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€8,000 Scara arm will help to ‘democratise’ robots

23 November, 2015

A French start-up company has developed a Scara robot that it is selling for prices starting at around €8,000 ($8,500), rather than the €20,000 typical of horizontal-arm robots of this type. MIP Robotics says that, at this price, payback periods can be as short as six months.

The company, founded earlier this year, aims to provide accessible industrial robots, especially for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). It says it wants to “democratise” industrial robotics.

MIP’s Junior robot arm has a 600mm range and a 400mm operating height, although these dimensions can be customised on request. It can reach speeds of up to 250mm/s, can move payloads of up to 5kg, and has a claimed accuracy of 0.5mm.

The robot is said to be easy to use and can be taught its movements by manually moving the arm. If it hits something, the robot will stop, allowing collaborative applications with humans, provided that safety conditions are met.

Paris-based MIP has developed its own technology, because it says the currently available commercial components are not compatible with its objectives. It is using its own smart motors with built-in electronics, and a new, patented type of gear reducer adapted for robots (and for precision machines in general). The compact, hollow-shaft reducer is reversible, displays zero backlash and has a high reduction ratio.

MIPs' low-cost Scara arm can pay for itself in six months in some applications
Photo: Business Wire

MIP’s Scara (selective compliance articulated robot arm) robots can be used to automate repetitive, arduous or dangerous tasks, and can be used with end-effectors such as suction cups, hooks, screwdrivers and blades. Potential applications include: placing goods inside cartons; checking torque; automated cutting; and removing rejected products.

The start-up is joining forces with industrial partners in areas such as pharmaceuticals, construction and logistics, to exploit and spread its innovations. It has also established partnerships with: the engineering school, Ensam, for mechanical developments; the French bank BPI, to fund its r&d; and  the Altran group, for business development.

MIP predicts that its easy-to-use, affordable and collaborative robots will accelerate the modernisation of industry and lead to unforeseen ways of using robots. 




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