Spanish automation integrator Desmasa launched a mobile manipulator platform that it described as a “mobile collaborative robot” (MCR). The design enables the movement of the entire platform so that a collaborative robot (cobot) arm can be placed anywhere in a facility that automated pick and place operations are required.
The base of the MCR contains the cobot controller and is configured to be moveable around a facility with a pallet jack. When positioned at a work location, the MCR base is anchored to the floor via pre-installed anchor points that securely, and accurately, lock it in place. Power for the cobot is then supplied by plugging in the MCR to facility power.
The MCR is also available in a “high speed” model that integrates safety LiDAR into the base of the MCR. The LiDAR watches the area around the robot and will initiate slower speed operations when a human worker enters the workspace of the cobot.
The MCR is completely customizable, and may include additional fixturing on the platform along with a custom gripper design. A tool changer might be the right choice if the MCR is going to be used in multiple, different applications. If used in conveyor tracking applications, an optional vision system might be installed on the cobot arm for vision guidance.
The new mobile manipulator solution is available in two different base platform configurations. The Desmasa MCR platform contains a cobot arm and the cobot controller. The MCR is designed to be moved manually around your facility with a pallet jack.
Ideal applications for the MCR include:
- Machine tending
- Part feeding/replenishment
- Bin picking
Desmasa offers two options for mobile manipulation
The new mobile manipulator is available in two base platform configurations. The Desmasa MCR platform contains a cobot arm and the cobot controller. The MCR is designed to be moved manually around your facility with a pallet jack.
The Desmasa MCR+ attaches the cobot/controller/battery to the top of an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) base. The MCR+ is fully autonomous and can maneuver the cobot arm to where it’s needed within your facility. The MCR+ can quickly step into a given process point within your facility and begin operations. When the work is completed, MCR+ can move the cobot arm to another location to perform a different task. By changing the tool tip or gripper on the cobot, the system can be reconfigured quickly for a variety of tasks. The battery in the MCR+ is designed to power the system for one shift, but power consumption depends on the usage of the cobot arm and power requirements of any accessories.
Desmasa designed the manipulation solution in the MCR/MCR+ around the Fanuc CRX-10ia product family, a 6-axis cobot arm with a 10 kg (22 lb) payload capacity. The CRX-10ia cobot arm has a maximum reach of 1249 mm (49.2”) and the CRX-10ia/L cobot arm has a maximum reach of 12414189 mm (55.8”). The Fanuc CRX has been on the market since December 2019 and Fanuc is actively building out their channel with partners like Desmasa.
“When it comes to cobots, the CRX is an exceptional choice for companies – even for first time robot users,” said Eric Potter, director of FANUC’s general industry and automotive engineering segments. “Like all of FANUC’s robots, the CRX offers our proven industrial quality and reliability. In addition, this robot can operate for eight years maintenance-free – truly a game changer for companies looking to lower costs and increase productivity.”
Desmasa integrates vision guidance by Photoneo vision. The Photoneo solution is easy to train, and the company has demonstrated their capabilities in bin picking and robot guidance applications. Cameras can be affixed to the MCR/MCR+ platform or to the workstation where the MCR unit is being deployed.
Desmasa is a Spanish automation company with a history of innovation combining robotics and vision guidance. The MCR concept is one of the first commercial solutions on the market to take advantage of the integration between AMR, cobot and vision. Desmasa is selling the solution worldwide as they roll out the initial installations.
Other AMR companies like IAM Robotics, PBA Robotics, Bastian Solutions and Robotnik have also launched commercial mobile manipulators. We expect to see more applications for mobile manipulators emerge in the future. Fetch Robotics also has a mobile manipulator, but it’s strictly for research purposes.
Editors Note: This story originally appeared on Collaborative Robotics Trends.