Mitsubishi Extends Cobot Capabilities to Industrial Robots

Through a new partnership with Realtime Robotics, Mitsubishi is increasing the capabilities of its collaborative robot technology for use with industrial robots.

Demonstration of Mitsubishi and Realtime Robotics collaborative robot application at SPS 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany.
Demonstration of Mitsubishi and Realtime Robotics collaborative robot application at SPS 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Realtime Robotics is a startup company based in Boston that has developed a robotics automation platform for real-time motion planning. It is designed to ensure full speed, collision-free operation of multiple robots in an uncaged workcell.

Mitsubishi recently invested in Realtime Robotics to bring its technological capabilities into Mitsubishi’s range of robotic applications. It’s important to note here that Mitsubishi does not offer a specially designed cobot, as it has always preferred to use a combination of sensor and safety technologies to ensure safe, collaborative use of industrial robots working alongside people. The company prefers this approach so that users can still access the high-precision capabilities of its industrial robots in cobot applications.

In a demonstration at Mitsubishi’s exhibit at the SPS (Smart Production Systems) event in Nuremberg, Germany, Realtime Robotics' motion planning capabilities were put to the test, as you can see in the video. In the demo, the robots dynamically avoid collisions whenever the presence of a human is detected in the work space. The two robots also react to each other’s presence by recognizing when collisions are possible based on positioning of the objects to be picked by the robots.

Cameras (which can be seen at the top of the video frame) detect and send information about the presence and position of people and objects in the workcell. The motion of the robots are controlled by Realtime Robotics’ motion planning software to avoid collisions. In the SPS demo, Realtime Robotics’ motion planning platform is coupled with Mitsubishi's industrial robots.

The motion planning software from Realtime Robotics is robot agnostic—it can work with any type of robot. As part of the partnership between the two companies, Mitsubishi will be pairing Realtime Robotics’ motion control platform with Mitsubishi Electric's robot product lines.

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