Epson Robots for Next-Generation Factories – Dec 20, 2013– Tokyo, Japan (Techreleased) – Epson provided a big-picture view of the future in November at International Robot Exhibition 2013 by demonstrating how robots will automate the manufacturing floor over the next three to five years. Among the most attention-grabbing demonstrations was that featuring autonomous dual-arm robots that Epson aims to have in commercial production by the end of March 2016.

Epson's autonomous dual-arm robots
Epson’s autonomous dual-arm robots

What really makes Epson’s autonomous dual-arm robots stand out is their human-like ability to see, sense, think, and react. They are able to recognize objects, modulate the amount of force applied to objects so as to avoid harming them, and make decisions in the course of executing their assigned tasks. These robots are expected to be able to automate manufacturing tasks that until now have had to rely on manual labor due to task difficulty or cost constraints.

Epson established a number of advanced technologies during development of the autonomous dual-arm robot and, over the next few years, plans to use these technologies to provide existing SCARA and six-axis robots with functions that enable them to perform tasks with greater autonomy. This will enable manufacturers to eliminate the expensive peripheral equipment and complicated programs needed to automate operations in the past. It will also allow them to easily repurpose the robots for different processes and objects. At the International Robot Exhibition, Epson set up demonstrations (see below) to highlight some unique Epson features that will facilitate automation.

Epson has a full range of market-leading* SCARA robots and high-performance six-axis robots. These fast, accurate, compact, and lightweight robots are helping manufacturers increase productivity and stabilize quality by automating operations in fields ranging from pharmaceuticals and food service to electronic equipment and automobiles. Epson is committed to providing advanced robotic solutions that meet the automation needs of a growing range of customers. So, over the next three years, Epson will leverage its unique technologies to provide features that enhance the autonomy of existing robots and, longer term, commercialize the autonomous dual-arm robot.