Product development of an end-effector for a collaborative robot
Sammanfattning: With the ever-growing market of six-axis robots in the previous years, many different kinds of robots have been introduced into the market. A smaller group of so-called collaborative robots have during this time gotten increased popularity. One of the inconveniences with this type of smaller robot is the lack of internal pneumatic capabilities, which leads to external cables and tubing. This can cause problems with the cables attaching into unintended things and coming loose which could result in production stops, machine failure or other potential damage. Another part of this is that the external cabling hinders the robots sixth axis of rotation. The need for air pressure is to supply the common pneumatic grippers that the robots often use to gain pick-and-place capabilities. Cobotech Kalmar AB is a company based in Kalmar which specializes in robot integration with these collaborative robots. The purpose of this project is to together develop a product concept that can minimize the external cabling needed on the robot while still allow full rotation in the sixth axis. On top of this, the product should have plug-and-play capabilities to decrease the installation time of a robot unit. The method to develop the results is the participatory action research (PAR), with the five different steps that the method includes: problem approach, design/planning, acquiring data, analysis and reflection. The result of the thesis shows that it is possible to decrease the external air tubes and installation time of a collaborative robot. This can be achieved while not decreasing the robots range of motion. By developing an innovative end-effector for the robot the main problems caused by pneumatic grippers can be eliminated. The conclusion of this thesis is a concept product that has one air input and five outputs. This allows for the minimization of the external air tubes needed to only one. The product has a swivel function incorporated which allows full rotation of the robots sixth axis. This together with having the valves seated in the end-effector makes this conceptual product plug-and-play.
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