The Polishing and Grinding Robot Cell can solve problems such as labor intensiveness, manpower shortage, and the loss of artisanal experience.
Speaking of “polishing” and “grinding”, what image comes first to your mind? To me, I could imagine a hunchbacked grandmaster attentively polishing or grinding metal objects in a dusty and muggy place, and this laborious work makes him suffer from backache.
The scenario above points out two questions: whether there is a way to improve the bad working environment, and what technology can reduce the task overload on the craftsmen or replicate their experience and skills in an intelligent and efficient way. Since “providing breakthrough solutions to existing industrial problems” is one of the missions that ITRI shoulders, I am glad to see ITRI introduce the Polishing and Grinding Robot Cell.
The Polishing and Grinding Robot Cell is a technology that can teach robots to polish a whole work piece, and even complex-shaped objects such as water faucets or golf equipment. When the grandmaster works on the work piece with the robot cell, the robot simultaneously records the moving tracks. That is, the hard-to-track experience can be recorded precisely and systematically. In my view, this technology enlightens a solution to problems such as labor intensiveness, manpower shortage, and the loss of artisanal experience. Also, such an innovation plays a role in Industry 4.0, where manufacturing has moved further toward intelligence, high efficiency, high quality, and circular economy.
With the Polishing and Grinding Robot Cell, Taiwan’s robotic arm industry can stride into high-value advanced processing fields, enhance the digital transformation of traditional manufacturing processes, and strengthen the industry’s international competitiveness.
To extend the applications of the robot cell, ITRI has also developed a robot arm with the All-in-one Joint, which is lightweight, modularized, and features a high payload ratio and high-precision motion. Such a technology can be applied to anthropomorphic hands other than industrial applications. This Human-like robot hand is able to move all five fingers, helping people with disabilities perform everyday functions such as holding a name card or even a plastic bottle. In addition, it can be used to grasp soft irregularly-shaped objects, which is a great improvement on traditional grippers. The technology is also suitable for loading or unloading goods in factories or stores.
To sum up, robots are designed to help humans, and thus we should take advantage of robot applications. This Polishing and Grinding Robot Cell, I believe, is developed for innovating a better future!
Garcia Liang is an associate administrator at ITRI. She received her first degree in Foreign Languages and Applied Linguistics. She is a project manager for Technology Development Program, and Industry-Academia-Research Cooperation. She also works on business promotion and international cooperation for ITRI.