|[August 01, 2014]
Meet the Next Generation of Universal Robots at IMTS
EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. --(Business Wire)--
Visitors to Universal
Robots' booth E-4841 at IMTS in Chicago this September 8-13 get the
opportunity to program a robot with safety features that adjust to the
context it operates within. CTO of Universal Robots, Esben Oestergaard,
explains that the patented new safety concept is a logical development
of the Danish robot manufacturer's collaborative
"When a human enters the robot's work-cell, the robot arm can operate in
reduced mode, and then resume full speed when he leaves again. Or, the
robot can run full speed inside a CNC machine for example, and then
reduced speed when outside."
To achieve a switch between normal and reduced safety mode, eight safety
functions are monitored by the new patented safety system: Joint
positions and speeds, TCP positions, orientation, speed and force, as
well as the momentum and power of the robot. The settings can only be
changed in a password protected area.
Knows its position upon power-up
Another key innovation of Universal Robots' new generation of
collaborative robots is the True Absolute Encoders, allowing the robot
to achieve faster start-up because its position is recognized upon
"With the integration of the True Absolute Encoder, our robot-arms can
be integrated even more easily into other machineries while startup also
becomes much faster and simpler for all applications," says Oestergaard.
Unlike most other industrial robots with incremental encoders that work
like absolute encoders, until the battery runs out, the encoders in the
UR robots are not battery driven, therefore named "True Absolute
Encoders" eliminating the need to�frequently re-initialize the robot
arms since their position in space is known despite the robot not
requiring battery power to achieve this function.
Based on user feedback
Though the robot arms UR5 and UR10 are now equipped with numerous new
features, Universal Robots remains true to its approach of
user-friendly, lightweight robots. The visual appearance of the
six-jointed UR5 and UR10 robot arms, with a payload of 5/10 kilos
respectively, remains unchanged. But inside of the robot arm itself, as
well as in the controller, are more hidden surprises; Sixteen additional
digital I/Os doubles the number of built-in I/Os which are
easy to configure either as digital signals or as safety signals. The
control box has a revised design and a rebuilt controller to further
improve the possibilities for connecting equipment to the control boxes.
"We are the only manufacturer of lightweight robot arms with a long
lasting experience in a wide variety of industries. Our R&D department
worked hard in order to integrate input and feedback from end users into
our product development," comments Enrico KroghIversen, Universal
Robots CEO, on the latest development from Denmark.
"With our flexible robot-arms, we address a broad target group - whether
it is (un-)loading of CNC machines in a ten-man firm or a gluing-process
at an automotive manufacturer, everyone benefits from our robots.
Because they perform the dull or harmful jobs that needed to be done by
humans before," says Iversen.
All the new features of the 3rd generation robots have been certified by
T�V (Technischer �berwachungs-Verein - a German organization that work
to validate the safety of products) and tested in accordance with EN ISO
13849:2008 PL d and EN ISO 10218-1:2011, Clause 5.4.3.
Universal Robots is a result of many years of intensive research in
robotics. The product portfolio includes the UR5
models that handle payloads of up to 11.3 lbs. and 22.6 lbs.
respectively. The six-axis robot arms weigh as little as 40 lbs. with
reach capabilities of up to 51 inches. Repeatability of +/- .004"
allows quick precision handling of even microscopically small parts.
After initial risk assessment, the collaborative Universal Robots can
operate alongside human operators without cumbersome and expensive
safety guarding. This makes it simple and easy to move the light-weight
robot around the production, addressing the needs of agile manufacturing
even within small- and medium sized companies regarding automation as
costly and complex. If the robots come into contact with an employee,
the built-in force control limits the forces at contact, adhering to the
current safety requirements on force and torque limitations.
Intuitively programmed by non-technical users, the robot arms go from
box to operation in less than an hour, and typically pay for themselves
within 195 days.
Since the first UR robot entered the market in December 2008, the
company has seen substantial growth with the robotic arms now being sold
in more than 50 countries worldwide. The company is headquartered in
Odense, Denmark where all development and production is carried out. The
company's global sales target for 2014 is 2,000 robots followed by a
doubling of sales every year from 2014 to 2017
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