FRIDA ABB Robot Concept by Kenny Wong – Friendly Robot for Industrial Dual-arm Assembly – is an easy-to-install robot concept that can safely work next to humans (in places that are ergonomically designed for manual assembly), without the need for safeguarding and separating the workspaces of human and machine.
Today, flexible manual assembly is the method of choice for producing electronic consumer goods. Due to the health risks posed to workers and local labour shortages, the industry is in need of automated solutions that can complement manual assembly. Previous attempts to fully automate assembly lines often failed due to large investments, long ramp-up times, and an overall lack of flexibility.
Our robotic assembly colleague FRIDA is a dual-arm assembly robot that is portable and designed to work safely next to people. FRIDA is easy to relocate, and fits into manual work places. It can perform assembly steps that are tedious, sensitive to quality issues, or otherwise favourable for automation.
FRIDA fulfils the agile production requirements of electronics assembly through a unique combination of known and new features. FRIDA has dual arms in a human-like configuration. Each arm has seven motion axes rather than the more common four or six, which gives it a degree of agility that is similar to the human arm. FRIDA incorporates a new safety concept that reduces the amount of safety-related electronics and related engineering; this creates a harmless, productive, and cost-efficient robot. FRIDA also has a lightweight gripper for flexible material handling, and a controller housed inside the robot body.
The safety concept is based on lightweight construction, low payload, power and speed limitation, and software-based collision detection. Additional measures to increase safety are less visible and deal with the clamping of fingers. Through the soft surfaces, round shapes, and carefully designed clearances and joint arrangements, it was possible for the designers to create robot arms that are totally free of clamping risks, without the need for additional collision sensors or protective bellows. All cables are routed through the robot structure without any exposure on the outside, so there is no risk of entanglement either.
Design by Kenny Wong for red dot award [via]