OnRobot, which recently emerged from the three international companies On Robot, OptoForce and Perception Robotics, presented its first new products at automatica 2018: The “Gecko Gripper”, “Polyskin Tactile Gripper”, “RG2-FT” and a technical upgrade of the existing “HEX” force-torque sensor product line based on OptoForce technology are intended to open up new areas of application for collaborative robotics and at the same time make implementation even easier.
In this fast-growing market segment, OnRobot has thus positioned itself from the ground up as the innovative provider for collaborative applications one-stop shopping. they presented three new products and a technical upgrade at this year’s automatica.
“Collaborating robots have the potential to become the comprehensive standard in industrial automation,” says Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of OnRobot. “We want to contribute and unleash this potential by taking the next step: To make collaborative applications even easier to implement and to carry them into completely new areas of application – that is the basic idea behind all our new products that we presented at automatica”.
Innovative gripping with gecko and NASA technology
The “Gecko Gripper”, for example, offers a completely new approach. The gripper was developed by the start-up Perception Robotics which merged into OnRobot. The inspiration for this model comes from nature and uses the same adhesive system for gripping as the feet of a gecko: millions of fine fibres adhere to the surface of the workpiece and generate strong van der Waals forces. For the “Gecko Gripper” technology, OnRobot licenses a concept originally developed by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and brought it to market maturity.
The unique and fast moving solution makes vacuum grippers and thus the necessity of a compressed air system for handling large, flat objects unnecessary. In contrast to vacuum grippers, the “Gecko Gripper” can also handle perforated or porous workpieces such as printed circuit boards without any problems. The gripper is compatible with Universal Robots and Kawasaki robotic arms. The high degree of innovation has led to the system being among the three finalists of this year’s renowned IERA Award. The renowned robotics prize for innovation and entrepreneurship is awarded at automatica.
More sensitivity for demanding workpieces
The “Polyskin Tactile Gripper” also comes from the innovation forge Perception Robotics. The solution specialises in sensitive gripping: Both fingers can be individually aligned and have integrated tactile sensors at the fingertips. The gripper can thus precisely measure the condition of the surface of workpieces and align its gripping processes accordingly. These properties make it a fundamental enrichment, especially when working with sensitive or irregular workpieces. The Polyskin Tactile Gripper is also compatible with Universal Robots and Kawasaki.
Gripper for precise assembly
In addition to the already established “RG2” gripper, OnRobot is also launching a variation of the same on the market: The “RG2-FT” has integrated force-torque sensors and a proximity sensor, which also accurately detects the condition of objects. The gripper detects the danger of objects slipping off even before it happens, making handling even safer – for workers as well as for the workpiece. This gripper model is particularly suitable for use in precision assembly and is compatible with lightweight robots from Universal Robots and KUKA.
Fast installation for sensors
The OnRobot product line for force-torque sensors based on OptoForce technology, “HEX”, however, is not a new product, but receives substantial technical upgrade. The innovations are primarily designed to make installation and handling of the sensors even easier and faster: Mounting is now up to 30 percent faster, partly thanks to overload protection now integrated in the sensor, which no longer has to be removed and mounted separately when attaching to the robot arm. Furthermore, the weight of the sensor could be reduced by 20 percent. A new, improved sealing ring also protects the ” HEX” products better against dust or water in the environment.