ABB’s concept robot to work alongside humans in manufacturing assembly

ABB HAS showcased its FRIDA concept robot for industrial dual-arm assembly use, and intended for co-existence with human workers.

FRIDA is suited for consumer electronics assembly, and includes a flexible gripper, camera-based part location plus all the features found in the ABB IRC5 robot.

The compact robot is intended to fit into spaces ergonomically designed for human workers, allowing the robot to be interchanged with a human coworker when the production order is changed or a new layout is required.

ABB claims it closes the gap between a manual assembly and a fully automatic assembly process, allowing environments where handling and assembly tasks are undertaken by both humans and robots.

The robot prototypes come as portable dual-arm units with a controller that is integrated into the torso. The arms have seven axes each, and are equipped with grippers which can handle a wide range of parts. They can be carried around easily and mounted into work stations with minimum installation requirements. They may also be connected to vision cameras.

FRIDA was designed to be intrinsically safe, with human-friendly padded arms and no sharp edges. No safeguarding or enclosing of any kind is required, allowing very fast installation, commissioning and relocation.

Currently, the robots are in prototype stage. These prototypes are being tested in pilot applications, with more work required to reach a fully agile assembly scenario. 

With a single-phase power connector, FRIDA can be installed anywhere within an assembly line, mounted on a workbench, or hung from a wall. All cabling is routed internally right through to the gripper.