Comau Developing Mobile Cobot Platform

May 1, 2023
The new mobile robot platform, with collaborative safety features, is being developed as part of three EU R&D projects.

A new mobile robotics platform is being developed by Italian automation company Comau. The platform centers on Comau’s high-payload Racer-5 robot—a 6-axis articulated robotic arm that can work at industrial speeds of up to 6 m/s when human operators are not present, and Comau’s Agile1500 automated guided vehicle.

The Racer 5 robot arm has a 5 Kg payload, 0.809 m reach, 0.03 mm repeatability, a collaborative/non-collaborative speed switch, and can move at speed upto 500 mm/s in collaborative mode.

The Agile 1500 automated guided vehicle can transport up to 1.5 tons at speeds of 1.7m/s using sensors, 1.2m/s using magnetic guidance, and 1.0m/s backwards. It has a positioning repeatability of +/-10mm.

Comau says this mobile cobot platform “supports customized and efficient operations where human operators and machines work side-by-side and is designed to handle individualized production within an Industry 4.0-enabled manufacturing environment.”

Visual feedback for pick-and-place operations or other tasks is provided via Comau’s MI.RA integrated vision system installed directly on the arm.

The Racer-5 robotic arm is mounted on Comau’s Agile1500 autonomous mobile vehicle, which is equipped with two independent batteries that power the mobile platform and robotic arm separately and can be managed using different types of navigation modes and a standard Comau controller.

Comau notes that this integrated mobile cobot platform is modular, scalable and completely re-configurable for adaptation to different applications without changing the system’s underlying software or hardware architecture. Reconfigurability is key for this platform as it is intended to be tied to a single operation. Its mobility enables it to address a large number of applications in different areas of a plant as needed.

EU Projects

Developed as part of R&D efforts to deliver mobile collaborative robot applications for a variety of industries, the Comau mobile robotics platform is initially being tested at:

  • DIMOFAC (Digital and Intelligent Modular Factories), an EU-initiative aimed at helping companies implement a smart factory architecture. Here the platform is being used for pick-and-place and warehouse automation tasks within a machining scenario.
  • The EU funded Penelope project, where the platform is being used for glue dispensing and non-destructive quality inspection in the public transport domain. Here, the goal of the Horizon 2020 program is to develop a closed-loop, end-to-end digital manufacturing system that facilitates bi-directional data flows across the entire manufacturing value chain.
  • Odin Automotive (recently rebranded as B-ON and focused on fleet electrification), where the platform is being used to manipulate mechanical parts for automotive applications with the aim of demonstrating the technical and performance feasibility of collaborative robotics on the factory floor.

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