Pros and Cons of a Fully-Automated World: About SoftWear Automations SEWBOTS™
New York Fashion Week is kicking off next Thursday and, while anticipation grows about new collections, questions and doubts remain about the future of such events and of the industry in general.
Things are indeed changing at a very fast rhythm, at times without the major players in the industry even realising it. The main changes are coming via technological innovations: while until a few years ago we had computer-assisted design software, the potential of algorithms is currently being explored on a style and design level. Yet further innovations may be coming for what regards advanced manufacturing and a new generation of industrial robots, like the Sewbots™ devised by Atlanta-based machine and robotics startup SoftWear Automation Inc..
Founded in 2007 by a group of engineers from Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center, SoftWear Automation spent years researching the possibility of industrial machines working with soft materials. Working with cloth is indeed rather tricky and complex because a fabric moves, stretches and changes shapes, so it needs a human hand to make sure seams stay straight, that’s why so far robots have been mainly working on rigid materials such as metal or plastics.
In 2012 the company received a $1.8 million grant from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and started developing a range of sewn goods worklines for Home Goods, Footwear & Apparel.
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