A Supplement to Design World - February 2021 www.therobotreport.com
Robot arm opens new doors for Spot
INSIDE: • How piece-picking robots benefit from bottom-up design.............................................58 • Precision gripper key to machine tending application ..........................................68 • Laser-steering end-effector aims to refine minimally invasive surgery .............................72
2/9/21 1:27 PM
The Robot Report
How piece-picking robots benefit
from bottom-up design Why cobbling together robotic arms, cameras, and AI software from different vendors is a risky approach.
Vince Martinelli | RightHand Robotics
To understand the precision that’s required in warehouse robotics, try this exercise: Set up five random objects on your desk near a container to place them in. Look at them and imagine how you would pick each up. Now close your eyes. While minimizing your hand movements and keeping your eyes closed, gently but firmly grasp each object, one at a time, and place them in the container. Did you find all five objects quickly and cleanly pick them up? When you let go, did all five land in the container? Did you notice how your wrist, elbow and shoulder moved a little differently while executing each task?
Piece Picking Robots 2-21_Vs3.indd 58
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:26 AM
That’s the basic process robotic systems go through when executing picking and placing functions as part of a warehouse material handling workflow. Even if the robot grasps and releases the same item frequently, the orientation and positioning each time will vary as the inventory is removed from its storage tote. When the system reaches into a tote and transfers an item into a destination container, if the gripping mechanism is off by a few millimeters, the pick or placement may fail. And for workflows where totes contain a mix of items, the process to ensure consistent picking and placement is even more complex. To succeed, THE ROBOT REPORT
Piece Picking Robots 2-21_Vs3.indd 59
robots need to carefully coordinate artificial intelligence (AI), machine vision, and end-effector (grip mechanism) technologies. Without all three operating in perfect sync, the process breaks down or operates less than optimally, and the warehouse won’t stay on schedule in processing customer orders. But by properly coordinating these elements, items can flow smoothly and throughput is maximized.
RightHand Robotics developed a hybrid gripper that uses robotic fingers and suction to pick up and place a variety of items. | RightHand Robotics
Cobbled components require costly trial-and-error The technologies that enable warehouses to use robots to pick and place products are still relatively new. Some retailers and www.therobotreport.com
2/10/21 9:26 AM
The Robot Report their system integrators have attempted to solve the challenge by cobbling together robotic arms, cameras, and AI so ware om different vendors with different objectives originally in mind. This approach is risky. Perhaps the so ware is effective, but the camera may be designed for other use cases, and the grip mechanism probably requires some adaptation. For example, in many warehouse picking systems, the camera needs to operate a meter above the totes to stay out of the way of the robotic arm. This creates several logistical considerations:
RightHand gathered data from millions of picks to learn the best ways to approach different shapes and classes of items and the optimal ways to orient them for efficient sorting and lifting. Its RightPick2 is optimal for kitting, in which separate items are packaged as one unit, as well as for sorter induction and goods-to-picker tending. | RightHand Robotics
• Does the camera have sufficient resolution so the AI motion planning so ware moves the arm to the precise point to grasp the next item? • What if the last item in a tote is flat and the same color as the tote? Will it even be seen? • Will the camera and AI so ware work together to enable the arm to grasp the item and know whether it has succeeded or not? • Can the system recognize whether or not the source tote is empty and report an inventory error if asked to pick om an empty container? Trying to make components om different manufacturers work well together to provide the answers to
task-critical questions like these requires reconfigurations and adjustments to the physical components, as well as coding changes to the AI so ware. A costly trial-and-error process is required to test whether the components will combine to deliver the required performance. If the prototype fails, customizing a second and then a third prototype will cause the overall investment in robotics to increase rapidly, and likely leave everyone ustrated as calendar time elapses. Holistic design with a bottom-up approach Consider the early years of automobiles. The manufacturers that succeeded did so by producing, assembling and configuring components on their own until they could consistently deliver vehicles and machines that performed reliably. Car manufacturers did not assemble an engine and then try to connect it to transmission, steering and braking systems furnished by other manufacturers. They designed, built and integrated the entire vehicle. Once the specs of such systems were nailed down and the technologies matured, it then became feasible to outsource component manufacturing. The same concept applies to warehouse robotics. Given that the underlying technologies are still maturing, the holistic system design or
RightHand Robotics’ RightPick2 system uses Intel RealSense D415 cameras for segmentation and motion planning. | Intel
Piece Picking Robots 2-21_Vs3.indd 60
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:27 AM
“purpose-built” approach — making sure the end-effector, camera and AI software all work together properly by considering tradeoffs, interfaces and integration — is best handled by one firm conceiving, assembling, and testing the interoperability of the components. This approach drives accountability and also consolidates the learning from successive product iterations — both for the engineering team and via the increasing body of data available for machine learning use, thereby improving the design. This is especially true for piecepicking and placement systems that require intelligent end-effectors and one or more specialized cameras that provide both depth and color images. Just making sure all the parts don’t physically get in each other’s way can be a challenge, particularly if cameras need to get close to see smaller parts and if robotic arms require intricate movements for the hand-eye coordination to pick and place pieces just right. Adding to the challenge is that every pick and every placement is different. A robot picking items out of totes from an automated inventory storage system may handle five million or more items every year from a set of hundreds of thousands of products. Even when picking the same product, each piece in a tote will be positioned differently. The end-effector will need to rely on the camera and AI software to know just where to move and how and when to grip each item. And the motion to get each item out of the tote without bumping it against the tote is a little different than the one before. Similar precision is required as robotic arms move pieces to one of several destination totes, for inducting into sorters, or placing into putwall cubbies. No two items will be placed in the same exact position. When packing a tote, for example, the system cannot simply place each item on top of the item before it. The bin needs to be packed uniformly. Combining an end-effector, camera, and AI software that come from different suppliers to do all this correctly and close to 100% of the time without a coordinated design approach is nearly impossible. DESIGN WORLD
Piece Picking Robots 2-21_Vs3.indd 61
Looking to optimize your control panel size?
Complete servo drive package with seamless connectivity The new servo drive CMMT-AS offers connectivity of the hardware and software, great efﬁciency, compact design and easy operation. • • •
For point-to-point and interpolated motion with focus on dynamic motion and precise positioning Direct ﬁeldbus integration Quick and easy commissioning with the Festo Automation Suite
2/10/21 9:29 AM
The Robot Report Robots with human-like dexterity
Keys of purpose-built robotic picking solutions for e-commerce fulfillment When designing a warehouse robotics solution, it’s also important to closely examine the individual components and their ability to adapt to the requirements of your customers’ workflows. Here are some of the key attributes to consider:
• • • "FULL-STACK LOGISTICS AUTOMATION WITH ROBOTS THAT PICK, PACK, MOVE AND COLLABORATE"
• • • • •
Mixed-Case Palletizing Quickly palletize and depalletize any size of case in any sequence
Fulfillment Fully automated robot-to-goods fulfillment lines or goods-to-robot pick stations
Model- ee picking to avoid maintaining a library of 3D item models. Multi-function end-effectors that combine sensing, suction, and compliant fingers. The ability to pick items om multiple containers with sub-compartments and place them into multiple locations. Autonomous reaction to and resolution of exceptions, rather than shutting down. Machine learning that continuously improves picking and placement in multiple warehouse workflows. Flexibility for use at multiple workflow points within distribution and fulfillment centers. Validation process to confirm items via barcode scans. RGB-D cameras that sense the depth of items and enable item segmentation.
These capabilities result om an integrated approach to robotic hand-eye coordination and system design, enabling warehouses to operate more efficiently with predictable throughput and capacity. RR
About the Author
Induction, singulation, and sortation for parcels and poly bags
Vince Martinelli is the head of product & marketing at RightHand Robotics, which provides piecepicking robotic solutions featuring gripping systems that learn and extend the range of products that customers can pick and place reliably at high rates within their warehouse and materials-handling processes.
Data and Analytics Advanced insights into operations
Piece Picking Robots 2-21_Vs3.indd 62
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:29 AM
2 Conceptual rendering of the multi-jointed robotic arm of a surgical system.
3 1 4
Giving robots a sense of touch FUTEK's miniaturized sensor technology allows surgeons to perform as if they had virtual fingertips. The sensors’ precise measurement and feedback allow the machine to emulate the dexterity and haptics of human hands.
Micro Reaction Torque Sensor
Dimensions: 14 mm × 10 mm × 26 mm Provides closed-loop feedback on torque measurement.
Miniature S-Beam Jr. Load Cell
Dimensions: 19 mm × 18 mm × 6.6 mm Provides critical force feedback.
Load Cell Built for Autoclave
Dimensions: Ø 14 mm × 3.28 mm Designed to withstand the autoclave sterilization process.
FUTEK 11-20_RR.indd 63
Nano Force Sensor
Dimensions: 4mm × 5mm Enables direct measurement that eliminates any drift in the output.
2/10/21 9:31 AM
The Robot Report
Robot arm opens new doors for Spot With Spot Arm, Boston Dynamics’ Spot is no longer just a data collection robot, but rather a highly-skilled mobile manipulation platform.
Steve Crowe | Editor, The Robot Report
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:33 AM
Boston Dynamics recently released several updates to its Spot product line. The goal is to enhance the quadruped’s ability to autonomously monitor job sites. To do so, the RBR50 company introduced a new version of the robot, Spot Enterprise, the Scout web-based teleoperation platform and its long-awaited Spot Arm. None of these products is more important than Spot Arm. There are 400-plus Spots out in the world, all of which have essentially been used as data collection platforms. With Spot Arm, Spot is no longer just a data collection robot, but rather a highly-skilled mobile manipulator that can interact with its environment.
Manual or semi-autonomous control The Spot Arm can grab, li , place, and drag a variety of objects, including door knobs, tools, valves. Check out the spec sheet for details about payloads. Manipulating objects with Spot Arm can be done manually or semiautonomously via constrained manipulation or “Touch to Grasp.” If you’re controlling Spot on a tablet, for example, users simply touch the object on the screen that they want Spot to manipulate. The robot will then autonomously figure out how to best grasp the object.
It works with both the Spot Explorer and Spot Enterprise quadrupeds. Perhaps the most impressive part here is the planning involved and how Spot uses its entire body to manipulate objects. Whether it’s pushing a lever, opening a door (more on that later) or pulling a cinder block, Spot Arm grabs the object while the four-legged robot base re-positions itself for better leverage. “If users want to put together a fully autonomous script of arm behaviors, that’s all available to them,” said Zachary Jackowski, chief engineer, Spot, Boston Dynamics. “All of [Spot Arm’s] features are exposed through an API. With the base robot, we never exposed joint-by-joint control of the legs because it’s not a productive exercise when we’ve written all of the walking control algorithms. But for arm motion planning and complex inverse kinematics that take into account environmental factors, we’ve exposed the control in hopes that some great things come out of it.” Jackowski said that similar to earlier commercial versions of Spot, the 6-DoF arm and two-finger
The end effector on Spot Arm features integrated time of flight, IMU, and 4K RGB sensors for manipulation and inspection tasks. | Boston Dynamics
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:34 AM
The Robot Report Spot Arm Gripper Depth 3.5 inches Max aperture 6.9 inches Peak clamp force 130 N Integrated sensors ToF, IMU, 4K RGB
gripper are targeting innovators and developers. He said there’s not a capable mobile manipulation platform out in the world yet, and that Boston Dynamics will learn a lot from customers who buy armequipped Spots. The gripper features integrated time of flight, IMU, and 4K RGB sensors, as well as two accessory ports for power and Gigabit Ethernet. Spot has the same ports. “We’ve been working on grippers for a long time,” Jackowski said. “We have cabinets full of all sorts of grippers. But we decided our first customer-focused gripper would be a rigid finger gripper. You can do a ton of stuff with a simple 1-DoF gripper. Robotiq has shown us that over and over. If it’s designed correctly, you get the right contours in the gripper and the right materials in the fingers. Robotiq’s grippers are iconic and proof that good work can be done with simple robust grippers.” “The simpler the gripper, the better off you are,” Jackowski added. “It’s lightweight, strong and damage resistant. It’s at the end of the robot arm, which is the position on the robot most vulnerable to damage. It’s capable of manipulating the objects we’ve found our industrial customers are most interested in - door handles, ball valves, tools on the floor.”
Spot Arm Specs Degrees of Freedom
6 + gripper
Length (at full extension)
Weight (including gripper)
Max endpoint speed
Max lift capacity
Continuous lift capacity (at 0.5 m extension)
Max drag capacity (on carpet)
Total weight (on robot)
Maximum reach (on robot)
-20ºC to 45ºC
Doors no problem for Spot Boston Dynamics released several videos showing off some of Spot Arm’s capabilities. The first that sticks out is Spot opening a door with a round door knob. Boston Dynamics said Spot’s dooropening behavior merely requires the operator to point the robot at the door handle and tell it what side the hinge is on. Spot does the rest, pushing or pulling the door and using its foot to hold the door while it re-grasps the door. Most robots you’ve seen opening doors are opening doors with ADA-compliant hardware. Push handles or levers are much
easier than twisting knobs. Doors and robots have never been friends. In fact, doors were the kryptonite of the robots at the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge. And back in 2009, iRobot was working on ChemBot, a shape-shifting robot blob designed to squeeze underneath doors. Spot’s ability to open various types of doors makes it viable in a variety of human-centric environments. Another example that stood out was Spot pulling a concrete block. Jackowski said it impressed him as well because it shows the coordinated dynamics between Spot and Spot Arm.
Manipulating objects with Spot Arm can be done manually or semi-autonomously via constrained manipulation. If you’re controlling Spot on a tablet, for example, simply touch the object on the screen you want Spot to manipulate. The robot will then autonomously figure out how to best grasp the object. | Boston Dynamics
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:40 AM
Spot’s door-opening behavior merely requires the operator to point the robot at the door handle and tell it what side the hinge is on. Spot does the rest, pushing or pulling the door and using its foot to hold the door while it re-grasps the door. | Boston Dynamics
“It’s using a lot of intelligence about the weight of that object and how its body responds to the center of mass and being able to pull that heavy object,” he said. “The cinder block is a significant portion of the robot’s weight. The robot is actually going limp when the arm is extended - it is going into singularity to drag the cinder block around and doing that naturally.” This isn’t the first time a Boston Dynamics robot has been seeing manipulating cinder blocks. Back in 2013, it produced a video that shows a tethered BigDog throwing a 35-pound cinder block about 17 feet. Comparing Spot Arm and BigDog’s manipulator show how Boston Dynamics’ approach to dynamic, whole-body manipulation has evolved. “What gets me most excited is that I’m continuously impressed with how big the world is and how many things people need to do that are really important,” said Jackowski. “A really powerful thing happens when you put a product out there and you let the world happen. A customer could say, ‘Hey, this robot arm is perfect for connecting this dangerous hose in my chemical processing plant. You saved me from exposing someone to a dangerous situation.’”
THE ROBOT REPORT
Jackowski said a demo of Spot digging a hole and planting a tree was inspired by a customer who wants to use robots to plant trees on tree farms. He said this was mostly a scripted behavior where Spot followed a set of instructions to apply a certain amount of force over a certain distance in multiple locations. “Everything’s important for different reasons,” he said in terms of all the new products. “The arm is our same old thing - a piece of robotics technology that the general community has never had a chance to work with before. We’re introducing it in a way that’s done the Boston Dynamics way. There will be a huge explosion of people figuring out what it’s valuable for and teaching us more about robotic control.” Boston Dynamics was acquired by Hyundai Motor Corp in December 2020 for about $880 million. Hyundai Motor owns 80% of Boston Dynamics, while a Softbank affiliate retained the other 20%. The deal valued Boston Dynamics at $1.1 billion. It’s still not clear exactly what the future holds for this relationship, but there are many ways in which it could be mutually beneficial.
Boston Dynamics commercialized Spot in June 2020, and Hyundai’s in-house manufacturing expertise and existing customer base could help scale Spot and yet-to-be-released robots such as Atlas and Handle. Hyundai became the third owner of Boston Dynamics in seven years. It was acquired by Google in 2013 and sold to Softbank Group in 2017. The RBR50 company has mainly operated as an R&D organization since it was founded. But a new emphasis on commercialization was evident after it was acquired by Softbank. RR
2/10/21 9:41 AM
key to machine tending application
Faucet manufacturer has seen a 5% increase in production throughput per hour and is now considering a second automation system. The Robot Report Staff
In 2020, the International Federation of Robotics estimated that almost four million robots will be deployed in factories worldwide by 2022. Automation will have a significant role in the recovery of the economy post-pandemic. Challenge One faucet manufacturer in the Midwest recently began investigating automation to address a pain point of their own: the need to alleviate their labor shortage. They sought out the help of Nermin Peimanovic, president of Industrial Controls Automation in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Industrial Controls Automation, a systems integrator that offers custom industrial and collaborative automation systems, helped this manufacturer by installing a robotic solution using some of the industry’s most trusted components to automate their assembly of valve cartridges. Solution Peimanovic traveled to the faucet manufacturer to inspect their process and propose a system that would help them reach their business goals. The process required a robotic solution that could achieve high levels of accuracy and tend two machines side-by-side. The manufacturer was employing one operator for both machines and wanted to increase the operator’s efficiency by
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:44 AM
having them oversee the robotics system and other machinery. The project required a compact system that would be easy to redeploy if the application changed in the future. Training the operator on the system also needed to be easy. Industrial Controls Automation proposed a UR10e collaborative robot om Universal Robots
THE ROBOT REPORT
with a SCHUNK PGN-plus-E 100 gripper that met all the criteria the manufacturer requested. Peimanovic and his team designed a solution that used a feeder and actuator to dispense the brass tubes so that they were spaced correctly for insertion into the injection mold machine, which had a tolerance of 0.005 inches for placement
SCHUNK’s gripper was up to the task for this faucet manufacturer. Any error in the gripper’s mechanical system would result in incorrect insertion of the tube, causing scrap and creating bottlenecks within the manufacturing process. | SCHUNK
2/10/21 9:45 AM
of the brass tubes. Once the die had finished, the gripper would also pick the plastic assembly and deposit it onto an outfeed conveyor. The brass tube placement was critical and required the gripper to not only pick the part but to hold the workpieces precisely and release them without changing their orientation or position. This seems like a simple task, but any slop or error in the gripper’s mechanical system would result in incorrect insertion of the tube, causing scrap and creating bottlenecks within the manufacturing process. A er assessing several different endeffectors, Industrial Controls Automation went with an electric gripper, the PGN-plus-E 100 om SCHUNK. Using the PGN-plus-E, Industrial Controls Automation was able to achieve repeatability in the mechanical guidance and could grip the workpiece repeatedly with enough force and at the same position every time. With this off-theshelf gripper, they were able to quickly integrate it into the cobot system. Results With the feeder system, cobot, and SCHUNK gripper, Peimanovic and his team were able to deploy this robotic system successfully in August 2020. The robot tends two machines and there have not been any problems since the installation. The faucet manufacturer has seen a 5% increase in their production throughput per hour and is now considering a second system om Industrial Controls Automation, only six months a er the initial installation. Peimanovic noted, “This project was difficult due to the precision that the gripper had to achieve in its pick and placement of the workpieces. I tried a variety of different solutions before learning about SCHUNK. SCHUNK really saved this project. If it wasn’t for them, this would not have been a success.” RR
The UR10e collaborative robotic arm from Universal Robots delivers both high payload (10 kg) lift and long reach (1300mm), which makes it well suited for a range of applications in machine tending, palletizing, and packaging. | Universal Robots
Here are four common types of robotic grippers: Vacuum: a standard end-of-arm tool used for flat, smooth surfaces, o en used in palletizing and packaging. Pneumatic: a gripper that is o en used in pick-and-place operations. Pneumatic grippers use compressed air to operate gripper jaws or fingers. Hydraulic: a gripper o en used for applications that require a substantial amount of force. These robotic grippers produce strength om pumps and o en are a cost-savings alternative to pneumatic grippers. Servo-Electric: highly flexible and cost effective, these grippers allow for different material tolerances when handling parts. www.therobotreport.com
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:45 AM
maxon 2-21_RR.indd 71
2/10/21 9:47 AM
The Robot Report
end-effector aims to refine minimally invasive surgery
Miniaturized to a cylinder measuring merely 6 mm in diameter and 16 mm in length, the laser-steering end-effector mapped out and followed complex trajectories in which multiple laser ablations could be performed with high speed and high accuracy.
Benjamin Boettner | Wyss Institute
Minimally invasive surgeries in which surgeons gain access to internal tissues through
natural orifices or small external excisions are common practice in medicine. They are performed for problems as diverse as delivering stents through catheters, treating abdominal complications, and performing transnasal operations at the skull base in patients with neurological conditions. The ends of devices for such surgeries are highly flexible to enable the visualization and specific manipulation of the surgical site in the target tissue. In the case of energy-delivering devices that allow surgeons to cut or dry (desiccate) tissues, and stop internal bleeds (coagulate) deep inside the body, a heat-generating energy source is added to the end of the device. However, presently available energy sources delivered via a fiber or electrode, such as radio equency currents, have to be brought close to the target site, which limits surgical precision and can cause unwanted burns in adjacent tissue sections
Laser Steering_RR_2-21_Vs2.indd 72
and smoke development. Laser technology, which already is widely used in a number of external surgeries, such as those performed in the eye or skin, would be an attractive solution. For internal surgeries, the laser beam needs to be precisely steered, positioned and quickly repositioned at the distal end of an endoscope, which cannot be accomplished with the currently available relatively bulky technology. Now, robotic engineers led by Wyss Associate Faculty member Robert Wood, Ph.D., and postdoctoral fellow Peter York, Ph.D., at Harvard THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 9:59 AM
ATOM DX encoder series ™
Performance in miniature
All-in-one: digital, miniaturization, quality, performance • All-in-one miniature encoder • Versatile metrology performance • Direct digital output • Compatible with the Advanced Diagnostic Tool (ADT)
For more information visit www.renishaw.com/atomdx
Renishaw, Inc. 1001 Wesemann Drive West Dundee, IL, 60118 T 847-286-9953 F 847-286-9974 E email@example.com
RENISHAW 1-21.indd PD-6608-9016-01 Atom 73 DX fullpage ad.indd 1
10/22/20192/10/21 12:36:059:47 PMAM
The Robot Report
University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) have developed a lasersteering microrobot in a miniaturized 6×16 millimeter package that operates with high speed and precision, and can be integrated with existing endoscopic tools. Their approach could help significantly enhance the capabilities of numerous minimally invasive surgeries. “To enable minimally invasive laser surgery inside the body, we devised a microrobotic approach that allows us to precisely direct a laser beam at small target sites in complex patterns within an anatomical area of interest,” said York, the first and corresponding author on the study and a postdoctoral fellow on Wood’s microrobotics team. “With
The microrobotic laser-steering end-effector (right) can be used as a fitted add-on accessory for existing endoscopic systems (left) for use in minimally invasive surgery. | Wyss Institute at Harvard University
its large range of articulation, minimal footprint, and fast and precise action, this laser-steering end-effector has great potential to enhance surgical capabilities simply by being added to existing endoscopic devices in a plug-and-play fashion.” The team needed to overcome the basic challenges in design, actuation, and microfabrication of the optical steering
mechanism that enables tight control over the laser beam after it has exited from an optical fiber. These challenges, along with the need for speed and precision, were exacerbated by the size constraints – the entire mechanism had to be housed in a cylindrical structure with roughly the diameter of a drinking straw to be useful for endoscopic procedures.
The laser steering device is able to perform complex trajectories such as an exposed wire as well as a word within geometrical shapes. | Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Laser Steering_RR_2-21_Vs2.indd 74
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 10:00 AM
faster gripper change SWS Quick-change System
Up to maximum deflection
TCU Tolerance Compensation Unit
NEW: Up to higher gripping force
© 2021 SCHUNK Intec, Inc
PGN-plus-P Universal Gripper
Everything for your Articulating Arm Robot More than 3,000 components for handling and assembly.
Schunk 2-21_RR.indd 75
2/10/21 9:50 AM
The Robot Report This collage shows a prototype of the laser steering device creating a star trajectory at 5000 mm/s. | Wyss Institute at Harvard University
“We found that for steering and redirecting the laser beam, a configuration of three small mirrors that can rapidly rotate with respect to one another in a small ‘galvanometer’ design provided a sweet spot for our miniaturization effort,” said second author Rut Peña, a mechanical engineer with micromanufacturing expertise in Wood’s group. “To get there, we leveraged methods from our microfabrication arsenal in which modular components are laminated step-wise onto a superstructure on the millimeter scale – a highly effective fabrication process when it comes to iterating on designs quickly in search of an optimum, and delivering a robust strategy for mass-manufacturing a successful product.” The team demonstrated that their laser-steering end-effector, miniaturized to a cylinder measuring merely 6 mm in diameter and 16 mm in length, was able to map out and follow complex trajectories in which multiple laser ablations could be performed with high speed, over a large range, and be repeated with high accuracy. To further show that the device, when attached to the end of a common colonoscope, could be applied to a life-like endoscopic task, York and Peña, advised by Wyss Clinical Fellow Daniel Kent, M.D., successfully simulated the resection of polyps by navigating their device via tele-operation in a benchtop phantom tissue made of rubber. Kent also is a resident physician in general surgery at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “In this multi-disciplinary approach, we managed to harness our ability to rapidly prototype complex microrobotic mechanisms that we have developed
Laser Steering_RR_2-21_Vs2.indd 76
over the past decade to provide clinicians with a non-disruptive solution that could allow them to advance the possibilities of minimally invasive surgeries in the human body with life-altering or potentially lifesaving impact,” said senior author Wood, Ph.D., who also is the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS. Wood’s microrobot team together with technology translation experts at the Wyss Institute have patented their approach and are now further de-risking their medical technology as an add-on for surgical endoscopes. “The Wyss Institute’s focus on microrobot devices and this new laser-steering device developed by Robert Wood’s team working across disciplines with clinicians and experts in translation will hopefully revolutionize how minimally invasive surgical procedures are carried out in a number of disease areas,” said Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS. RR
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 10:01 AM
Get the Right Handling System in Just Minutes The Handling Guide Online (HGO) is a unique sizing and selection web tool for Cartesian gantry systems. It offers you the following benefits: • Efficiency — cuts your engineering time and effort to a minimum • Intuitiveness — very easy to use and features structured prompts for data input Just enter your application specific data and within 20 minutes, HGO will generate several reliable and suitable solutions with the associated 3D CAD models, which can be downloaded immediately. You can then request a quote online and receive it within one to two business days. Using three simple steps, you will be able to find the right standard handling systems quickly and easily.
THE ROBOT REPORT
Robotic Tips 2-21_Vs1.indd 77
Festo Corporation 1377 Motor Parkway Suite 310 Islandia, NY 11749 Phone: 1-800-993-3786 Web: www.festo.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FUTEK We make innovation possible FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology specializes in creating inventive sensor solutions for today’s leading tech innovators: • Load cells • Torque sensors • Pressure sensors • Multi-axis sensors • Instruments • Software Our end-to-end measurement products and services include sensors, amplifiers, and calibration, allowing you to streamline and optimize your system and achieve better results at a lower cost than legacy solutions. All our products are made in the USA. To learn more, visit www.futek.com.
FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. 10 Thomas Irvine, CA 92618 USA www.futek.com +1 (949) 465-0900
2/10/21 12:45 PM
maxon Miniaturized Controller for Compact Designs A newly designed miniaturized controller measuring only 32 mm x 22 mm with a functionality that’s virtually identical to many larger units. It addresses cost-sensitive single- and multi-axis applications. It is suitable for use with both brushed DC and brushless EC motors (BLDC) of up to 120 W and has comprehensive feedback options such as Hall sensors, as well as digital incremental and SSI absolute encoders. State-of-the art concepts such as Dual Loop, Field Oriented Control (FOC), feed forward, and observer control allow optimal control in a wide variety of applications.
maxon precision motors, inc. 125 Dever Drive Taunton, MA 02780
Learn more about the maxon solutions and visit www.maxongroup.us
NEW AksIM-2TM rotary absolute kit encoders offer outstanding performance – to 20-bits with no hysteresis Renishaw associate company RLS d.o.o Introduces an improved second generation of AksIMTM absolute rotary encoders widely used in many humanoid, medical and collaborative (Cobot) applications, where hysteresis, large through holes, low profile, reliability and repeatability are fundamental. The additional benefits of AksIM-2TM encoders are: • Full range of sizes • Onboard eccentricity calibration • Multiturn capability • Extended operating temperature and pressure ranges
Robotic Tips 2-21_Vs1.indd 78
Contact Info: 1001 Wesemann Drive West Dundee, IL 60118 Website: www.renishaw.com Phone: 847.286.9953 Email: email@example.com
THE ROBOT REPORT
2/10/21 12:45 PM
Flexible gripper tooling puts you in control of your processes Deployment of robots with flexible gripper tooling has never been faster. Build your own custom gripping EOAT components and start loading your CNC machines in minutes! SCHUNK Flex Grip Tools incorporates standard gripping modules: including finger tooling, pneumatic valves, sensors and modular mounting hardware kits – everything you need to get up and running quickly. Flexibility in manufacturing and automation is all about being able to modify an existing solution to work for a new task – with Flex Grip Tools standard components can easily be switched out to adapt the process to a new task with minimal effort or re-design, keeping costs low and downtime short.
Contact Info: SCHUNK 211 Kitty Hawk Drive Morrisville, NC 27560 www.schunk.com Phone: 919-572-2705
Fastener Engineering This area has long been one of the most read and sought after by our engineering audience! From screws to bolts and adhesives to springs, these critical but often overlooked components are the key to every successful design. FastenerEngineering.com will serve readers in the mechanical design engineering space, providing news, product developments, application stories, technical how-to articles, and analysis of engineering trends. This site will focus on key issues facing the engineering markets around fastener technology, along with technical background on selected components.
Engineering September 2019
A supplement of Design World
covering nuts, bolts, rivets, screws, u-clips, eye bolts, washers and more.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: • Special print section in select issues of Design World • Fastener Engineering monthly newsletter
LEARN MORE AT: FASTENERENGINEERING.COM THE ROBOT REPORT
Robotic Tips 2-21_Vs1.indd 79
2/10/21 12:46 PM