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Take the robot by the hand

The KUKA lightweight robot heralds visions of the future for robot technology

Munich, May 2006 – KUKA Roboter is displaying a new dimension of robotics at AUTOMATICA 2006, at Booths 211+221 in Hall B3. The KUKA lightweight robot is the result of close cooperation between industry and researchers. Thanks to its sensitive sensors it is capable of yielding to humans and it “learns” by letting itself be guided. As a leading-edge technology, it is now set to assist with university research into new fields of application for robotics.
 

KUKA Roboter has long been concerned with the topic of “Humans and Robots”. As one of the market-leading suppliers of industrial robots, the mission of establishing the robot as an intelligent helper, able to support humans by virtue of its high-quality work, is one that KUKA Roboter has been fulfilling for a long time. With the KUKA lightweight robot, it is now pursuing new visions for the future of robot technology. For only those who dare to question the intellectual limits of what is technically possible can hope to develop new ideas – working ideas.
To realize visions, these ideas must also be implemented with skilled partners. For this reason, KUKA Roboter is particularly proud of its longstanding partnership with the DLR (German Aerospace Center), which has now produced the KUKA lightweight robot. It is more like a person than its elder siblings employed in industry, and in the foreseeable future it could prove to be a valuable every-day assistant to the human worker.
Based on the human arm, the modular KUKA lightweight robot has seven degrees of freedom, which, when compared to the classical industrial robots, offer greater flexibility and ease of manipulation. Its integrated sensors, combined with its innovative control algorithms, enable it to yield to external forces wherever they might occur, whether at the flange or on the robot structure itself.
 

Its weight of 14 kg is also within its payload capacity, making it both lightweight and also a powerful lifter. Its predecessors were developed for the D2 mission, to which fact it owes its low weight. The joints of the KUKA lightweight robot are connected using CRP structures and its remaining components are also optimized for weight. It is fitted with light HD gear units and specially developed motors with a low power-weight ratio. Through the integration of this new-generation robot with the industrial PC-based KUKA robot controller, a completely new type of robot is emerging, designed to share its work envelope with humans. The robot can be taught job steps by taking it by the “hand” and guiding it. Time-consuming programming is not necessary.
A robot that allows itself to be gently pushed aside by people, and that is almost as agile as a person thanks to its seven degrees of freedom, is an important milestone on the road to service robotics and medical technology.  As a bringer of the latest technologies from research, the KUKA lightweight robot is now destined to find its way via the universities into new markets and fields of application.
 

About KUKA Roboter

KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg, is a member of the IWKA Aktiengesellschaft Group (Karlsruhe) and ranks among the world’s leading suppliers of industrial robots. Core competencies are the development, production and sale of industrial robots, controllers, software and linear units. The company is the market leader in Germany and Europe, and the number three in the world. The KUKA Robot Group employs about 2,000 people worldwide. Of these, 1,200 are employed in Germany, either at the KUKA Robot Group headquarters in Augsburg, or at various subsidiaries. In 2005, sales totaled 340 million euro. Over 20 subsidiaries provide a presence in the rest of Europe, the US and Asia.
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
Date of publication
 
15/05/2006
 
Press release to download (Word format)
 
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