Co-Bots at MACH Exhibition

Co-Bots at MACH Exhibition

A visible trend at this year’s MACH exhibition is represented by the collaborative robots, known as co-bots. These new products are designed specifically to work alongside people on production lines and in factories and are opening up new markets for robotics and its applications.

At Hall 19, stand 610, Fanuc’s Co-bot is easily visible as it is bright green and occupies the centre of the stand. Spokesperson Penny Lewis explained that the choice of colour is not a coincidence: Most of our robots are bright yellow, but the green colour signals easily that this machine is safe to be around. In addition, the green skin is also a soft material to ensure that even if accidental collisions do happen, there is an extra layer of cushioning to prevent injury.

The robot stands on a flared base equipped with contact sensors that will trigger complete stop at the slightest bump. The robot has the same functionality and range of motion as our Al-R-mate robot. It is suitable for use with wet foods, making it very versatile. In aerospace specifiers are using it to handle small and intricate parts that are sometimes taxing for human operators, Lewis said.

At another stand (Hall 19, stand 400), ABB is showcasing its co-bot, YuMi, which was launched two years ago and has been used since then by the electronic industry, with Sony as the first customer. It is small and curvy in its design and, as marketing representative Michelle Jocelyn explained, the curves and seamless appearance of the manipulator arms are intended to make sure that the machine has no pinch points that could catch operators’ fingers by accident.

RARUK is a smaller producer and its stand (Hall 19, stand 238) features models from Universal Robotics. The company sells a range of robots of different sizes, again equipped with sensors to stop them if they come into contact with human. The force they can exert is limited to 100 N, about the third of force a human might impose when knocking on a door. The main advantage is that it can be used for tasks that might pose a risk of repetitive strain injury for a human operator, and that tends to up skill employees so they can concentrate on other tasks, spokesperson Camilla Williamson said.

Share this post