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We Catch Up With ROB Technologies

Alex Owen-Hill
by Alex Owen-Hill. Last updated on Jun 22, 2016 8:50 AM
Posted on Jun 22, 2016 8:50 AM. 2 min read time

On our travels around Automatica, we found a familiar force sensor... but with added lasers! Here's what we saw in the booth of ROB Technologies.

ROB_Technologies.jpgWe've already seen loads of great robots today, and there's still half of the day to go! Yesterday, we stayed close to our booth (Booth 512) and mostly explored what was going on in Hall B5. Today, we've been getting a bit more adventurous and moving further afield.

While we were exploring some of the other halls, we met Ralph Bärtschi from ROB Technologies. Their booth is Hall B4, Booth 515. We were very impressed by the demo, and we think you blog readers might be interested too.

A Familiar Force Sensor.. with added Lasers?

The guys are using the Robotiq FT 300 Force-Torque Sensor, which obviously caught our eye! They have integrated it with a type of robot vision, using a laser scanner instead of a camera.

The laser introduces great flexibility into the programming. By using CAD or DXF files, ROB Technologies have programmed the robot to trace the outline of the part. Watch this video to see it in action. Ralph demonstrates how the system could be used for a gluing operation. The robot scans the edge of the part and then draws its shape. 

ROB Technology wants to make programming as easy as possible. Their objective is to control the Universal Robot without having to to use a teach pendant at all. With the laser, the robot can automatically locate the part in space. But, you still have to program the gluing path, right?

That's where the FT 300 comes in! They integrated the Force Sensor to allow programming through force input, in a manner similar to our path recording functionality. Here's another video where Ralph demonstrates the force control action. Pretty impressive.


Who are ROB Technologies?

ROB Technologies are a Swiss company who started as a spin-off from the ETH Zurich University. Ralph and his co-founder Tobias Bonwetsch draw on a decade of research into synchronization of advanced digital design with robotic automation processes.

They offer consulting, process development and tailored software services, helping small and medium-sized manufacturers to implement flexible robotic fabrication. You can find them on their website or in Hall B4, Booth 515.

We were pleased to see our FT 300 being used for such a cool demo.

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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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