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Design your own low-cost robot ‘in just a few clicks’

12 June, 2019

A group of German robotics suppliers has joined forces to create a platform where users can create low-cost robots by choosing compatible components from different suppliers “with just a few clicks”. Initial supporters of the platform, called, include igus, ifm, Schunk, Servotronix, Schmalz and Commonplace Robotics.

The platform was launched at the Hannover Fair, where igus was showing how augmented reality (AR) could be used to view a “digital twin” of a potential robot, including its range and movements and, if necessary, make adjustments.

Initially, the platform allows users to pick an electromechanical “skeleton” to form a “raw robot”, from a choice that includes articulated arm robots, delta robots and Cartesian robots. They can then add components from other manufacturers, such as grippers, cameras and controllers, knowing that the components will be compatible with each other.

In the future, the platform will also allow users to configure the robot mechanics, starting with gears, joints and connecting components.

The platform allows users to visualise their robot assemblies before purchasing them

Christian Batz, head of igus digital, says that the platform will allow small companies, research institutions and individual engineers to create customised robots with initial costs of a few thousand euros and short payback periods. “It is a low-risk entry into the automation age – an investment in the competitiveness of tomorrow,” he adds.

The 16 initial partners in the project are hoping to attract others to join them.

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