Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


IPAnema – cable-driven robot for intralogistics


Their very large workspaces, good mobility and high payload capacity allow cable-driven robots to meet high requirements. Developed by Fraunhofer IPA, the IPAnema cable-driven robot is an innovative robot system featuring state-of-the-art control techniques and proven components. At Automatica 2014, scientists from Fraunhofer IPA will present a comprehensive overview of the strengths and application areas of this new robot technology for inspection, manipulation and assembly.

With its eight cables and moving platform instead of large articulated-arm robots and area gantries, the platform with grippers appears at first sight to fly through the air. Yet if one tries to move the platform, it refuses to budge.

Schematic diagram of the IPAnema parallel cable-driven robot: the end effector is controlled and moved by eight cables. Source: Fraunhofer IPA

No evasive action, no moving backwards and forwards – instead there is lightweight construction in perfection. Fraunhofer IPA is developing and testing an entirely new approach to the automation of materials handling using robots. IPAnema uses cables that are driven by a number of winches and move an end effector in three dimensions. This new robot kinematics allows free and fully controllable motion.

Cable robots are superior to conventional industrial robots by between one and two orders of magnitude in terms of payload capacity and workspace area. Energy-efficient, cost-effective and modular, they make mobile handling and assembly systems a possibility.

“Cable robots can be used to automate production and handling tasks that cannot be performed by conventional robots for technical or economic reasons. Very short cycle times are possible in the case of small payloads. Cables can transmit the drive forces almost without loss to the mobile robot platform,” explains Andreas Pott from the Robot and Assistive Systems department at Fraunhofer IPA.

Areas of application

With its IPAnema cable-driven robot, Fraunhofer IPA offers a technologically novel approach to efficient and flexible handling. The robot can easily be adapted to meet the particular requirements of an application. Payload, workspace and cycle time can be tailored to the relevant task, allowing the robot to operate with maximum efficiency.

With many users expressing the wish for the high picking performance of delta robots to be extended to larger components or longer transport distances, cable robots are in a position to set new standards in picking and placing. In addition, they are capable of loading racks with small parcels. If equipped with crane winches, cable robot technology can also be employed to handle loads weighing several tonnes.

Similar to the cable cameras for sporting broadcasts, cable robots are designed for use in manufacturing facilities, where they are suitable for the automation of production processes involving very large components, such as wind turbine rotor blades, aircraft fuselages, ships’ hulls or large weldments. Cable robots can serve to position and move the tool that is then used for lamination, grinding, polishing, cleaning or spray-painting.

At Automatica 2014, Fraunhofer IPA will present applications of this new robot technology in the areas of inspection, handling and assembly. “Our special focus is on system manufacturers and system integrators of robotics, automation and intralogistics. The technologies developed at Fraunhofer can be used to collaboratively implement new projects and develop innovative products,” says Pott.

More at Automatica – 6th International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics
3 to 6 June 2014
New Trade Fair Centre Munich
Hall A4 | Stand 530

Juniorprof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Pott, phone +49 711 970-1221

Weitere Informationen:

Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut

Further reports about: Automatisierung Cable IPA Produktionstechnik Trade conventional explains materials small technologies

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Siemens expands motor portfolio for machine tools
06.10.2015 | Siemens AG

nachricht New 10.4" and 15.6" displays for Sinumerik 828 controls
05.10.2015 | Siemens AG

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

Im Focus: Simple detection of magnetic skyrmions

New physical effect: researchers discover a change of electrical resistance in magnetic whirls

At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...

Im Focus: High-speed march through a layer of graphene

In cooperation with the Center for Nano-Optics of Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA), scientists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität have made simulations of the processes that happen when a layer of carbon atoms is irradiated with strong laser light.

Electrons hit by strong laser pulses change their location on ultrashort timescales, i.e. within a couple of attoseconds (1 as = 10 to the minus 18 sec). In...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing healthcare and sustainably strengthening healthcare systems

01.10.2015 | Event News

Conference in Brussels: Tracking and Tracing the Smallest Marine Life Forms

30.09.2015 | Event News

World Alzheimer`s Day – Professor Willnow: Clearer Insights into the Development of the Disease

17.09.2015 | Event News

Latest News

NASA provides an infrared look at Hurricane Joaquin over time

08.10.2015 | Earth Sciences

Theoretical computer science provides answers to data privacy problem

08.10.2015 | Information Technology

Stellar desk in wave-like motion

08.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>