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YuMi cobot loses an arm to create a smaller version

15 December, 2017

ABB has unveiled a single-arm collaborative robot (cobot), based on its YuMi dual-arm cobot, which it launched in 2015. Like YuMi, the new robot has a 500g payload and is designed to be integrated into small-parts assembly lines to boost their productivity.

Per Vegard Nerseth, managing director of ABB Robotics, describes the new machine as “the smallest and most agile collaborative robot in the market today”. The cobot, which was previewed at the recent International Robotics Exhibition (iRex) in Japan, is due to go on sale during 2018.

Like YuMi, the new robot is programmed using a lead-through technique, eliminating the need for specialised operator training. Cobots are designed to work alongside humans on factory floors to raise productivity and support the transition to mass customisation.

“The success of YuMi has exceeded expectations,” says Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics and Motion division. “It was originally designed for small-parts assembly, but it has turned out to be exceptionally versatile – it can solve a Rubik’s Cube, make sushi, wrap gifts and conduct an orchestra.

ABB's Per Vegard Nerseth (left) and Sami Atiya at the launch of the new robot in Japan

“Based on YuMi’s enormous success,” Atiya adds, “we fully expect our new single-arm robot to be equally well-received, especially since it was developed at the request of customers”.

Nerseth describes the new robot as “a much anticipated addition to the ‘factory of the future,’ enabling our customers to grow and thrive in the age of mass customisation. Combining this robot with our ABB Ability digital solutions will allow our customers to take efficiency and reliability in their factories to the next level.”

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