The "budger" uses a vacuum to grasp fabric and position it
The SoftWear system uses an overhead "pick and place" robot system to move garments between work stations
A prototype sewing machine with modified robotic servo head
Detail of robotic servo head
U.S. military uniforms may not be the most fashionable of clothes, but there are a lot of them. Every year, the Pentagon spends US$4 billion on uniforms and over 50,000 people are employed in their production. In an effort to cut costs and increase efficiency, DARPA has awarded a US$1.25 million contract SoftWear Automation, Inc. to develop “complete production facilities that produce garments with zero direct labor is the ultimate goal" - in other words, a robot factory that can make uniforms from beginning to end without human operators.
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