What do you wear for your industrial robot?
During my studies I was at a presentation of Fiat Auto Poland, the company on one of the slides was proud of the use of cover suits put on painting robots. They make cleaning easy and allow industrial robots to work longer without failure. Today it is hard to meet a robot in a paint shop who would not be dressed this way.
A few years have passed and a new reason has emerged to put something on the „naked” robot. It was the appearance of collaborative robots on the market.
Protective covers for robots
Bosch developed the APAS, which was a Fanuc device dressed in black „skin”. This cover had 118 built-in sensors that detected the pressure and allowed the robot to stop when a collision was detected.
Shortly afterwards, Fanuc himself began to dress up his own robots. Today, green foam suits are the characteristic elements of this manufacturer’s range of equipment that can work together with people. Unlike Bosch APAS, there are no sensors in them. The base underneath the robot is responsible for collision detection. The foam is intended solely for the purpose of reducing the effects of possible collisions.
Robot or dragon?
It seems that this is not all the scenarios when the robot may need second skin :) One of the robot programmers brought one day an industrial manipulator to her home. She wanted her daughter to get used to the new device, so she sewed the dragon’s costume for him… :)