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Collaboration on the world’s most precise robot

Posted on 10 Dec 2020 and read 453 times
Collaboration on the world’s most precise robotCycloidal gear specialist Nabtesco and controller expert KEBA, both technology leaders in their fields, are collaborating to produce high precision industrial robots. Nabtesco and KEBA have been researching gear effects on robot path accuracy for many years, albeit independently of one another — until now.

Nabtesco has been steadily increasing the precision of gears and KEBA continuously improving the software models that compensate for robot inaccuracies. However, a lack of transparency had meant that identifying the relevant parameters was a painstaking process — a situation that has resulted in the two companies now working together to create the world’s most precise robot.

The goal is to integrate gearbox-specific data and characteristics — directly from the manufacturer — into the robot controller, thereby enabling customers to manufacture robots with point and path accuracies down to ‘hundredths of a millimetre’.

Future applications will allow robot-based execution of high-precision handling and machining tasks with the precision of a machine tool resulting in ‘maximum flexibility with no compromise in quality’.

The software-based solution will offer advantages over ‘smart sensors’, including lower costs, reduced system complexity, and improved data quality. Another aspect is that not all data can be detected by means of external sensors.

That is why Nabtesco conducts numerous tests before introducing a gearbox on the market, to learn exactly how the gearbox will behave as a result of wear or exposure to the effects of temperature and lubricants. All of these parameters are included in the development of the KEBA control system.

The project is currently in the test phase, with a first ‘pioneer application’ scheduled to be implemented in cooperation with Autonox Robotics GmbH.