New Fanuc Robot Designed To Be ‘Collaborative’

ROCHESTER HILLS — Today’s industrial robots can be scary, dangerous things. They’re caged in safety fences with warning signs all over the place — because if you get in the way of their motion, they may not stop.

Now, Rochester Hills-based Fanuc America Corp. has introduced a new robot it calls “collaborative” — the CR35iA, which it says offers a payload of 35 kilograms (about 80 pounds) and which is designed to work alongside people, without the need for safety fences.

“The Fanuc CR-35iA collaborative robot allows shared workspace between an operator and the interactive robot,” said Greg Buell, product manager, Fanuc America. “The highly-sensitive robot gently stops if it comes in contact with the operator, allowing the robot and human to work side by side; in fact, Fanuc currently has units running in production at General Motors.”

The six-axis robot’s shell is green to distinguish the collaborative robot from the standard yellow Fanuc robots. A soft foam green cover protects workers who are in direct contact with the robot.

The CR-35iA robot was developed to help manufacturers solve ergonomic challenges by handling applications that are physically demanding for humans, such as heavy lifting. In the automotive industry, for example, workers are required to lift spare tires into vehicles on the assembly line.

“The CR-35iA can work alongside the employees assigned to this task to help reduce injuries associated with repetitive or heavy lifting,” Buell said.

The company says the ISO-certified robot can work in a variety of applications alongside human workers including: machine tending, handling heavy payloads that require lift assist devices or custom equipment, higher payload mechanical assembly, palletizing or packing, and tote or carton handling.

The Fanuc-30iB Controller uses high-performance hardware and the latest advances in network communications, integrated machineVision, and motion control functions. The R-30iB Controller features Fanuc’s exclusive and easy-to-use iPendant, which displays process information and the actual process path directly on the iPendant screen, enabling easier setup and troubleshooting.

Based on the latest Fanuc Series 30iB CNC Controller, the R-30iB Robot Controller is compact, providing customers a significant space savings. The R-30iB Controller is also energy efficient, requiring less power consumption than previous models, and available with an optional power regeneration feature.

The Collaborative robot will be available for general release in North America later in 2015. For more information visit this link.

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