Schunk is about to launch a new robotic arm for autonomous assistance robots which the company is apparently finding difficult to explain.
“How could one describe a multi-functional handling solution that operates autonomously in a human environment?” asks Schunk in a statement revealing the new product.
Schunk, which claims to be “the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems”, presented the anthropomorphic gripper arm and said it is designed for intuitive virtual programming and widely differing successive gripping operations; it can also optionally be equipped to react to collisions.
The overall application will be programmed on the basis of Robot Operating System (ROS).
Operation of the Schunk Powerball Lightweight Arm and the Schunk SVH 5-Finger Hand is possible with all standard web browsers. For this purpose, Schunk provides an app that can be used on any commercially available smartphone, tablet or PC.
Virtual slide controls and an integrated 3D viewer allow axis-specific programming. Optionally, the arm can be equipped with an integrated, electric force control.
To speed up the change between locations, it is possible to save entire procedures for later situation-specific retrieval and fast and easy adaptation to the particular application scenario.
Due to the use of 24V technology and fully integrated electronics the lightweight arm can be powered by rechargeable batteries and used on mobile platforms. Neither an additional control cabinet nor a PC is required.
The Schunk LWA 4P Powerball lightweight arm features a weight/load ratio of 2:1 and is a lightweight arm with “the world’s best compact performance”, boasts the company.
With a weight of 12 kg (without the base) it can dynamically handle loads of up to 6 kg and has a gripping radius of about 700 mm.
Due to the compact design of the front end, or wrist joint, the arm can also easily be maneuvered in confined spaces. Its excellent repeat accuracy of +/- 0.15 mm provides for high process stability in demanding measuring and testing tasks.
Also, a sophisticated design prevents dangerous crushing and shearing movements. This makes the module ideal for use in the direct proximity of people.
Since the supply lines for the gripper and tools are completely within the module, there are no interference-prone cables on the peripheral devices. The consistent lightweight construction and torque motors of the latest generation ensure extremely energy-efficient operation of the Schunk Powerball lightweight arm at an average of 80 W.