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Cable-driven robots can move heavy loads over long distances

14 July, 2014

Cable-driven robot technology is also being developed and applied in other parts of the world. For example, the Inria research institute in France has developed a portable rescue system that can be deployed within ten minutes and can lift loads of up to 2.5 tonnes. It operates with six degrees of freedom and encompasses a volume measuring 75 x 45 x 25m.

Other applications include a radio telescope (in China), a system to help rehabilitate injured patients by suspending them as they walk on a moving walkway, a system for suspending and moving objects in wind tunnels, a system for storing items in racks which is said to be 90% lighter than conventional storage/retrieval systems and to use less energy, and an amusement park ride (being developed in Korea).

The Fraunhofer cable-driven robots are controlled by eight winches which position the moving platform precisely

At the recent Automatica show in Germany, Fraunhofer IPA demonstrated several potential applications for the new robot technology – including inspection, handling and assembly.  

The technology, which is said to be approaching the commercialisation phase, will be discussed at a conference in Germany in August.

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