Delta robot gains an extra limb

03 July 2017

Suzanne Gill reports on an interesting design development to the more traditional Delta robot.

Also known as parallel-link robots, Delta robots have, for many years, provided a solution for high-speed, high-acceleration robotic applications. The traditional Delta design consists of three jointed arms connected to motors on a central hub base unit. Coordinated movement of the arms up and down from the base unit pushes the joints inward or outward, which moves the plate in the X, Y and Z axes, giving the robot a cylindrical work envelope. 

With a pick rate of 300 per minute, Omron is set to debut what it says is the World’s fastest and most flexible Delta pick and place robot at this year’s PPMA exhibition in Birmingham, from 26 – 28 September. 

Four arms
The Quattro is particularly worthy of mention because, unusually for a Delta robot, it features four arms, instead of the more usual three. This feature allows it to offer a larger working envelope and the extra arm also provides it with a much greater degree of manipulation. Furthermore, the Quattro is also the only Delta robot that has been USDA (US Department of Agriculture) certified and constructed with materials that are safe for primary food handling, making it more hygienically-advanced than many existing robots on the market. USDA provides guidelines for the evaluation and certification of the sanitary design and fabrication of meat and poultry processing equipment, including criteria for the materials used in addition to features of a design and fabrication.

The Quattro was developed for integrators and end-users who require ultra-high-speed mechanisms integrated with intelligent vision technology for high-speed, reliable packaging, manufacturing and assembly applications. Compared to existing picker robots, other delta robots or parallel robot systems, it promises to offer higher speeds, heavier payloads at high speed, more consistent performance across the robot's work envelope, and it has an extensive working range. The robot is available with vision software and integrated controls to offer high-speed manufacturing, packaging and assembly solutions

With its four arm rotational platform, Quattro is said to be able to reach up to 30% further than traditional designs, facilitating a larger operational area, including the ability to access wider conveyors. The extra arm also enables the robot to tilt, which allows the load to be placed at a different angle than it is picked – a benefit in many packaging applications. The combination of speed, manipulation, reach and its 15kg payload makes it suitable for a wide variety of general automation applications. 

Commenting on the robot, Dan Rossek, Omron marketing manager, said: “PPMA members go out of their way to exhibit the latest cutting-edge technology to attract UK brand owners from the food, pharma and FMCG industries. This year, Omron will debut the only four arm Delta robot in the World – the Quattro, which is also the fastest Delta robot on the market and the only system that’s USDA hygiene-certified. It’s a feat of engineering for all to see.”

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