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The Big Tour: What Knocked Our Socks Off Today @Automatica

Alex Owen-Hill
by Alex Owen-Hill.
Posted on Jun 24, 2016 2:00 PM. 6 min read time

We've reached the end of Automatica 2016! But, there's still time to show you the four big booths from this year's trade fair. Today we've seen the booths of KUKA, FANUC, ABB and Stäubli, and taken lots of videos and photos to show you. Oh, and we finally got our coffee from Comau… after three days of waiting.

There has been so much to see here at Automatica 2016! In these live blog posts, we have been trying hard to show you as much of this great trade fair as possible. However, we have only been able to scratch the surface.

If you weren't able to make it to Automatica yourself, we really hope our blogs have given you a flavor of what it has been like. Today, we decided to go out with a bang. We're going to show you the "mega booths" from four of the biggest robot manufacturers: KUKA, FANUC, ABB and Stäubi.

So, for the last time at this year's Automatica - here's what knocked our socks off today.


FANUC: So. Much. Yellow.

Earlier today we were in FANUC's giant booth to see their new collaborative robot, the CR-7iA. When we blogged about it earlier, we told you we would come back later to show you the whole booth. Well, here it is!


FANUC has gone all out this year and taken over an entire half of exhibition Hall B6. Apart from the little green specks which are their CR cobots, almost everything in the FANUC booth is yellow. Very, very yellow.


And that's not all. Despite the fact they have so much floorspace, FANUC has decided to go just a little bit further. They have built an extra floor, making it look like a multi-story spaceship. Here's a view of their upstairs chill zone.


The FANUC booth is quite an attack on the senses, but you just can't help being impressed by the sheer size of it.


KUKA: Industry 4.0

KUKA's big thing this year has been Industry 4.0, as we found out when we went to their press conference on Wednesday. This is very clear when you go into KUKA's booth. Every step of the "smart factory" process is represented.


Like FANUC, KUKA has also taken over half of an exhibition hall, this time Hall A4. However, they have gone one step further. They also made sure that every other booth in the hall are using KUKA robots. There are KUKAs everywhere you turn! 

 As well as the robots in their smart factory demo, we also got another look at the new AGILUS robot which we introduced you to the other day. However, the best part of the KUKA booth has got to be their cafeteria, which was also based on the Industry 4.0 concept.


But, don't think for a moment that they had regular baristas serving the coffee. Of course not! This is Industry 4.0 and for that you need…Coffee 4.0! 

If coffee isn't your thing, then KUKA has got that covered too. As we are in Munich, they also had a bottle bar, with a robot bartender pouring cold German beers. There were also human bartenders on hand to help, in case the robot didn't want to let go of the beer glass - as this customer experienced.


ABB: A Big Box

Next, we visited the ABB booth in Hall B5, Booth 320. Unlike the previous two, ABB has stuck to a more modest sized booth. It is still impressively big, but it's made to seem smaller by the large wall which they have put up. We wonder if the wall is there to stop people going inside?


In any case, we found a way into the booth and were treated to a demo of their YuMi robot, which won the Invention and Entrepreneurship Award in Robotics and Automation on Tuesday at the International Symposium of Robotics. Congratulations guys!

Here's a photo of the inside of ABB's booth. It was a welcome rest after the hugeness of the FANUC and KUKA booths.


Stäubli: Our Favorite Booth

Our last of "the big booths" today was from Stäubli, in Hall B5, Booth 321. It sits next to the ABB booth but couldn't be more different in design.

Although it was the smallest of the four, this booth was our favorite. It is framed with sleek white arches, which create structure and elegance without constricting. The booth felt very open after the closed walls of the ABB booth.



And Finally… Your Coffee Is Ready Now!

Do you remember back on Tuesday, when the Comau coffee-serving robot suffered from Vorführeffekt and didn't work? If not, you can read about it in Tuesday's blog post.

Well, we went back today and it was working! The guy at the booth told us that it was the coffee machine which which was causing all the problems. Pesky technology! 


Let's Pack Up and Go Home

Well that's it! Another year of Automatica over. It's been great and we hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have.

The robots are being shut down, the booths are being dismantled and here at Robotiq we're all looking forward to flying back to Canada and getting some rest during the weekend. It has been a busy week!


For now, it's time to say goodbye to Munich. But, before we go, there's just time for one more beer. This evening, we're drinking a special beer called Under Broen (which means "under the bridge" in Danish). It was brewed by the tech support guys from Universal Robots, who very kindly gave us their last cans. Thanks guys, it has been fun! 


When we get back to Robotiq-HQ, we'll tell you about some of the other things we saw here that we haven't had time to blog about. We're looking forward to Automatica 2018!

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Alex Owen-Hill
Written by Alex Owen-Hill
Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.
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