KEBA wins 2014 Robotics Award at Hannover | Automation.com

KEBA wins 2014 Robotics Award at Hannover

KEBA wins 2014 Robotics Award at Hannover

April 9, 2014 - The winners of the 2014 ROBOTICS AWARD for excellence in applied robotics have been announced, with Austrian firm KEBA AG coming in ahead of FANUC Deutschland GmbH to take top honors with its innovative robot controller. This year there were four nominees instead of the usual three, with the result that third place is being shared for the first time in the Award’s history. One half of third place has gone to Robert Bosch GmbH, and the other to Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH and its partner preccon Robotics GmbH. The prizes were presented to the winners by the German State of Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economics, Olaf Lies, at an award ceremony held at HANNOVER MESSE on Tuesday.

“The quality and number of the entries received this year shows that robotics is now an integral part of our industrial reality,” said Deutsche Messe Managing Board member Dr. Jochen Köckler. “Applied robotics solutions are the key to getting the most out of the human-robot partnership,” he said. To even qualify for nomination, this year’s entries had to meet the usual stringent selection criteria plus be ready and certified for use in industrial applications.

The ROBOTICS AWARD provides an international platform for leading-edge robotics developments and is one of several ways in which the organizers of HANNOVER MESSE foster innovation in applied robotics. Others include the many dialogue and networking opportunities at the Robotics, Automation & Vision forum, plus the ROBOTICS CONGRESS, which this year will be held on 9 December at the Hannover Exhibition Center.

The winner: New way of positioning and programming mobile robots
The “KeTop T10 directMove” developed by the Austrian-based automation specialist KEBA AG is a new breed of handheld robot controller for positioning, guiding and programming mobile robots. It is a compact, one-hand controller with a thumb-operated joystick. The user simply points the controller in the direction s/he wants the robot arm to move and uses the joystick to position and rotate the robot tool. It is operated using intuitive gestures, enabling the user to keep his/her eyes on the robot at all times. Featuring a 3-position enabling switch, an emergency stop button and Ethernet port, the controller integrates seamlessly into conventional automation environments.

Second place: Bin-picking cell
The bin-picking cell developed by Germany’s FANUC Deutschland GmbH is a robotic application for picking parts from bins and loading them into machine tools. It is a unique fusion of robotics and industrial image processing that speeds up bin-picking operations. Using FANUC’s 3D Area Vision Sensor technology, the first robot arm is able to quickly identify the part (in this case an automobile connecting rod) in a bulk bin, pick it up and load it into the first machine. A second robot arm then picks the con-rod from the first machine and loads it into the second machine. Once the machining process is complete, the system uses a force sensor and gauge to analyze the dimensions of the con-rod eyes.

Third place, part 1: Human-machine interaction
One half of third place goes to Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany, for its APAS automatic production assistant. APAS is the first – and so far the only – industrial robot system certified in Germany for operation alongside humans without protective shielding. It’s all down to the robot’s redundant proximity detection system (capacitive sensor skin), which deactivates the robot whenever humans come closer than a set minimum distance, thereby avoiding collisions. APAS is quick and easy to program, thanks to an intuitive controller with a graphical user interface.

Third place, part 2: Robotics-based tire prototype production
The other half of third place goes to a joint project between tire manufacturer Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH and robotics specialist preccon Robotics GmbH. The winning project is a robot-assisted tire prototype production system that cuts tires from slick tires. The system cuts tread patterns, bores holes for spikes and applies markings. The industrial robot that makes it all possible acts both as a measuring device for the tires (using laser measurement) and tools (imaging-based calibration of the blades) and as the actual cutting tool. The system is extremely accurate, thanks to a custom-developed offline programming system that enables the operator to calibrate the robot, including the measurement and cutting tools, measure the workpieces and fully simulate all process steps.

This year marked the fourth time that the ROBOTICS AWARD has been staged by Deutsche Messe in partnership with the Industrieanzeiger trade journal and the Robotation Academy. The competition, which recognizes excellence in applied robotics design from the fields of industrial automation, mobile robotics applications and autonomous systems, is open to companies and institutions from Germany and abroad. Entries are assessed on five criteria: degree of technological innovation; benefits for industry, the environment and society; economic aspects; quality of the entry presentation (form/manner of presentation); and reality test in real-life industrial applications.

HANNOVER MESSE – Get new technology first!
The world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology is staged annually in Hannover, Germany. The next HANNOVER MESSE will run from 7 to 11 April 2014 and feature the Netherlands as its official Partner Country. HANNOVER MESSE 2014 will comprise seven flagship fairs: Industrial Automation • Energy • MobiliTec • Digital Factory • Industrial Supply • IndustrialGreenTec • Research & Technology. The upcoming event will place a strong emphasis on Industrial Automation and IT, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Industrial Subcontracting, Production Engineering and Services and Research & Development.

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