Position accuracy in the Alexa Project of Fraunhofer Institute IFF

The Alexa Project of Fraunhofer Institute IFF in Magdeburg has now been officially completed. In the film, there is a final documentation of the articulated arm’s positioning accuracy with the control intelligence developed by the institute. The second part of the film (from around 1:50 min.) shows the system achieving a positioning accuracy of +/-1 mm (drill hole diameter of the sleeves = 2 mm, outer diameter of the needle = 1 mm).


The pikchain is a conveyor! … but what kind of conveyor!

pikchain®: What exactly is it? Those at igus® keep telling about intelligence, back and forth, saving time and costs, energy efficiency, no empty run … What’s behind all this?

Good question, so let’s start again from the beginning:
The pikchain® is a novel, modular conveyor. This conveyor consists of individual, linked chain links made of plastic. Due to the modular design, the pikchain® can be shortened or lengthened without much effort. At present each chain link has a pitch of 112 mm, an inner width of 80, 130, 180, 230, or 280 mm width. The inner height is 35 mm. The conveyor or the chain links glide on both sides with special gliding elements made from our iglidur® J plastic bearing material through an aluminum guide rail and thus endows the conveyor with a high stability and very low wear. The guide rollers on both ends of the conveyor are either made of plastic or aluminum. There are 4 threaded bushings in each chain link as a standard, which enable the easy mounting of workpiece carriers or actuators and/or sensors on the conveyor. The chain can travel in both directions, back and forth, stop and go, endlessly, as you wish. The pikchain® can accelerate at around 2.5m/s² up to 20 m/s² and travel 2-3 m/s in continuous operation. We specify 50 meters as the longest travel at present. Each chain link can carry a load of up to 5 kg. The novel drive system allows for a uniform stressing of the conveyor at all chain links. Jerky back and forth does not pose a problem.

The individual chain links are built similar to an energy chain®. This means that the chain links can carry cables and hoses inside. Only this design gives the pikchain® intelligence.

Mounted actuators and sensors on the pikchain® can be continually supplied with electricity, data and other media. This is done by a c-chain® and a friction wheel/rotary feedthrough, which are situated between the upper and lower run of the pikchain®. If a clever control is added, many intelligent applications are possible for the pikchain® and then just like us at igus®, you too will talk about the intelligence of the pikchain®, no back and forth, saves time and costs, energy efficiency, no empty run, etc.

In short: We might not have reinvented the conveyor, but have certainly improved it a great

pikchain basics.pdf (49,69 kb)

robolink service updated in the WWW

For the Hannover Messe in April we brought out a new catalog. Finally, the service has been updated accordingly in the Internet. In the SHOP you will find all individual joints and systems with prices for easy online ordering. At SUPPORT&SERVICE there is the updated data sheet and the current pdf catalog. Besides, online from today: all 3D STEP data for all articulated arm options. Select and load comfortably with the help of pictures. =>STEP DATA. Have fun with it! We also look forward to your queries …

CONFIGURATOR: This tool is not yet up to date. We are working on updating all options here as well and making them calculable. We will gladly and promptly process any questions in this regard.

Humanoid torso with robolink (Malte Ahlers)

Malte Ahlers is a robolink “beta tester” of the first hour. In 2010 he received the first joints and later additional components from us and with them he mechanically built this torso. Besides, he builds his own control modules and partially modifies our components to such an extent that even we ourselves are surprised what all can be done with them. And that is only a “hobby”, beside his PhD thesis. Our hats off and thanks once again in this way for his commitment and the great collaboration. He, incidentally, was also one of the first who advised us of the necessity of a rotary joint as the first axis. It is now available as part RL-50-TL1 in the standard product range. With Malte, one can still see original creation.

We look forward to more robolink stories from you!

[forcecaption] Torso with 2x 5DOF

[forcecaption]Torso with FESTO gripper


Technical specification for 31 articulated arm options

There are 4 kinds of joints offered by igus® which can be combined to form articulated arms. A pure pivot joint and a pure rotary joint (1 DOF), as well as the original multiple-axis joint for rotating and pivoting (2 DOF) – available in symmetrical (+/-90°) and asymmetrical (+130°/-50°) versions.

The combination produces altogether 31 articulated arms with up to 5 DOF (degrees of freedom). Our catalog gives you an overview on p. 10 – 11 (prices p. 12 – 13). The STEP data for all options can be downloaded from mid-August in the download area.

Technical specification for 31 articulated arm options

As a standard, all articulated arms are equipped and delivered with aluminum rods l=100 mm. Other lengths are possible with additional charge (€42.0/m aluminum tube). The clearances between the articulated points (designated as x1 to x4) are derived from this. These clearances and the permitted loads resulting thereof are summarized in a new data sheet. Likewise the resulting system weights. (All data refer to the rod length 100 mm). Download here or at our support & service area:

technische Spezifikation xDOF.pdf (36,13 kb)