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Omron-Techman deal will put cobots on mobile platforms

15 May, 2018

The Japanese automation giant Omron is forming a strategic alliance with Techman Robot, the Taiwanese manufacturer of integrated-vision collaborative robots (cobots), under which Omron will sell Techman’s TM series of cobots globally using a co-branded logo. The two companies will also cooperate to develop a new generation of collaborative robots that will be easier to integrate with Omron’s other factory automation products.

As well as selling the TM cobots (starting in the second half of this year), Omron will sell also new “mobile-compatible” models which can be integrated with its LD family of mobile robots. These robots, which move autonomously, avoiding people and obstacles, are already being used to automate material-handling operations around the world. With a cobot mounted on top, they will not only be able to transport materials from one location to another, but will also be able to perform tasks such as the pick-and-place of parts onto trays, in each location.

“Since the acquisition of Adept Technology in 2015, Omron has been putting great resources in the development of the robotics technologies and market,” says Seigo Kinugawa, executive officer and senior general manager of Omron’s Robotics Business Development Project in its industrial automation business. “The alliance with Techman is aimed at advancing the collaboration between humans and robots in manufacturing environments.”

He adds that Omron’s entry into the collaborative arm robot market, in addition to the mobile robot market, will accelerate its goal of bringing innovation to factories through the collaboration of humans and machines.

Techman Robot’s chairman, Ho Shi-Chi, says that the alliance with Omron will help to achieve his company’s aim of improving the lives of humans based on innovation.

Under the deal, Omron will sell cobranded versions of Techman's collaborative robots around the world. The cobots have integrated "smart" vision capabilities.

Techman’s TM robots come in two series, with maximum payloads of 6kg and 14kg. They have six degrees of freedom and a reach of 700–1,300mm. Their repeatability is ±0.05mm for the smaller (TM5) series and ±0.1mm for the larger (TM12/TM14) series.

The robots have built-in intelligent vision systems that can be used for pattern recognition, object positioning and barcode identification. A graphical, flow-based user interface allows vision-based pick-and-place applications to be set up in five minutes. The robots comply with the safety requirements for collaboration of humans and robots as specified in ISO 10218-1 and ISO/TS 15066.

The Omron-Techman cobots will be aimed at applications such as electronics assembly, product testing and inspection.

Omron plans to mount the Techman cobot arms on its mobile autonomous LD platform

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