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Innovative robotics for new areas: KUKA at the IROS research trade fair in Madrid

Together with research partners, KUKA will be demonstrating how robots can assist in the medical and logistics sectors at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).

September 21, 2018

“Robots are becoming more capable of learning and can adapt themselves to altered conditions. As a result, they can be used more flexibly,” says Dr. Rainer Bischoff, Head of KUKA Corporate Research. “This enables them to provide better support – even with complex applications.”

As an example of this, the automation specialist KUKA is showcasing an application in cooperation with the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid which can improve early diagnoses and the rehabilitation of patients with spastic symptoms. Here, the sensitive KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot serves as a clinical tool for examination and motion analysis as well as for the biomechanical modeling of joints.

Thanks to its joint torque sensors in all seven axes, the LBR iiwa is able to work directly with its human operator

Innovative robotic concepts for the logistics of the future

A further exhibit focuses on the flexible gripping of unknown objects. Here, the LBR iiwa can easily handle objects of which it knows neither the weight nor the structural strength. The LBR iiwa lifts, rotates and tips over various objects without deformation or slippage. The Pick & Place application was jointly developed with the Università Vanvitelli in Italy as part of the ‘REFILLS’ EU project and is of particular interest for the area of logistics with its broad variety of products.

In the ‘SafeLog’ EU project, the Swiss logistics expert Swisslog – a subsidiary of KUKA – is concentrating on the collaboration between humans and robots in the area of automated warehouse logistics. Here, a special safety harness and an augmented reality application support the operator in performing warehouse tasks as well as with safe collaboration with the robot.

About IROS 2018

The International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems is one of the most important robotics conferences worldwide. Each year, about 2,000 automation specialists come together to exchange views on the latest innovations and technical developments in workshops, forums, discussions and the accompanying exhibitions. The conference is sponsored in part by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world’s largest professional association of engineers, as well as by other associations and societies. Under the slogan “Towards a Robotic Society”, the focus in the Spanish capital this year is on technological innovations and societal aspects. The conference is accompanied by a large robotics exhibition.

KUKA is not only involved through its own booth, but also through forums, scientific presentations and contributions to podium discussions in various workshops. This year, KUKA is also a sponsor of the IROS Fan Robotic Challenge. Here, the participants must program a robot to wield a typical Spanish folding fan as deftly and as quickly as possible.