for the automated factory

Articulated arm robots or Scara robots, bionic, assembly, service robots and cobots as well as components and manufacturer know-how

Image: Mitsubishi Electric

Robotics | Everything you need to know

Would you like to automate your production? Then Here you will find extensive specialist knowledge from the manufacturers and their latest innovations on the subject Robotic. Industrial robots such as articulated arm robots or Scara robots, bionic robots, assembly robots, service robots and collaborative cobots with their very simple programming are also presented Robot components and users with their interesting Applications.

Industrial robot Mitsubishi


Robotics Innovations 2023

Below we present New developments by and for robots. Mitsubishi Electric, Yaskawa, Kuka, Fanuc, ABB e.g. B. are classic robot manufacturers; Low-cost axes and cobot units are available from Igus, for example, while Gimatic supplies the grippers or Schaeffler supplies the gearboxes. With their innovations, they are all helping to make the vision of the fourth revolution come true.

finger gripper

Bionic finger gripper for Cobot Rebel

November 30.11.2023, XNUMX | In order for the Cobot Rebel to actually work, it needs suitable end effectors such as grippers and vacuum cleaners. Igus offers a large selection of various manufacturers on its RBTX marketplace. Due to some customer requests for a plug-and-play robot hand, Igus has now developed its own finger gripper.

Virtual twins and robotics make you competitive

Oct 05.10.2023, XNUMX | Dassault Systèmes, Omron and Ecosphere demonstrate the power of virtual twins for automation and robotics. The focus of a showcase is the virtual twin of a fully automated and flexible production line with handling robots and mobile robots.

Omron cobots with the fastest camera joint

Oct 16.10.2023, XNUMX | With the TM S series, Omron presents new collaborative robots with powerful hardware, even more safety functions and certifications as well as the most modern configuration options.
Surface gripper

Surface gripper with integrated vacuum generator

Oct 09.10.2023, 120 | The new vacuum gripper series FGS-XNUMX from Gimatic is modular, very flexible and energy efficient. An integrated vacuum generator ensures the vacuum and makes the gripper suitable for use in various industries. The multi-stage ejectors are extremely light and efficient.
ABB Cobot

Cobots with currently the longest range

29.08.2023/1/XNUMX | At the EMO, ABB is showing solutions for flexible machine loading. These are suitable for the requirements of the metalworking industry for variant production with small volumes up to batch size XNUMX.
robot brake

Robot brake protects Robco robotic arms

27.08.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | Robco offers a modular robot kit for use in industry. The slim and lightweight safety brakes from the standard modular system from Mayr power transmission ensure the necessary safety in the robot arms.

Software partner for sensor-adaptive robotics

22.06.2023/2023/XNUMX | At Automatica XNUMX, Artiminds presented applications programmed with its in-house software solutions. The tools Robot Programming Suite (RPS) and Artiminds Learning & Analytics for Robots (LAR) simplify the programming of sensor-based robot applications.
robot module

Robot module for various gripper systems

12.06.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | Zimmer's Match end-of-arm ecosystem robot module was created in cooperation with Schmalz. The standardized end effector interface enables the flexible use of the entire range of gripping systems such as vacuum systems or mechanical grippers.

Our interface simplifies interaction

30.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | With the Kuka.Usertech user interface, Kuka has simplified the configuration of its robot controllers. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to create and use application commands with the software extension. The software provides the user with many features.

Cobot, as fast as an industrial robot

22.05.2023/900/1300 | Denso's Cobotta PRO 6 and Cobotta PRO 12 are currently the most powerful cobots on the market. Their load capacity is 2100 or 2500 kg, the manufacturer specifies the TCP speed as XNUMX mm/s or XNUMX mm/s and the repeatability is also convincing.
finger gripper

2 finger gripper with 5 senses

May 19.05.2023, XNUMX | The smart robot hand from Camozzi Automation is a flexible, efficient, ergonomic and intelligent gripper. The gripper's sensors detect the weight and size of products and can estimate their distance. With an integrated sensor system, the gripper records information and can react accordingly to the situation.

Smart grippers simply integrated

17.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | With Griplink, Weiss Robotics offers a technology that makes it easier for users to integrate servo-electric grippers. The manufacturer has also expanded its range to include servo-electric grippers as future-proof products for many applications.
planetary gear

Precision planetary gear transcends boundaries

29.04.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | With the precision planetary gearbox of the Schaeffler PSC series for industrial robots, designers have compared to the market standard by a factor of ten less torsional backlash and a service life that is three times longer.

Industrial robots with new control architecture

24.04.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | Stäubli has developed unique robot series for digital transformation. The compact range of the dynamic and precise robots are equipped with a new control architecture including safety features and interfaces such as OPC/UA.
Strain wave gear

Sensorized harmonic drive with high precision

20.04.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX | Schaeffler's RT precision harmonic drives were designed for particularly dynamic and demanding applications with a high level of torque. As an option, strain relief gears are available with a fully integrated torque sensor system that delivers highly accurate torque signals.
needle roller bearings

New bearing design crosses borders

April 14.04.2023, XNUMX | The bearing technology in articulated arms of lightweight robots usually uses crossed roller bearings. Schaeffler has now further improved the design of such bearings in terms of tipping stiffness. Schaeffler solves a major problem with a new double-row angular contact needle bearing.

Smart cobot with digital ecosystem

16.03.2022/20/XNUMX | igus is now also delivering the Rebel service robot as a smart version. Just one year after the first presentation of the modular gearbox for cobots, igus is already recording XNUMX automation projects per week. In doing so, igus relies entirely on its Motion Plastics expertise.


Types of robots and robotics

The world of robots is constantly evolving and offers a variety of types of robots, which can be categorized according to their scope and functions.

  • Cobots, also known as human-robot collaboration, i.e. robots that are able to work together with humans.  
  • Industrial robots are used in the manufacturing industry to automate repetitive tasks such as assembly, welding and packaging. She are still widespread and automate production processes in factories.
  • Mobile robots, including autonomous vehicles and drones, are revolutionizing the transportation and logistics industry.
  • service robot are gaining in importance working in direct contact with people and supporting them in areas such as household, health care, nursing or hospitality. There are also mobile robots here.
  • Household robots are a part of service robotics. They include lawn mower robots, window cleaning robots or vacuum cleaning robots.
  • social robot are human-looking robots used in communication, entertainment, and therapy that enable social or human-machine interaction.
  • Humanoid Roboter exhibit human-like features and movement abilities. 

Find out now about new robot innovations on the market: 

Cobot | Discover robots as new employees 

Welcome to the future of collaboration: the arrival of Cobot or the Human-robot Collaboration into the production halls is in full swing. This revolutionary robotic technology works hand in hand with people and optimizes work processes. Discover the exciting world of cobots and their diverse applications in industry and everyday life.

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industrial robots | The production employees

Industrial robots are the key players in modern manufacturing. They've been around for a long time, but now you're experiencing a new evolutionary stage in which you Artificial intelligence equipped and also becoming smarter thanks to new technologies such as machine learning. Read about many innovations and examples, like that industrial robotics Production processes are transformed and what tasks they can take on in the various industries.

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components for robots

Every robot consists of individual components and systems, which in turn are three basic components are integrated: The manipulator: This is the robot body, an operating element and the robot controller. Further down the robot is divided into the robot frame, the carousel, the swing arm, the robot arm and the robot hand.

All components must meet specific requirements in order to function and Safety of the robot. Depending on their environmental conditions, they must be robust and durable; work accurately, efficiently and repeatably; they should be light; meet safety standards; be compatible with other components and networkable. We present some robot components:

7th axis
robot drive
Robot arm + robot flange
robot brake
robot gripper
Linear unit
robot controller
robot software
Strain wave gear

Robotics manufacturer know-how

Among the best known in Germany robot manufacturers These include Dürr, Kuka, Yaskawa, Fanuc, ABB, Mitsubishi Electric, Igus.... Many more German companies, on the other hand, deal with components for robots. For the following companies we give you a detailed insight into the portfolio: 


Gimatic robotics

The extensive gripper portfolio from Gimatic offers a wide range of solutions specially designed for the robotics sector. With these high-quality grippers, Gimatic enables precise and efficient handling of a wide variety of objects in automated processes.

Robot grippers, EOAT and gripper kits for Cobot and IR

A specialty of Gimatic's robot gripper technology is: Gripper systems for robots. They are attached to the end of a robotic arm. Depending on the application, these are, for example, parallel grippers, jaw grippers, removal gripper or angle gripper. In so-called End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) solutions, components are customized for e.g. B. pick-and-place applications. One is also new Denso grapple kit.

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These vacuum grippers handle everything

The new Vacuum gripper Gimatic FGS-120 series is modular, very flexible and energy efficient. With the modular vacuum grippers, differently shaped components in various sizes and different porosities can be handled very easily. An integrated one vacuum generator ensures the vacuum and makes the gripper fit for use in various industries. 

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Igus robotics

With its Low Cost Automation offer is Igus set out to lower the barriers to entry into the age of automation. Affordable and user-friendly robotics with Motion Plastics from Cologne, plus various online tools for design, calculation and configuration are available to get you started.

Robot marketplace for beginners and advanced users

The platform has also been part of the igus low-cost portfolio since 2019. In the partner network, 78 manufacturers are currently bidding over 300 robotic components and more than 150 complete solutions from practice (as of January 23.01.2023, XNUMX) - including guaranteed hardware and software compatibility. On the Online marketplace users can easily find a cost-effective and suitable automation solution as a complete system for their individual application. Planned customer applications can be tested live together in customer testing areas at various locations around the world before they are purchased.

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Delta, Scara and portal robots

Igus offers a wide variety of articulated arm robots, gantry robots, delta robots and Scara robots. If you can't decide, there is a solution: virtual Iguverse (Metaverse) provides the perfect playground to get robot applications and programming up and running and then into reality with ease. Looking to the future, igus predicts how people working collaboratively in the Metaverse and, for example, controlling robots from virtual worlds will change the way we work together.

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Robot arm for low cost automation

Low cost automation is easy with the Robolink Implement the modular system from igus. This is made possible, among other things, by the long-lasting and at the same time cost-saving Tribo plastic Strain wave gear, which are used in the Robolink robot arm. For example, pick-and-place tasks, assembly work or cleaning work are suitable for this. Find out more about the simple and flexible articulated arm robot.

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Cobot and service robotics with plug-and-play transmission

In logistics, care, kitchens, bars or in the fields: the potential for service robotics is great. Cobots help with monotonous or unergonomic tasks. For the simple, cost-effective implementation of such lightweight robots, Igus is introducing a gearbox kit for cobots. The focus is on the fully integrated Tribo strain wave gear with motor, absolute value encoder, force control and controller. Used in the Rebel service robot, igus is now accelerating low-cost automation. Here you can find out what's new about cobots and gears.

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Mayr robotics

For robotics and automation Mayr Antriebstechnik powerful and tailored to the industry Safety brakes. These are used successfully in countless robot applications worldwide.

Safety brakes for reliable robotic arms

That way robotic arms in the event of a power failure, after the power has been switched off or in an emergency stop, the safety brakes from Mayr Antriebstechnik will keep them from falling or falling in an uncontrolled manner servo axes reliable and secure in their position. The company offers a whole range of proven robot brakes for this purpose. In the Roba-power stop series, the company has slim, lightweight spring-loaded brakes for servomotors adapted to the high requirements of robotics.

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Mitsubishi robot

The industrial robots and collaborative robotics of Mitsubishi Electric support numerous intelligent applications in the Industry 4.0 factory. Artificial intelligence is also on board from time to time. The offering ranges from articulated arm and Scara robots to cobots.

CNC + robot programming on one platform

The merging of robotics and CNC technology brings competitive advantages for machine builders and OEMs. With the integration of the robot into the machine tool, the advantages of automation can be fully exploited. With the development of a uniform programming environment, Mitsubishi Electric creates a direct robot controller, which allows robot programming via G-codes in the CNC machining center.

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Cobots as a door opener to the establishment of robotics

Industrial robots are increasingly used today to increase productivity and precision in manufacturing. They also relieve people of tiresome, repetitive tasks. Cobots or collaborativeAlso collaborative robots go one step further here. They actually work together with humans. The article provides insights into Mitsubishi Electric's collaborative robot know-how and cobot portfolio.

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Industrial robots with artificial intelligence

Whether the traditional Industrial robots due to the incoming tide Cobots will soon no longer be needed, Mitsubishi Electric answers with "Of course no". Therefore, the automation company still offers a whole range of industrial robots melfah series, develops them further and even equips them with artificial intelligence. Below you will find everything you need to know about the topic and we will introduce you to the latest innovations:

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Predictive maintenance for robotics

With Artificial intelligence (KI) you are already smart beforehand. Mitsubishi Electric uses its corporate AI now also for Predictive Maintenance for machines, systems and robots. Maintenance reaches a new level through the analysis of operating parameters recorded in real time. Maintenance requirements are identified at an early stage, even before they arise. In this way, necessary measures can be planned in advance and reduced to a minimum.

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Schaeffler robotics

Planetary gear + strain wave gear precision

Precision gears have a significant influence on the dynamics, positioning and repeat accuracy or the service life of a construction. Schaeffler effect in the young company Ultra Precision Drives developed two types of gearboxes that surpass the current state of the art: the Strain wave gear Series RT and the planetary gear the PSC series. Find out how you can use it to take your robotics application to a new level.

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Bearings for robot gears

The bearing technology in articulated arms from lightweight robots usually uses crossed roller bearings. Schaeffler has now further improved the design of such bearings in terms of tipping stiffness. In order to achieve significant progress in this regard, a new development approach was required. Schaeffler engineers considered this as a promising alternative with the needle roller and finally the two-row one Angular needle bearing XZU

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Robotics Applications and Industries

As already described above, the various types of robots already indicate their use. Industrial robots and cobots, on the other hand, are the robots for industrial use on machines and systems. Such robotics applications can be found in countless sectors from the automotive industry to medical technology. Take a look with us behind the scenes of classic applications:

robot brake

Safety brake for Robco robot kit

The company Robco offers a modular robot kit for industrial manufacturing. In the robot arms, slim and lightweight robot brakes from the standard modular system from Mayr Antriebstechnik ensure the necessary safety.
chocolate factory

Industrial robot for the chocolate factory

At Mitsubishi Electric's Interpack stand everything revolves around chocolate in a modular, open and fully integrated line. Together with partners, the advanced quality control of chocolate bars and their packaging with industrial robots will be demonstrated.
laboratory robot

Laboratory robot accelerates Sars-CoV-2 diagnostics

The world's first female scientist is revolutionizing biotechnology today. Her name is Agamede and she has declared war on Covid-19. The robot of the same name was developed at the ICHB PAN Institute in Poland with the participation of the technology partners Mitsubishi Electric and others.
Medical Technology

Medical technology Grippers for the mega trend

It is a mega trend that medical technology will also grow strongly in the coming years due to the growing world population. In order to be able to meet the demand, it must be massively automated. Gimatic offers mechatronic grippers for robotics.

Exoskeleton for stroke patients

Many stroke patients suffer from hemiplegia. An exoskeleton like the Harmony from Harmonic Bionics helps in physiotherapy to rebuild the nerve tracts in the arms and shoulders. Robot-supported exoskeletons with plain bearings from igus should be able to be adapted quickly.

Laboratory robots for the hospital of the future

ABB has opened its first global Health Care Hub dedicated to health research at the Texas Medical Center (TMC) campus in Houston, Texas. A number of technology concepts were presented at the opening, including a mobile “Yumi” robot.

Energy chain in pipeline maintenance robots

The remote-controlled robot Crawler takes over work that would be life-threatening for humans. He rehabilitates the inner walls of pipelines in power plants. The automation succeeds reliably. The Remote Orbital Installations LLC from the USA relies on the energy chains from igus.


Research projects and results

Research in the field of robotics has made significant progress in recent years, resulting in new areas of application and technologies. scientists and engineers from different disciplines work together on research projects to develop innovative robotic solutions that can revolutionize the way we work and live.

Some important results of research projects in robotics are as follows: Collaborative robots take on dangerous tasks and increase productivity; Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) move independently in an environment, can navigate and transport goods. With the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning in robotics, robots are becoming increasingly intelligent and can independently learn and perform increasingly complex tasks. In soft robotics, the development of soft robots made of flexible materials allows better adaptability and safety in sensitive applications such as medical technology or in human-machine interaction.

Many of these developments have been preceded by research projects that have the potential to advance automation and create new ways for robots and humans to work together, as the following articles show: 


AI based robot calibration

The goal of Kirk, a research and development project for AI-based robot calibration, is to develop new software-driven calibration methods for industrial robots through machine learning and to increase their accuracy. The initiators are the University of Stuttgart, DHBW Karlsruhe and Artiminds.
Hydraulic System

Hydraulic drive for the surgical robot of the future

Tumor therapy without risks and side effects? Scientists in the laboratories are already working on solutions for such future medicine. To ensure that robotics do not interfere with imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging, IPA engineers have developed a new drive technology.

Develop with Roboy 2.0 collaborative software

However, a development team from the non-profit project Roboy from Munich has set itself the goal of developing a robot that should come as close as possible to humans in its overall appearance. Roboy 2.0 was developed using Autodesk's Fusion 360 collaborative software.
Mini brake

Mini-Bremse für Robotergelenke im Weltraum

Der robuste, energieeffiziente Kletterroboter „Space Climber“ wurde für Missionen in schwierigem Gelände konzipiert. Eine essentielle Komponente seines Bewegungsapparates sind die intelligenten, kraftvollen Gelenke. Speziell für ein solches Gelenk hat Mayr Antriebstechnik eine Mini-Bremse entwickelt.
cable robot

Cable robot concept convinces Vector Award jury

The University of Duisburg-Essen won the Igus Vector Award for the most innovative energy chain application with its cable robot. The robot uses the "E-spool" energy supply system, which adds an additional dimension to the energy chain principle.


Fundamentals of Robotics

A general robot definition describes robots as programmable machines that can perform various tasks. Originally inspired in science fiction, robots have evolved into real-world technology. Robots often have multiple axes. This allows them to perform complex movements. These movements are carefully planned and controlled with regard to the movement sequence and the freedom of movement of the axes. Robotics has the potential to improve human life in various areas and streamline operations in many industries.

The History of Robotics

The Automation is unthinkable without robotics. The world's first manufacturer of industrial robots was neither ABB, Kuka nor Fanuc, it was called union and is from the USA. The first robot stopped in Germany Hydraulic Systembasis Entry into automobile production at Mercedes-Benz in 1970. Kuka built the first German industrial robot with six electromechanical axes in 1973, followed by ABB with the fully electrically driven robot, which was presented a year later. Today, robotics is an integral part of the factories of the present and even more so of the future.

A few figures on robotics

The world of robotics has made impressive strides in recent years. According to the International Federation of Robotics, more than 2022 million industrial robots were in use worldwide by the end of 3. A significant proportion of these robots are found in the automotive industry, which accounts for over 40% of total robot installations. In addition, the service robotics market, including household, medical and logistics robots, has seen unprecedented growth over the past five years. It is estimated that this market will be worth $2025 billion by 37. These impressive figures clearly show that robotics plays a crucial role in our technology-driven society and is evolving at a rapid pace.

trends in robotics

There are several trends in robotics that will shape the future of robotics and automation. Here are some of the most important:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: Robots are getting smarter and learning how to act in different situations. The use of AI and machine learning enables robots to function more autonomously and adapt to new tasks such as batch size 1 manufacturing and special environments.
  • mobile robotics: More and more robots are becoming mobile and can move about freely. They can be used in logistics, packaging, manufacturing and other fields to transport materials and goods or perform tasks that were previously performed by humans.
  • Collaborative Robotics: Cobots are increasingly being used to collaborate with humans and assist them in various tasks.
  • cloud robotics: Cloud computing and cloud services are increasingly being used to improve the performance of robots and expand their capabilities.
  • Robots as a Service (RaaS): RaaS is a model that allows companies to rent or lease robots instead of owning them. This enables companies to react quickly and flexibly to changes in demand and to use robots as needed.
  • Biologically inspired robotics: Robotics research is increasingly being inspired by biological systems, especially nature, to develop new technologies and approaches.

These trends in robotics have the potential to fundamentally change the way we work and live and can help improve efficiency, safety and sustainability in various industries.

What is robotics simply explained?

The robotics is an interdisciplinary research area dealing with the development and application of robots. It brings together different disciplines such as Drive Technology, automation, Electrical Engineering and computer science. With the components and systems from these specialist areas, intelligent machines can be developed, which then carry out tasks independently and efficiently. Because the robots can be used so flexibly, they are ideally suited to the requirements of the smart factory, which, among other things, offers the greatest variety of variants down to batch size 1.

Robot definition: Robots take on repetitive and complex tasks. This can relieve human workers and increase productivity. They do this with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability in performing their tasks, which in turn improves the quality and efficiency of products and processes. Robots consist of several axes whose movements are matched to the application in terms of working space. 

Sources: This article is based on information from the following companies: ABB, Artiminds, Camozzi, Denso, Fraunhofer IPA, Gimatic, Igus, KUKA, Mayr Antriebstechnik, KIRK, Mistubishi Electric, Robco, Rollon, Roboy, Schaeffler, Schmalz, Stäubli, Weiss Robotics.