Towards the Mechatronics Robot
Robot technology used in industrial automation has undergone remarkable changes over the last 40 years considering the increasing performance and decreasing prize of successful products in the market.
KUKA became one of the leading robot suppliers by developing products with excellent mechanical design combined with pioneering PC based control technology, but also and equal important through external innovation transferred from DLR, which became widely known as the KUKA DLR success story. KUKA and DLR succeeded in the mid-nineties to be the first to implement control algorithms that maximize the robot dynamics performance while performing a task online and to integrate the space mouse as human robot input device for commanding the robot.
Competition in industrial robotics has increased drastically since then, and KUKA was required to build up a new industrial robot generation to secure technology leadership. This talk outlines the roadmap of innovation taken by former DLR researchers who joint KUKA over the last decade, comprising the introduction of a holistic mechatronic design process, improved accuracy models, control algorithms, and new technologies for robot safety. Based on these technologies, leading products have been developed, for example the KUKA Titan, the first high performance heavy load industrial robot for 1000 kg payload, the KUKA Quantec the current benchmark robot system driven by a entirely new generation of multi-core PC based control technology, or medical and entertainment robots that require human-robot collaboration.
As a mechatronic company, as KUKA is today, KUKA is combining its own build-up competence to design a new generation of service robots for the production and service industry, extending the original ideas and technologies defined by the DLR light weight robot.