What do you think of when you hear the term industrial robot? You probably only think of a huge metal arm that helps fabricate motor vehicles or other heavy duty applications. Not any more. Collaborative robots like ABB’s YuMi are changing the face of robotics. Click to see the video of YuMi in action.

YuMi® Collaborative Robot

Until recently the perception of industrial robots as large, hevy-duty and dangerous machines would be true. But in recent years a new class of small, industrial robots are set to revolutionise the manufacturing industry. Called a collaborative robot, this new class of robot is designed to safely work side by side with humans and approximate many human tasks. Enter the YuMi® robot from ABB that is set to revolutionise human-robot interactions. See the video of YuMi

The YuMi by ABB is a dual arm, collaborative robot with world leading technology that allows it to operate side by side with humans with negligible risk. How? YuMi is designed to be ‘inherently safe’ even when contact occurs between the robot and humans. The soft padded dual arms ensure the complete safety of the robot’s co-workers. This feature is a revolution in robot technology and offers genuine human-robot interactions in day-to-day applications.

YuMi® is about “you” and “me” creating an automated future together.
YuMi® is “you” and “me”, working together to create endless possibilities.

Just as impressive, the YuMi has state-of-the-art robot control that incorporates sensitive force control feedback, or put simply, its grippers operate more like a human hand with greater sensitivity and dexterity which opens up a large range of manufacturing tasks that were too sensitive for traditional robots to achieve. Significantly, the YuMi also allows for programming through teaching rather than coding. Let’s repeat that last part. The YuMi can be ‘taught’ to perform a new task by its operator. It does not need to be programmed by an automation engineer (although that’s still possible and for more complex tasks, recommended).

Why are these features so important? A robot that can be taught simple functions by its operator and can safely interact directly with humans vastly simplifies the process of implementing a robotic system for a manufacturer. Largely gone are the high costs of safety systems and programming that are a perquisite for traditional industrial robots and which can make advanced manufacturing systems cost prohibitive.

Some of the key specifications of the YuMi robot are:

  • Padded, light weight arms with sensitive, force feedback
  • Works safely with human co-workers – no barriers, fences or zones
  • Dual Arms, each with a 0.5 kg payload and total reach of 500 mm (overall reach 1,620 mm)
  • Accurate and dexterous grippers – 0.02 mm accuracy
  • Maximum velocity of 1,500 mm/ sec
  • On board vision system (option)
  • Minimal footprint and only weighs 38 kg

The YuMi is ideal for integrated small parts assembly operations, including for electrical devices, IT components, toys, tap ware, medical devices, gaming machines, pharmaceuticals and laboratories.

YuMi Robot at Australis Engineering

Australis Engineering was recently given the opportunity to have a YuMi robot on loan from ABB. As part of the loan, we helped showcase the YuMi’s impressive abilities to our colleagues in the Southern Strength Agile Manufacturing Network at a recent breakfast function. Guests at the function came away very impressed with the ease of operation and its many varied applications. You can read more about the feedback in an article from the local newspaper.

In addition to the event above, we just had to come up with an idea to truly demonstrate the small parts assembly capabilities of the YuMi. So our Automation Team came up with the idea of teaching YuMi to make drinks. Now, while this is a light-hearted demonstration, it also demonstrates how accurate and dexterous the YuMi is. It picks up a range of different objects, each with their own size, weight, shape and texture and accurately “places” them in a single location and in a defined sequence. Truly remarkable!

Integrated Robotic Solutions

If you’d like more information on how a YuMi robot or any other industrial robot can integrate with your equipment to offer operational efficiencies, contact the Team at Australis Engineering for a discussion and on-site assessment of your requirements.