHINE technology that allow it to measure almost any surface using its default exposure settings, the RS6 makes the collection of high-quality data both fast and simple. It’s still laser scanning, but better.

The New RS6 Laser Scanner – All the Performance, All of the Time

The New RS6 Laser Scanner – All the Performance, All of the Time
 

The new RS6 Laser Scanner for the Absolute Arm makes 3D laser scanning better and easier than ever. Built on innovative SHINE technology that allow it to measure almost any surface using its default exposure settings, the RS6 makes the collection of high-quality data both fast and simple. It’s still laser scanning, but better.

Hexagon 9-16-19 F Video Companion

QDL: The quality professional's role in innovation.

Story links for Sept. 13, 2019

 

The quality professional's role in innovation.

This week we talk to Jim Harrington, CEO of Harrington Management Systems, about innovation, and how and why the quality professional should be involved in the process.

See Jim Harrington's latest books:
Innovation Systems Cycle (Coming Fall 2019)
Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

facebooktwitter

Taryn Davis’s picture

By: Taryn Davis

You may have a distant memory of Hernán Cortés, that Spanish conquistador, from your eighth-grade world history class. If you don’t, he was known for conquering the Aztec tribes that controlled what is now Mexico. He’s also famous for a somewhat lesser-known story of rallying his men to burn their ships so that they couldn’t turn back around and leave before they had accomplished their goal.

This historical anecdote can provide needed inspiration for those in a variety of disciplines, but my favorite application is to leadership of improvement efforts.

If you are a professional working in the capacity of leading any kind of improvement effort, you know that getting buy-in from the people responsible for maintaining the improvement is at least half the battle. If you don’t get that, you may as well call the whole thing a wash. However, this requires a shift in culture so that the desire to sustain the change is built into the very framework of the business.

Most businesses don’t have the luxury of a continuous improvement mindset being built into the foundation right at the outset. And as we all know, while you may not pay attention to the foundation of your house until you notice a crack, it may be the single most important aspect of any structure.