Collaborative robots are the latest new generation of robots for direct teamwork with humans, even without protective cages or a safety distance. For the first time, researchers at the INM—Leibniz Institute for New Materials introduce a Cobot which is fitted with microstructured surfaces for the handling of objects. Since these structures are extremely soft and do not have any sharp edges or corners, the danger of injury to humans is additionally reduced. The soft Cobot can be witnessed at the 2019 Hannover Messe in Hall 5, Industrial Supply, in the Surface Technology Area at Stand C54.
Our innovative adhesive systems are made of a highly elastic material. The gripping and detaching of objects is affected by smart surface structures. This enables us to dispense with pointed grippers or tweezers.
Eduard Arzt, Scientific Director and Head of the Functional Microstructures Program Division, INM.
Consequently, objects can be conveyed and deposited in the production line without any danger of injury to humans or damage to the items. The adhesive structures are especially suitable for sensitive components, such as devices for the semiconductor, automotive, and display sectors.
Our innovation can be expanded to include all processes in which Cobots are used, even in challenging environments such as vacuum. We are confident that our Gecomer® structures will also conquer this market.
Karsten Moh, Head of Gecomer® Applications, INM.
Irrespective of whether the structures are used in robots or in Cobots, scientists at INM have not only established the suitability of Gecomer® in different industrial settings. In their InnovationCenter, they also fruitfully developed a progressive roll-to-roll process, which allows the adhesive structures to be cost-effectively manufactured in large quantities.
With its scheduled spin-off company INNOCISE, INM is taking the progress of Gecomer® adhesive structures to the market. INNOCISE was selected for the Leibniz Start-Up Award, the “Leibniz-Gründerpreis 2019”.