Industrial Robots That Imitate Human Wrist Movement

In the Industrial Robot category at the 4th Robot Awards, Fanuc’s Genkotsu Robot Series won an award for excellence.
One of the prize-winning robots was the Genkotsu Robot 1, which is suitable for assembling precision devices, such as mobile phones, and arranging components. The other was the Genkotsu Robot 3, which boasts a wide working area and the ability to carry a 6 kg load.
“This robot has a parallel link structure, so compared with conventional robots, it has a high degree of freedom and can move like a human hand. It uses this hand-like motion to do delicate assembly work very nimbly. Other features of the Genkotsu Robot are that it’s very fast, and it doesn’t take up much space.”
This unique parallel link structure differs from ordinary multi-jointed structures, in that the arm movement area is mechanically restricted. As a result, the working range is limited to directly beneath the robot. This ensures that production lines are safe, and also enables lines to be made compact by saving space.
“All the motors are in the head part. Each narrow link is controlled to control the motion of the tip. On the tip, there’s a just link and a hand, so the tip is very light. So this robot can move extremely fast.”
This robot can not only line up components, but also change the way they’re facing. The flexibility of the wrist, which can tilt and twist, opens up new applications for robots. And that’s apparently why this robot received the award.
This robot can also be used with a visual sensor called iRVision, giving it a capability equivalent to human sight.
“It can look at things and determine or inspect their color, shape, and where they’ve been placed. It can also measure dimensions down to one hundredth of a millimeter, so it can be used for a variety of precision applications.”
“The Genkotsu Robot series was released last spring, and so far, over 500 have been introduced worldwide. They’re also gaining recognition, and many are being used by customers who hadn’t utilized robots before. So we’d also like to promote them in fields where robots aren’t being used yet.”
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