ABB, Kawasaki jointly to share, promote benefits of collaborative robots
Switzerland: Global industrial automation and robot suppliers, ABB and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, have announced that they will join forces to share knowledge and promote the benefits of collaborative robots, especially those with dual arm designs.
The global cooperation will come into force immediately, according to a company statement.
Under the new cooperation, both robot makers will continue to independently manufacture and market their own offerings, while working together on joint technical and awareness opportunities.
This includes educating policy makers, NGOs and the general public about the benefits of collaborative automation, and creating common industry approaches to safety, programming and communications.
Collaboration between people and robots, machines and processes is increasingly becoming important as production in many industries has shifted from larger lots with little variation to low volumes with a high mix. This means more variability and more human intervention.
Collaborative automation allows people and robots to each contribute their strengths – people offer process knowledge, insight and improvisation for change, while robots offer tireless endurance for repetitive tasks.
The cooperation also represents collaboration across borders, with ABB as Europe’s largest robot supplier and Kawasaki as one of Asia’s industrial giants, claims the statement.
“The scale and pace of change in the robotics industry today is unimaginable,” said Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB’s Robotics business. “Beyond the technologies behind collaborative automation, there is also a need for innovative new ways of working together and creating common industry approaches to safety, programming and communications.”
“Collaborative robots, especially those with two arms capable of human interactions, can greatly contribute to society and help the world cope with labor shortages and an aging workforce. We see high potential in expanding collaborative applications and processes where people and technology work together to create solutions,” said Yasuhiko Hashimoto, Managing Executive Officer and General Manager, Kawasaki Robot Division.
ABB is recognized as a pioneer in collaborative automation through its YuMi dual arm robot, the world’s first truly collaborative robot. The YuMi robot makes it possible for people and robots to safely share common tasks such as assembling small electronics.
Kawasaki is offering a dual-Arm Scara Robot duAro, which has been developed based on extensive application know-how and which can safely collaborate with humans in the workplace.
The first output from this cooperation will be a collaborative dual arm robot demonstration in Tokyo, Japan from November 29 to December 2, 2017.