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Schunk show how far service robotics has evolved in recent years

Schunk show how far service robotics has evolved in recent years

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 03 April 2013

As a global authority on service robotics, Schunk has once again hosted its Schunk Expert Days in Lauffen, Germany. With service robotics becoming more prominent throughout industry, Dr. Roko Tschakarow, Business Director Mobile Gripping Systems at SCHUNK, speaks about the future and the challenges of service ro-botics.

The focus point of the 2013 event was 'Vision Becomes Reality', discussing how far service robotics has evolved in recent years and the challenges it faces moving forward. Almost all the large industrial sectors have service robotics on their agenda and interest from
associated companies considering service robotics has increased significantly.

Highlighting the issues facing the service robotics arena, Dr Tschakarow believes there are three central issues that will determine the evolution over coming years. Firstly, the safety aspect for humans and material, secondly, the legal framework and thirdly, the development of efficient system manufacturers and integrators for service robotics solutions as an interface between manufacturer and user.

With regard to the progression of technology, the use of efficient and cost-effective sensors will make it possible in the future to control the performance and force of service robots according to the situation in real time. A second important issue is the usability. The operation of service robots has to become easier and more intuitive than has been the case to date.

Concerning the legal frameworks, Dr Tschakarow says: 'There is the question of liability in case of applications with unmanned systems for example. Data protection also plays an important role. Additionally, service robots have to record, process and store a wide range of data in order to navigate safely.'

The system manufacturers and integrators will be the primary drivers of this technology and Dr Tschakarow believes that similar to the conventional industrial robotics, someone has to combine modules and solutions, but also software and periphery with each other to ensure user requirements are optimally met. System manufacturers and integrators may also take over these interface functions into service robotics. There may be established providers or new companies that have expertise in applications of service robotics.

As a leading authority in the field of Mobile Gripping Systems, Schunk will consistently expand and further develop its module program for mobile gripping systems. The most recent example for this is the anthropomorphic 5-finger hand, where Schunk has successfully integrated the electronics in the wrist. In future, tactile sensors will also give the necessary sensitivity. This fact is important, if gripping and handling tasks have to be carried out in unstructured and unpredictable environments.

For the efficient lightweight arms, Schunk has the goal to simplify operation and control in future. It is the company's long-term goal that users in private and business environments will be able to easily use the modules and assembly groups, even if they don’t have experience in programming mechatronic systems. Additionally, the mechatronic gripping modules and lightweight arms will push the development of highly integrated drive assemblies for mobile platforms forward in the forthcoming years.


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