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SCHUNK wins HERMES AWARD 2017

26 April 2017

This year’s HERMES AWARD winner is gripping solutions developer, SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG for a solution that supports human-robot collaboration.

SCHUNK’s JL1 co-act gripper is an intelligent modular gripping system for human-robot collaboration that is capable of directly interacting and communicating with its human operator.

The JL1’s integrated sensor systems effectively envelope the module in its own safety 'bubble' by continually tracking the proximity of humans and triggering evasive action to avoid any direct human-machine contact. They also enable the module to grip, handle and assemble objects of all geometries. The module’s jaws are able to measure gripping force and have tactile sensors, so their operation is highly adaptive and responsive. The sensor constellation also includes two cameras that enable the gripper to see its surroundings in 3D and help it to detect workpieces.

The judges believed that the self-learning gripping system is ideally suited to highly flexible Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments where humans and robots work collaboratively at close quarters. “Safe and barrier-free human-robot collaboration in Industry 4.0 manufacturing operations with small production runs, high component diversity and frequent retooling is only possible if every part of the manufacturing system is intelligent, right down to the end effector level. SCHUNK’s JL1 is a perfect example of a state-of-the-art, smart end effector, which is why the jury has chosen it as this year’s winning entry,” said one of the judges, Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).


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