Voice Control Technology Is Here for the Machine Shop

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Voice recognition software has been a growing trend in the Industrial Internet of Things and is already changing the way we look at machine tools.


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Makino is leading the way in advancing voice-recognition human-machine interface (HMI) technology in machine tools, but it is not doing that on its own. The company is working with the company iTSpeeX, developer of Athena, which they call “the first universal, voice-operated-assistant technology specifically designed for manufacturing work.”

Digital shopfloor connectivity is already a gold standard for successful machine shops. Athena aims to pair that with the success and growing interest in voice technology that we’ve already seen in our daily lives with things like Siri and Alexa.

For now, Athena is a hands-free way to execute a number of control and information display functions—one operator to one machine—with commands like, “run part-program 208 . . . stop coolant . . . change tool to T-15,” and so on. It can provide instant access to CNC information that otherwise requires wading through the CNC interface to find things such as machine settings or maintenance history…SEE IT IN ACTION.