Leading power and automation technology group ABB has introduced YuMi, the world’s first truly collaborative dual-arm industrial robot, at the leading trade fair for industrial technology, Hannover Messe.
The introduction of YuMi marks another step in ABB’s Next Level strategy aimed at accelerating sustainable value creation and heralds a new era of robotic co-workers that are able to work collaboratively on the same tasks with humans.
ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said that with the introduction of YuMi, ABB is pushing the boundaries of robotic automation by fundamentally expanding the types of industrial processes which can be automated with robots.
“The new era of robotic co-workers is here and an integral part of our Next Level strategy. YuMi makes collaboration between humans and robots a reality. It is the result of years of research and development, and will change the way humans and robots interact. YuMi is an element of our Internet of Things, Services and People strategy creating an automated future together,” Mr Spiesshofer said in a press release.
YuMi is expected to change the landscape of the small part assembly industry and the electronics industry in particular, which has seen demands for products skyrocket beyond the supply of skilled labour and prompted manufacturers to invest in new technological solutions.
“While YuMi was specifically designed to meet the flexible and agile production needs of the consumer electronics industry, it has equal application in any small parts assembly environment thanks to its dual arms, flexible hands, universal parts feeding system, camera-based part location, lead-through programming, and state-of-the-art precise motion control,” reads the press release by ABB.
YuMi can operate in very close collaboration with humans thanks to its inherently safe design. It has a lightweight yet rigid magnesium skeleton covered with a floating plastic casing wrapped in soft padding to absorb impacts.
YuMi is also compact, with human dimensions and human movements, which makes human co-workers feel safe and comfortable.
“If YuMi senses an unexpected impact, such as a collision with a co-worker, it can pause its motion within milliseconds, and the motion can be restarted again as easily as pressing play on a remote control. YuMi also has no pinch points so that nothing sensitive can be harmed as the axes open and close,” it says in the press release.
The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people, with an installed base of more than 250,000 robots worldwide.