Epson to Unveil New Autonomous Dual-Arm Robot

- Robots that see, sense, think, and react to find expanded use in production environments -

Autonomous dual-arm robot
Autonomous dual-arm robot


- TOKYO, Japan, November 5, 2013 -

Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724, "Epson") has developed an autonomous dual-arm robot prototype that expands the range of tasks that can be automated on the production floor. Equipped with vision and force sensing functions, this robot can autonomously execute tasks by recognizing objects, making decisions, and adjusting the amount of force applied, on the fly. Epson plans to make a commercial version of the robot available within the 2015 fiscal year (ending March 2016). The robot prototype will be unveiled at International Robot Exhibition 2013, to be held from November 6 to the 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

Epson, with the top share*1 of the global market for industrial SCARA robots and a strong lineup of high-performance six-axis robots, has long contributed to automation in a wide range of production environments. Epson knew from talking with customers that manufacturers often have to rely on manual labor due to the task difficulty or cost constraints.

Eyeing a solution to this problem, the company harnessed its unique technological strengths*2 to develop and combine a wealth of new and existing advanced technologies in areas such as vibration-control, image processing, software, and robotics to develop an autonomous dual-arm robot equipped with visual and force sensing functions.

Epson's autonomous dual-arm robot is able to accurately recognize the position and orientation of objects in three-dimensional space, much like the human eye. The two robot arms are equipped with newly developed force sensors that give the robot human-like control over the force exerted by the arms, enabling the robots to transport and assemble objects without damaging them. The robotic arms will come standard equipped with a multipurpose end effector that can grasp, clamp, and insert objects of various shapes and sizes. The robot can be made to perform a wide range of tasks simply by teaching it objects and task scenarios.

The autonomous dual-arm robot was developed not to be integrated into a system and anchored in place to perform tasks like an ordinary industrial robot but to independently perform simple tasks such as assembly and transport in place of human workers.

"Epson has leveraged its unique technologies to continuously drive advances in the performance and usability of its SCARA and six-axis robots, all of which are known for their speed, accuracy, compactness and light weight," said Hideo Hirao, chief operating officer of Epson's Industrial Solutions Operations Division. "In the future, a commercial version of this autonomous dual-arm robot will make it possible to easily automate a wide range of tasks that previously had to be performed by hand. With a strong lineup of robotic products, Epson is committed to serving the automation needs of a wide range of users now and into the future."

The Epson booth at International Robot Exhibition 2013

Epson will demonstrate the autonomous dual-arm robot at the Epson booth (booth IR2-55) at International Robot Exhibition 2013, which will run from November 6 through 9. Please click on the link below for more information about the exhibition.
http://www.nikkan.co.jp/eve/irex/english/index.html New window

*1: Epson recorded the industry's highest revenue from shipments of industrial SCARA robots in 2012.
Source: Fuji Keizai Co., Ltd. "2013 Worldwide Robot Market and Future Outlook"

*2: Epson's technological strength lies in unique technologies that enable the company to maximize energy efficiency, save time and trouble for customers, and reduce the size and weight of products while achieving outstanding accuracy and precision.

See the attachment for the main features of these products. PDF(13KB)

For more details about Epson's industrial robots, click on the link below.
http://global.epson.com/products/robots/


About Epson
Epson is a global innovation leader whose product lineup ranges from inkjet printers and printing systems, 3LCD projectors and industrial robots to sensors and other microdevices. Dedicated to exceeding the vision of its customers worldwide, Epson delivers customer value based on compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies in markets spanning enterprise and the home to commerce and industry.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates.
http://global.epson.com/