Adept showed what it claims to be the world's fastest commercial robot here at the Automation Technology Expo West in Anaheim, CA. Called the Quattro, this four-axis parallel robot reaches speeds up to 10 m/s and offers accelerations up to 15 g, according to Seema Gupta, product manager for the new robot as well as for the company's SCARA models. That kind of speed translates to typical cycle times in the 0.26-0.50 second range, depending on the payload. That payload, by the way, is rated up to 2 kg for this model, which has a positioning repeatability of +/-0.1 mm and an angular repeatability of +/-0.4 degrees on its rotational axis. The robot's work envelop is 1300 mm with a 500 mm z-stroke. The most striking thing about the Quattro is that it features a patented four-arm design, one more arm than the Delta robots that have established themselves as the most common parallel robots. "The extra arm allows better load balancing, which helps us achieve the higher speeds," Gupta explains. The Quattro is intended for high-speed packaging and material handling in a variety of industries, with a focus on one-part-at-a-time applications. Gupta notes that the robot will handle up to 180 individual parts/minute. Adept licensed the four-arm design from Fatronik, a technology center in Spain.
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Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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