AMITIAE - Tuesday 5 November 2013

Epson Announces New Autonomous Dual-Arm Robot

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By Graham K. Rogers


Epson Corporation has long been a leader in the design and production of industrial robots, claiming the highest levels of income from shipments of SCARA robots last year. The company also has a lead in design and production of 6-axis robots. Just at the end of October, the company announced two additions to its leading H-series of single-arm (SCARA) robots, including one specifically designed for work in clean rooms.

Epson dual arm robot Epson has now followed that with the announcement of an autonomous dual-arm robot. This will expand the number and type of tasks that such a robot can carry out:

Equipped with vision and force sensing functions, this robot can autonomously execute tasks by recognizing objects, making decisions, and adjusting the amount of force applied, on the fly.

As a solution to the reliance on manual labour which has problems of accuracy and cost, Epson used its skills in existing advanced technologies - vibration-control, image processing, software, and robotics - and has developed the autonomous dual-arm robot equipped with visual and force sensing functions.

The robot is able to accurately recognize the position and orientation of objects in three-dimensional space, much like the human eye. The two robot arms are equipped with newly developed force sensors that give the robot human-like control over the force exerted by the arms, enabling the robots to transport and assemble objects without damaging them. The robotic arms will come standard equipped with a multipurpose end effector that can grasp, clamp, and insert objects of various shapes and sizes.

While this is currently in the prototype stages, Epson has plans to put the device into production within the next couple of years, but those interested can see a version of the robot at the Tokyo International Robot Exhibition 2013 that is running from now until 9 November. More information on Epson's robot solutions and products is available on the Epson Robot pages.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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