The twelfth IERA award for robotics and automation has been awarded to ABB Robotics for the collaborative dual-arm robot YuMi, specially designed to work side by side with humans without protective fencing.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR), together with the Robotics and Automation Society of the International Association of Engineers (IEEE-RAS), awarded the invention and entrepreneurship prize in Robotics and Automation (IERA) to ABB Robotics.
"All three finalists have presented us with pioneering robotics solutions," said Joe Gemma, president of the IFR. "Our competition shows that a new era of automation has already dawned in which humans and robots work hand in hand."
YuMi features numerous functionalities, such as a vision system and a gripper or touch-sensitive sensor technology, which opens flexible areas of utilization in industrial assembly. The movements of its arms mimic those of human arms. Its programming is customized to the individual user. Additionally, YuMi is fitted with a "safety-oriented behavior function" for safe cooperation between human and machine, says the IFR.
"ABB convinced the jury by integrating three essential elements: a visual system, safe collaboration with humans and feeding of small parts to the dual-arm robot for assembly," said Erwin Prassler, vice president of the IEEE-RAS.
As far as the other two finalists, Danish robot manufacturer Universal Robots came with its UR3 – a flexible and precise collaborative robot for assembly tasks and the automated workbench. Swedish company OpiFlex Automation presented a mobile robotics platform. The docking solution is compatible with standard industrial robots of different providers and sizes and allows quick change of place in the manufacturing workshop.