Robotic Warehouses

August 20, 2016 | ProgressTH In the race between localized manufacturing and automating existing, global-spanning logistical networks, localized manufacturing will eventually win. But until that day comes, automating aspects of existing supply chains provides us with some amazing solutions especially in robotics, sensors, and even artificial intelligence.

Check out this video about inVia Robotics and how they are helping to automate warehouses. There are lots of other robotic companies out there with similar solutions. And don't worry, even when localized manufacturing takes over, there will likely be plenty of applications these sort of systems can play a role in.

Are there opensource solutions out there helping to automate local SMEs? Yes. Here in Thailand there is a company, RST Robotics, which makes small and medium industrial robots for welding and moving products from one part of an assembly line to another.

As prices go down for researching, developing, and fabricating technology, we'll see a lot more of the sort of systems only big companies once were able to afford working their way into local industry, businesses, and economies.

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Makerspaces and Farmers' Markets Converge

How makerspaces are transforming into community centers where technology & people converge.

August 4, 2016 | ProgressTH  We recently got a chance to finally visit FabCafe Bangkok's monthly FabFarm farmers' market. Several have been organized so far, and more are yet to come.

Due to limited space, it is a relatively small farmers' market, lining the driveway into FabCafe. Around 10 or so vendors participated, but the event attracts a wide range of people from both the cozy urban neighbor FabCafe is situated in, to friends and acquaintances of FabCafe's growing network from all over Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

At least one vendor came from as far as Phetchaburi, about two hours away.

And despite its small size, it represents something very significant.

When last we wrote about FabCafe in 2015, one of its founders, Chutayaves Sinthuphan, shared with us the vision he and the rest of the FabCafe team had of creating a sort of local institution. We wrote:
Chutayaves sees a plausible future where people enjoy multiple interests, combining them together, and establishing highly localized communities thriving in self-sufficiency. Businesses and institutions like FabCafes and Fab Labs today, might become nodes in a patchwork of localized communities tomorrow.
A little over a year and a half later, that is most certainly what is happening at FabCafe now. Not only are designers, engineers, architects, and artists converging at FabCafe as one would expect at a makerspace, but now also farmers and the community attracted by organic farmers' markets are there too.