One of the more exciting developments in the field of automation has been the rise of collaborative robots (see links to Automation World coverage of this trend via links at the end of this article). However, since collaborative robot technology is still relatively new, most people’s experience with the technology has come via videos and articles. If you are among the many who have not yet experienced the collaborative robot advance first-hand, you can change that with a trip to PACK EXPO in Las Vegas, to be held September 28-30, 2015.
According to ABB, PACK EXPO will mark the first public North American appearance of YuMi, ABB’s foray into the collaborative technology space. ABB says YuMi is the “the world’s first truly collaborative dual-arm industrial robot.” The company notes that YuMi can be “fully integrated with ABB’s Integrated Vision as well as the recently introduced FlexFeeder, a compact flexible parts feeding system designed for small parts applications.”
If you are unfamiliar with collaborative robots, these are robots designed to assist humans and can work alongside them in various industrial applications. Though most industrial robots must be contained within cages or operate in some sort of highly secure space to prevent injuries to humans, collaborative robots feature integral motion and speed controls that ensure they can’t hurt humans working in close proximity. Some models, such as YuMi, even have cushioned outer “skins” to further prevent the possibility of injury to humans working alongside them.
In addition to YuMi, ABB will also feature the following technologies in its PACK EXPO exhibit:
- FlexPicker high-speed, pick-and-place delta robots, including the standard double-picker cell function package, which can accommodate the range of IRB 360 FlexPickers, from the the 1 kg, 3 kg and 8 kg payload variants at the standard 1130 mm reach, to the 1 kg and 6 kg variants at the extended 1600 mm reach. The 8 kg model is designed for handling heavier individual products, heavier tooling and larger product groupings, while the 1 kg FlexPicker features the Soft Robotics Adaptive Gripper System, which enables the FlexPicker to address a varying range of object shapes, sizes, and weights at high pick rates with a single end-of-arm tool;
- The IRB 460 palletizer, which is designed to meet the high throughput requirements of end-of-line and bag palletizing applications. The portion of the exhibit also features ABB’s Robot Studio Palletizing PowerPac software for set-up and programming of the palletizer;
- A conveyor and labeling demo will highlight the integration of ABB’s low-voltage drives, motion control, and automation products to maintain process uptime while lowering energy consumption and minimizing maintenance costs; and
- Machine safety products and systems by ABB Jokab Safety, including the new Orion light curtains and a line of stainless steel safety switches.
Other Automation World collaborative robotics coverage: