Occupying one of the largest booths at Automate 2017 in Chicago this week, the Danish cobot manufacturer will showcase more than 20 new Universal Robots+ products from 14 different developers. The UR+ platform is a new online showroom that takes the trial and error process out of creating a robot application by providing access to products verified to work optimally with UR robots. From grippers to software, sensors, vision cameras, and accessories, Universal Robots+ not only enables end users to hit the ground running when integrating UR robots, it’s also an un-paralleled collaboration between Universal Robots and the flourishing developer ecosystem.
“What really differentiates us is our focus on growing this network of technology partners to ensure fast and easy deployment of our robot arms. We’re hoping to grow the platform to feature around 100 UR+ solutions by the end of 2017,” said CTO and co-founder of Universal Robots, Esben Østergaard.
One of the partners currently in the UR+ process is FESTO. At Universal Robots’ Automate booth 1245, the company is showing a new reliable and cost-effective solution for extending the reach of UR 6-axis robots through a horizontal or vertical 7th axis. This new solution is based on the FESTO electric linear-axis EGC-HD and CMMP-M3 servo-drive with the company’s advanced safety module. The servo-controlled actuators have been seamlessly integrated within UR’s programming environment and are compatible with the full range of UR robots.
“This new solution will enable UR customers to bring 7-axis systems to market faster and with less design overhead,” said Mike DeMange, Business Development Specialist with FESTO. “The partners examined customer needs as well as competitive offerings, and developed an effective and versatile 7-axis system, a solution designed for easy integration without having to learn multiple software platforms.”
Here is a little video clip from when we got a sneak preview at MD&M West earlier this year:
Automate is also the launch pad for the new low-cost, multi-axis force torque sensor Axia80 from ATI Industrial Automation that will debut at the UR booth embedded with a UR5 robot. Featuring an interactive booth demo, attendees will be able to move a work piece and force the cobot to adjust its path while it maintains a constant force. Unlike load cells, which only operate on a single axis and measure only push, the Axia80 senses torque and side loads along all six axes.
“It’s similar to a handshake,” said CEO of ATI, Robert Little. “The force/torque sensor measures the touch and feel and gives life to robots. It’s a feedback mechanism. For factories wanting to get deeper into automation, their cobots can use these sensors to do more of what those human laborers accomplish in terms of dexterity and efficiency. Universal Robots’ UR+ platform allows ATI to fully integrate our force/torque sensors with their robots, making it very simple for customers to program force-guided applications.”
To further document how UR+ solutions can work in tandem, a lineup of UR3 robot demos, each equipped with up to five different UR+ products, will also be ready for attendee interaction. The demos feature UR+ solutions from Millibar, Airgate, SICK, OnRobot, Robotiq, Weiss, OptoForce, Reiku, Schunk, Igus, Roboworld, and Afag.
Along with the development of UR+ solutions, Universal Robots is also growing its network of Certified System Integrators (CSIs). Kubica Corp., a UR CSI, will showcase an interactive augmented reality application featuring a UR10 robot assembling a door panel assisted by a Light Guide System (LGS) from OPS Solutions, an augmented reality tool. By projecting a digital operating “canvas” directly onto the workspace, LGS combines the best of human intelligence and automation technology to direct the robot and the operator through the required assembly tasks.
“We chose to show a door panel build as this is a labor-intensive process prone to human error, which is now significantly reduced by having the UR cobot handle several of the assembly tasks, working in tandem with the operator. We found that the UR10 robot has some built-in features that make it the perfect robot to accomplish this task,” said Scott Lown, Controls Engineer with Kubica Corp.
The Universal Robots booth is not the only opportunity for Automate attendees to interact with UR robots. Close to 20 other Automate exhibitors will also be exhibiting the blue cobots at the show.
“The fact that so many high-profile industry players now choose to feature UR robots in their booth applications is a significant testament to Universal Robots’ versatility and widespread market appeal. I look forward to walking the show floor and seeing our robots everywhere,” says Esben Østergaard.
Universal Robots was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard, who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial robots that are safe to work with. Since the first robot was launched in 2008, the company has experienced considerable growth with the user-friendly robots now sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. The company, which is a part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark, and has subsidiaries and regional offices in the USA, Spain, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, China, Singapore, India, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. For more information, please visit www.universal-robots.com.