Robotics

World's lightest cobot

World's lightest cobot

Automation made particularly easy: with the new ReBeL, Igus is now presenting a plastic cobot that weighs only ten kilograms. Together with low costs, low maintenance and simple operation, the ReBeL makes completely new innovative ideas in service robotics feasible even for smaller companies and start-ups - from mounted use on agricultural drones to mobile support as household help.

In care, in dispensing machines, in the field or in factories, collaborative lightweight robots can help automate monotonous and simple tasks. To enable such interacting service robotics concepts to be implemented quickly and cost-effectively, igus has developed the new generation of ReBeL. The heart of the lightweight plastic robot is a fully integrated tribo shaft gearbox with motor, absolute value encoder, force regulation and controller.

Electronic components in the fully integrated shaft gear make human-robot collaboration (HRC) possible. Thanks to the absolute encoder technology, forces and torques can be determined and reliably limited via the motor current in combination with angle measurement. For this purpose, Igus relies on a double encoder in which a measurement takes place in front of and behind the joint in order to detect forces and torques and to be able to react to them.

Plastic as a gamechanger in automation

The use of plastic in the ReBeL results in an extremely compact, lightweight design. With a dead weight of less than ten kilograms, the robot is the lightest cobot on the market. Its payload is two kilograms and it has a reach of 700 millimetres. Thanks to the low entry price of well under 4,000 euros, including control even for small quantities, and the low maintenance requirements of the lubrication-free components, the ReBeL can be used even in places where the use of robotics was not worthwhile before.

Many new innovative ideas are now becoming feasible: from use on a driverless transport system to use as a bartender. "Many young companies are currently showing what is possible with low-cost automation," says Alexander Mühlens, head of automation technology at igus. "Among others, in the textile industry, as at ADOTC. Here, an igus jointed-arm robot takes over the automatic feeding and removal of textile pieces to the sewing machine. Since energy prices for robots are comparable worldwide, this automated production Made in Germany is worthwhile."

Entry barriers for robotics continue to fall

In addition to the price, Igus is also lowering other entry barriers such as complexity or effort. For example, the new ReBeL, like the other jointed-arm, delta or linear robots from the motion plastics specialist, can be tested and operated very easily. Igus offers free control software for this purpose. Even laymen can define and simulate the robot's movements after only a short time. This saves companies commissioning costs and makes them less dependent on integrators. Those who need further support can also make use of the new RBTXpert service, which helps with the selection of the right low-cost automation solution.

After a free online consultation with the RBTXpert, the planned simple automation can be tested. Based on the tests, the RBTXpert can then make a binding offer with a fixed price. This is made possible by the low-cost automation marketplace RBTX.com, where components, hardware and software from different manufacturers can be found. They have been tested in interaction and work 100 per cent with each other. Among them are various robot kinematics, cameras, GUIs, grippers, power electronics, motors, sensors and controllers. In line with the "build or buy" approach, customers can configure individual components for their robot or already finished robotics solutions and order them directly.

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