Plastic-motion-component maker igus could advance the collaborative-robotics industry when it unveils its low-cost ReBeL robotics joint at Hannover Messe 2018. The maintenance-free joint works in residential and commercial applications.
The ReBeL gives a sixth rotation axis to modular robolink arms to let them reach myriad positions. According to igus, the new ReBeL will also make robots serving orange juice, loading dishwashers, or sorting manufacturing pieces easier to design and less inexpensive. The ReBeL joint may even allow connection to voice-command systems.
There are several injection-molded parts manufactured by igus for power transmission on the ReBeL. These include lubrication-free and smooth-running igus xiros plastic ball bearings. The joint driven is by strain-wave gearing and brushless dc motors instead of stepper motors (as in previous robolink models). Because the gearboxes are constructed mostly with polymers, the ReBeL system is light … Plus the BLDC motors weigh far less than stepper motors.
Robotic controls built into dc-motor-driven axes
Control equipment built into the axes eliminates the need for an external control cabinet. “Plus cables can route directly into the robot arm,’’ said Martin Raak, robolink product manager at igus GmbH.
“Joints can also be equipped with absolute encoders that remember the arm position even when a power failure occurs.”
Besides lightweighting the design, the joint’s injection-molded parts help keep cost in check.
“Our vision is that manufacturers will be able to offer six-axis service robots for about $1,250 without a control unit … or to a bit above $6,000 with integrated controls,’’ Raak said.
“We want to make cost-effective robot arms and applications possible for mechanical engineering companies and even individuals,” added Raak.
The new robolink is suitable for collection and delivery services, pick-and-place factory applications, and mobile applications needing robot arms mounted on moving platforms. See it at Stand H04 in Hall 17 at Hannover Messe.