Robotics Manufacturers Crank Up Their Collaborative Efforts

May 13, 2015

Robotics manufacturers crank up their collaborative efforts, there are a wide range of robots available from big manufactureres such as Fanuc, KUKA, Motoman, Universal Robots, and ABB. They are bringing new technologies to the production line that are enabling humans and robots to collaborate together and do away with old safety barriers.

Collaborative robotics

Until recent­ly, indus­tri­al robots have been trapped behind cur­tains, fenc­ing, and oth­er bar­ri­ers away from humans because of the dan­gers that exist­ed dur­ing oper­a­tion. Indus­tri­al robots move with a force that could injure a human work­er if they entered the work space dur­ing the appli­ca­tion process. How­ev­er, many robot­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Fanuc, KUKA, Motoman, and ABB, are tak­ing advan­tage of new tech­nolo­gies that enable humans and robots to col­lab­o­rate, doing away with the safe­ty bar­ri­ers of old.

Fanuc Robot­ics recent­ly intro­duced the CR-35iA, the first heavy lift­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive robot on the mar­ket. This robot is able to lift up to 35kg, while also being able to work in close prox­im­i­ty with work­ers, per­form­ing a vari­ety of tasks for a mul­ti­tude of indus­tries. The CR-35iA is cov­ered in a soft green shell that cuts down on the force impact when it comes into con­tact with a work­er or oth­er structure.

The Motoman HC10 col­lab­o­ra­tive robots have blue rub­ber skin to fur­ther pro­tect humans from pinch points. They also have spe­cial tech­nol­o­gy, called Pow­er and Force Lim­it that can mon­i­tor the force in each joint, as nec­es­sary. It can also imme­di­ate­ly stop the robot if any con­tact is detect­ed. Fur­ther­more, the HC10 has incred­i­bly sim­ple pro­gram­ming called Easy Teach­ing Smart HUB where the user can posi­tion the robot arm and grip­per on the desired path. 

While robots have been assist­ing humans for years, KUKA Robot­ics took this one step fur­ther and intro­duced the LBR iiwa to the world. The iiwa stands for intel­li­gent indus­tri­al work assis­tant.” This KUKA robot is the first to have safe torque sen­sors on every axis, and it is suit­ed for tac­tile solu­tions and sim­ple grip­per sys­tems, accord­ing to KUKA. This light­weight robot has ele­vat­ed sen­so­ry capa­bil­i­ties, which not only make it safer for human-robot col­lab­o­ra­tion, but also make it user-friend­ly with a sim­ple robot con­trol and fast teaching.

Tout­ing the first tru­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive robot, ABB unveiled YuMi, which is short for you and me work­ing togeth­er,” is a com­plete col­lab­o­ra­tive indus­tri­al expe­ri­ence for the con­sumer elec­tron­ics indus­try. Accord­ing to Robot­ics Today, the ABB YuMi is a human-friend­ly, dual-arm robot that has the abil­i­ty to feel and see. YuMi’s dual arms are also cov­ered in a soft shell to cut down on the force on con­tact with any oth­er struc­ture or work­er. While YuMi was pri­mar­i­ly designed as an assem­bly robot for the elec­tron­ics indus­try, ABB is work­ing to pos­si­bly devel­op its func­tion­al­i­ty for oth­er indus­tries as well.

Over­all, the col­lab­o­ra­tive robot­ics move­ment means that humans and robots are going to be able to work togeth­er with­out all of the safe­ty guards and bar­ri­ers, which will improve appli­ca­tion func­tion­al­i­ty, while also cut­ting down on the amount of space nec­es­sary for a robot­ic unit.

Are you inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the col­lab­o­ra­tive robots list­ed above, or any of the tra­di­tion­al indus­tri­al robots avail­able from the com­pa­nies in this arti­cle? Then you should con­tact Robots​.com as we inte­grate a vari­ety of robots for Fanuc, Motoman, KUKA and ABB. Our staff will work with you to help you design and build the best robot­ic sys­tem for you and your facility.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Robots​.com today online or at 8777626881.

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