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ReBel with a cause launched by igus

Flexible cobot now has a humanoid hand made of lubrication-free, high-performance plastics

Posted on 19 Jan 2024 and read 1323 times
ReBel with a cause launched by igusRobots are increasingly finding their way into small and medium-size companies, especially collaborative robots (cobots), such as the igus ReBeL. These cobots sort, pick and move items with the help of cameras and mechanical or vacuum gripping systems. To be able to take on more human-style tasks, igus has developed a finger gripper for the ReBeL cobot. It is made entirely of lubrication-free plastics, making it cost-effective and easy to integrate.

igus’s ReBeL is a compact and lightweight cobot that makes it possible to enter robotics with relatively low investment, making it particularly suitable for assembly tasks, quality inspections and in-service applications. For the robot to work efficiently, grippers and vacuum cups are necessary, and igus now offers a wide selection of end-effectors from various suppliers via the marketplace RBTX.com. Its new product launch is the ReBeL finger gripper.

Adam Sanjurgo, low-cost automation manager at igus UK, said: “Since the ReBeL is light and affordable, with a weight of around 8kg and starting from £4,200 it is widely used in applications that humans would normally do. For this reason, we received several customer enquiries for a robotic hand that can be easily connected to the ReBeL via plug-and-play.”

Finger gripper

In response, igus has developed a particularly cost-effective ReBeL finger gripper, which is available for as little as £2,668. The humanoid hand is compatible with all ReBeL models. It is controlled via DIO at the Tool Centre Point, which allows for easy integration and flexibility in various applications. The special feature of the finger gripper is that it can imitate human hand movements.

Mr Sanjurgo added: “With the new low-cost hand, the ReBeL can perform a wide range of simple humanoid tasks and applications, especially in research and development at universities, but also tasks in commercial kitchens or in the entertainment industry are possible.”

All components, including flange mount, cables and the control system, are delivered directly from igus. The low price is partly due to the lubrication-free and high-performance plastics. The plain bearings in the joints made of iglidur polymers are not only cost-effective and lubrication-free, but also enable smooth and precise movements of the individual fingers while being completely clean.

Extensive testing at igus’ 3,800m2 laboratory in Cologne guarantees the long life of the humanoid hand. They are extremely flexible and can be controlled by various interfaces, including USB, TTL (5 V) serial and internal scripting. In addition to the finger gripper, igus offers other products for these cobots, also called the ‘ReBeL Environment’. These include fireproof hoods, seventh axis, gripper sets, adapter plates, energy supply systems, a dedicated workstation and connection cables.