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There’s more to robots than building cars

14 August, 2007

The French robot-maker Stäubli recently demonstrated several applications that, it contends, demonstrate that robots can offer the automation market far more than traditional high-speed, high-precision operations.

Staubli drawing roboys

The demonstrations included:

º  two co-ordinated robots (shown above), which produced a pair of mirror-image signatures simultaneously on either side of a glass panel, precisely recreating a signature written on a touchpad;

º  a vision recognition system that allows a robot to lock onto a defined shape in 3D and follow its movement precisely - in the demonstration, a robot arm carrying a TV camera was able to follow a face or a football much more smoothly than a cameraman;

º  high-power laser cutting using a laser pathway is inside the robot arm and through each joint, allowing more laser power to be transmitted than would be possible using an external fibre optic cable; and

º  a touch-sensitive robot arm that that could be pushed back by hand, without inflicting any damage.

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