As the international product manager for RL at igus I have started this blog ~5 years ago and I use it as a platform to share our experiences and NEWS with most current data (download links for STEP data, datasheets and videos in most entries). Please find today an interview statement from me about our latest HMI presentation. This might be the most comfortable way for you to get an impression of our latest developments. In my next entry I will also present our new “roboolink design tool” which is now online!
Find out more on our low cost robotics page www.low-cost-robotics.de, which includes inspiration in the form of application examples.
I would like to share 2 interviews “live” from Hannover trade Show. They might explain more about our ideas and the product robolink D Joint kit. The first is in “English” (=germanenglish) and the second in german. please find some more written informations below.
I want to explain the basic idea of our Hannover trade show news:
# igus offers mechanical components for automation solutions, for example also joint arms.
# The main components of our kit are “joints” consisting of a PRT slewing bearing table, a plastic worm gear and a plastic housing. These joints exist in 3 sizes (-20, -30 and -50). These joints can be equipped with igus motors as an option. Standard motors are our stepper motors NEMA17, NEMA23 or NEMA23XL. In addition, INI switches can be used as Zero signal outputs.
# These joints can be combined freely (in principle) and as a result represent joint arms with different kinematics. Currently, max. 4 axis can be configured, up to 6 axis are planned. The shown joint arm (on the Hannover show as well as in our mailings and advertises) is a 3 DOF kinematic. This design with 3 different robolink D joints (one of each size -20, -30 and -50) of the new generation will be shown at Hannover Show in April for the first time in public as demo unit. The connecting parts between the joints are produced as SLS (selective laser sintering) parts in this case. On request, igus may share the STEP data for these parts, so that customers may “print” or “sinter” them by themselves as 3D parts. On request, igus may also modify, produce and offer these parts. As a “cheap” solution, these connting parts can also be produced as folded metal sheet parts (see second part of the interview videos).
# As a result of this, it is possible to design or create a cheap 3 DOF robotic arm, either with igus components (joints and motors) or as a ready mounted arm (like in the picture). The choice of joints and motors is depending on the application data given (as payload, precision, speed,…).
# In general, igus offers a mechanical design for robotic applications. Control components as well as further “intelligence” (like force or torque sensors,…) is not part of our offer or our scope of delivery. In order to control such joint arms (in the case of using our stepper motors), at least stepper motor controls are needed. In addition a superior control makes sense. In our demo unit we use an ARDUINO controller as main board, many other different control concepts are possible, as for ex. SIEMENS SPS, WAGO or BECKHOFF controls,….
# performance data of the joint arm we will show in Hannover can not be announced currently, as this is a prototype design! We will reach with this constellation a payload of about 1 kg and a precision (or repeatability) of about 1 mm. Higher loads can be reached by using a stronger motor in the 2nd axis (NEMA23 instead of NEMA17).
In addition to the written documentation which I published yesterday (pdf, 28 pages), here is a short video post, where some points are explained “live” (about 4 1/2 minutes). The commercial is in English, so if you have a weakness for “German English” with little hitches, you shouldn’t miss it …
angular sensor Due to the integrated angular sensors, an arm can also be used directly as “teach-in” arm. Read-out angle information can be saved and called up or even directly transformed into movements (see film). Currently the sensor technology is advanced for series production.
Development partner EvoLogics GmbH is a specialist for bionic inventions (the Fin Ray Effect®, among others). The ideas for the actuation of the joints through “sinews” and the entailing decoupling of the moving masses of the drive technology (bionic model: the foot of a crane. Muscles in the bird’s body move the toes of the animal via sinews, the leg is extremely long, thin and therefore light).
Evologics plant: the torso.
Each arm has 7 degrees of freedom, 4 of them in the respective 2 robolink joints. Each arm is driven by 7 DC motors; they are stationary in the “breast area”. Due to the decoupling of the drives from the moving arms, each arm only weighs a little over 1 kg. Load capacity per arm is also 1 kg with very high dynamics (see film). Result: a load to dead weight ratio of 1:1 becomes possible!