Collaborating with robots and controlling them with gestures? German chancellor Angela Merkel experienced first hand how this can be achieved in her opening day tour at the Hannover Messe 2018 on Monday during an impressive live demonstration.
At the IBG Automation booth, Angela Merkel and the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and his wife Angélica Rivera, got up close and in person with the robotic hands from SCHUNK. Both 5-finger hands of the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology are the world’s first robotic grippers that have been certified and approved for collaborative use by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV).
Behind the playful exterior lies real technology: In industrial and service robotics applications of the future, it will be possible to control, configure and interact with robots only by using gestures, and without any knowledge of programming. The automation specialist IBG Automation has developed an application that does just that. The robot is controlled by gestures or speech and calculates its movement in real time. Using a 3D camera, the system is able to follow the hand and arm movements of the user and imitate them 1:1. The movements of the robot are mainly dictated by the hands of the user. This technology will make working next to robots possible, hand in hand in the future. For assembly tasks, for example, parts will be able to be directly transferred into or out of the robot’s hands. “NXT LEVEL human/robot collaboration” can be used anywhere that there is a great deal of manual work necessary and where there are high requirements on quality. For the first time ever, it is making complete cooperation between humans and robots possible without any separation in time or space. The user is not bound to a terminal, but can move around freely and control the robot, the entire automated system or individual functions via a smartphone or smartwatch, adjusting parameters and retrieving information during maintenance or conversion processes. The system integrates the human workplace and innovative robot technology into a shared and future-oriented collaborative environment.
A skillful gripping hand
The mechatronic SCHUNK SVH gripping hand designed for applications in assistance and service robotics is staggeringly similar to its human counterpart in terms of size, shape and mobility. Its five fingers can carry out all kinds of gripping operations with the help of a total of nine drives. Elastic surfaces on the front phalanxes ensure a reliable hold on the objects being gripped. Because the hand can perform and imitate numerous gestures, the visual communication between humans and the service robot has become significantly easier. This simplifies programming and promotes a sense of acceptance for robots in the human environment. The hand is designed in such a way that a person is not injured during their daily interactions. The open and closed-loop control electronics as well as the power electronics are fully integrated in the wrist, meaning that particularly compact solutions can be achieved.
Control Techniques Enlists World´s Strongest Man
Variable speed drive specialist Control Techniques has linked up with the World´s Strongest Man in a bold new partnership.Eddie Hall, officially the strongest man on the planet, has lent his considerable strengths to the Welsh firm as official brand ambassador. Eddie, who reached the pinnacle of strongman competition, will now appear as the face of Control Techniques, helping raise awareness of its products and capabilities.
Control Techniques, based in Newtown, has operations in 44 countries, and is excited to have sealed the deal with Eddie.
Anthony Pickering, president of Control Techniques, said: »We´ve been through some transformations recently – new owners, new products on the horizon – and wanted a symbol we could use to demonstrate our re-discovered confidence.
»Control Techniques is, and always will be, a specialist company. We make drives, and drive-related technologies, and we have 45 years of heritage based on that. The idea of working with another British specialist who has competed – and won – on a global stage appealed greatly to us.
»Since 1973 we have a history of making bold decisions, and working with Eddie is the latest in a long line of firsts from Control Techniques. We´re looking forward to seeing people´s reactions when they see what we have in store with Eddie.»
As part of the agreement, Eddie will help promote Control Techniques globally in a series of adverts, public appearances and other projects.
Eddie added: »Control Techniques is, like me, a specialist in its chosen field. It understands the importance of identifying your strengths and working hard to achieve your goals.
»I´m excited to be the face of a British success story in Control Techniques, and I look forward to helping the team there make the right impact.»
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