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A new Dimension in Robotics

Augsburg/Munich, 3 June 2014 - At this year’s AUTOMATICA, the flag-ship international trade fair for robotics and automation, KUKA is presenting a new dimension in robotics. The focus of the spectacular booth concept in Hall A4 from 3 to 6 June is on the LBR iiwa lightweight robot. In twelve different applications, the company is demonstrating human-robot collabora-tion for industrial and service robotics.

3 June 2014

Twelve practical LBR iiwa applications

At the large main booth, the LBR iiwa is the focal point of the joint appearance by the KUKA companies. Visitors can interact with the lightweight robot without a safety fence and experience how it is going to simplify working life in the future.
From the handling of trays in commercial kitchens and the insertion of glass display panels in plastic frames to the automated insertion of plugs in a vehicle body, the LBR iiwa takes over particularly monotonous, non-ergonomic and strenuous tasks. In so doing, it works hand-in-hand with the human operator.
“Instead of operating with safety fences and separate processes, the robot is becoming a direct work assistant for the human operator,” emphasizes Manfred Gundel, CEO of KUKA Roboter GmbH.
With this new product, KUKA is offering not only the allround work assistant in safe technology, but also application and engineering expertise in the development and construction of complete automation systems. Frank Klingemann, CEO of KUKA Systems: “The factories and production facilities of the future will be different from those we know today. In the “Advanced Technology Solutions” department at KUKA Systems, we have been working toward this development for some time now and offer the right overall solution, ranging from full automation to direct human-robot collaboration – depending on customer and process requirements. One central component is the mobile job-hopper solution KUKA flexFELLOW developed by KUKA Systems. The sensitive assistant is suitable for spontaneous automation in the case of maximum capacity utilization or bottle-necks in resources.”

Highlights of tomorrow

The sensitive KUKA LBR iiwa robot also comes with a new controller. It is based on mainstream Java technology – the most commonly used pro-gramming language in the world of IT. This is helping to open up new markets. “The LBR iiwa is the base product for a new era of robotics,” explains Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG. “With a controller based on a common programming language, we can benefit from the rapid developments in the world of IT.” In a live demo application, KUKA demonstrates what this could mean in terms of user-friendly operation for future users.

KUKA and partners

KUKA is also showcasing the KUKA moiros. The award-winning concept study, in which a KR QUANTEC robot moves autonomously – mounted on the battery-operated KUKA omniMove mobile platform and using autono-mous navigation software – has undergone further development. The robot and the platform are controlled in parallel by a single controller. The flexible processing of XXL workpieces is thus also possible during motion.
Furthermore, at the booth of the VDMA initiative “BlueCompetence”, cyclists can compete directly against a robot in the “Energy Challenge” to determine whether it is the human or the robot that applies force in the most energy-efficient manner.
KUKA stands for automation – as is highlighted at the booths of partners and customers alike. A total of around 70 KUKA robots are appearing at AUTOMATICA.

The KUKA Innovation Award

For the first time, KUKA is presenting the KUKA Innovation Award at the main booth in Hall A4. It will be a tough decision. The four finalists are pre-senting innovative developments in the field of mobile manipulation. 30 contestants from universities around the world used the KUKA youBot as a reference platform in the battle for this coveted award. The excitement will reach a climax at 3.15 p.m. on Wednesday 4 June when the 20,000-euro prize is awarded at the main KUKA booth. The finalists will then be on show for the whole of the trade fair week at KUKA’s service robotics booth.