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Apps are used to program ‘most compact’ robotic arm

09 June, 2015

The German gripper specialist Schunk has developed a lightweight robotic arm which, it claims, is the most compact of its type. The 12kg arm, which can handle loads of up to 6kg, incorporates its own controller, avoiding the need for an external controls or PCs, and making it easy to move the arm from one location to another.

The arm can be commissioned from a Web browser and Schunk has developed an app with a 3D viewer that allows axis-specific or Cartesian programming to be performed on a smartphone, tablet or PC. The arm can be equipped with a five-finger “hand” that can also be programmed using an app.

The LWA 4P Powerball arm has a gripping radius of more than 700mm, a weight-to-load ratio of 2:1, and a repeat accuracy of ±0.15mm. A compact wrist allows the arm to be used in tight spaces. The supply lines for grippers and other tools are hidden inside the arm, avoiding the need for external cables that risk being snagged. The arm is has a 24V supply and is driven by low-power torque motors that help to reduce the energy consumed to an average of 80W.

Schunk’s compact robot arm can be programmed from a phone or tablet

The arm is due to go on sale later this year.

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