Universal Robots Tours U.S. With Latest Machine Vision and Cobot Technology

July 26, 2021 by Seth Price

Universal Robots is on the road, showing off their ActiNav cobot system in industrial facilities around the U.S.

Universal Robots is Going on Tour

The purpose of the tour is to provide hands-on demonstrations of the ActiNav System in the manufacturing environment. A team of robotics experts is traveling across the country to run these demonstrations and answer questions. Each stop on the Universal Robots (UR) tour is hosted by an industrial partner who has opened their doors to professionals who would like to see how automation can benefit their facilities. 

Universal Robots has partnered with several other automation companies, such as Muritec, PC Robotics, Computech Manufacturing Company, and Precision Form, Inc., to show even more solutions.


A collaborative robot working in a picking operation. Image courtesy of Universal Robots


“We want manufactures to experience the in person ‘Wow Factor’ as they see ActiNav effortlessly pick their randomized parts and place them correctly in the designated place,” says Bryan Bird, Regional Sales Director for Universal Robots, North American Division. 

Dan Carney, General Manager of PCC Robotics, adds, “As a system integrator, we find parts staging to be a key component of nearly every application. We have reviewed a number of bin picking offerings and ActiNav is simply in a different class.”


The ActiNav System

The ActiNav system uses machine vision to provide the data for autonomous navigation and selection of products. Each camera scan takes over 3.2 million data points to provide fine resolution for more accurate product identification and motion. This can be especially helpful in unstructured bins, where pieces are randomly oriented in the bin. 

ActiNav must identify the part and its orientation, determine if other parts are in the way, and then safely move each piece to the proper location. All of these actions are performed autonomously, with little operator input during standard operation. Combined with agile cobots, ActiNav speeds production, reduces packing errors, and minimizes inefficiencies in any picking operation.


The Latest Cobot 

The ActiNav Autonomous Bin Picking Cobot can be implemented in about two hours, from setup to workflow. It can be trained by touching the manipulator to objects that need to be picked or through a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) drawing. The cobot can be used with a variety of manipulators, such as suction cups, magnets, or internal grip-end effectors. 


ActiNav Autonomous Bin Picking Cobot. Image courtesy of Universal Robots


From there, the Autonomous Motion Module (AMM) takes over, plotting the route, avoiding collisions, and doing all of this using up to 90% fewer lines of code. Less code translated to faster processing and higher throughput.

The Focus on Productivity ActiNav Road Show has already visited Elk Grove Village, IL, and Coppell, TX, but will soon visit three other cities as well. On August 3, they will stop in Mequon, WI, and August 5, in Charlotte, NC, then finishing the tour on August 10, in Flint, MI. 

After spending over a year navigating in the COVID-19 pandemic, these in-person learning opportunities are a unique change to any manufacturing facility interested in automation. The focus on Productivity ActiNav Road Show is a good opportunity to see these cobots in action in a working facility and a chance to have questions answered by industry leaders.