ABB and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, two global industrial automation and robot suppliers, announced that the companies will join forces to share knowledge and promote the benefits of collaborative robots, in particular those with dual arm designs. The global cooperation will become effective immediately.
Under the new cooperation, which is the world’s first to focus on ‘cobots,’ both robot makers will continue independently manufacturing and marketing their own offerings while working together on joint technical and awareness opportunities. This includes educating policy makers, NGOs and the general public about the benefits of collaborative automation, and creating common industry approaches to safety, programming and communications.
Collaboration between people and robots, machines and processes is increasingly important as production in many industries has shifted from larger lots with little variation to low volumes with a high mix. This means more variability and more human intervention. Collaborative automation allows people and robots to each contribute their unique strengths – people offer process knowledge, insight and improvisation for change, while robots offer tireless endurance for repetitive tasks.
The cooperation also represents collaboration across borders, with ABB as Europe’s largest robot supplier and Kawasaki one of Asia’s industrial giants.
ABB is recognized as a pioneer in collaborative automation through its YuMi dual arm robot, the world’s first truly collaborative robot. The YuMi robot makes it possible for people and robots to safely share common tasks such as assembling small electronics.
Kawasaki is offering a very unique and innovative Dual-Arm SCARA Robot “duAro”, which has been developed based on extensive application know-how and which can safely collaborate with humans in the workplace.
The first output from this cooperation will be a collaborative dual arm robot demonstration in Booth IR3-56, IR5-22 and SR-82 at IREX, to be held in Tokyo, Japan from November 29 to December 2, 2017.