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igus has developed robolink, a multi-axis joint for humanoid robots and lightweight automation applications. A complete modular system, robolink is suitable for use where masses are to be kept as low as possible.

At the heart of the robolink modular system are lightweight, maintenance- and corrosion-free joints with tribologically optimised plastic bearings that are driven via cables and can rotate and swivel freely.

Prior to launch, igus beta-testers were provided with robolink prototypes for a range of trial applications ranging from maritime robots for use with underwater vehicles, to mobile robots on the ground used for handling contaminated or explosive materials.

Other examples include humanoid robots, camera guidance equipment and systems for facilitating interaction between man and machine. Further trials were carried out in the medical industry, as well as in the field of animatronics.

To articulate the multi-axis joints, igus has developed a range of flexible Bowden cables with high-performance polymer jackets that combine low friction values with a long service life.

The igus Bowden cables have extremely small bending radii, making highly flexible movements possible. They are suitable wherever frequent relative movements take place. The plain bearings inside the joints are made of iglidur J.

A range of complementary accessories has also been developed, including flange shaft blocks for attaching the arms, interior divisions for the organised routing of the drive and data cables and a cable tensioner for straightforward re-tensioning of the system, as well as a cable pulley range for guidance.

On the electromechanical side, igus has developed space-saving drive units, available in different performance classes, with four or five drive motors in a housing. In addition, an individually configurable drive disc is available that can be attached to a range of different motor or gearshafts and then connected to the wear-resistant cables.

Simple control software is in development to intuitively program and store all the movements of a four-axis jointed arm.

Igus

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Energy chains are the umbilical cord of modern machines. They minimise downtime and protect, support and extend the service life of cables and hoses. The broad range incorporates more than 30,000 innovative, low-cost products. From the smallest ‘micro’ chain to the largest chain in the world, the E4.350, Igus energy chains are capable of long and short travel distances at high speeds in all axes.

Igus also has its own cable series, Chainflex, specially designed with energy chains in mind. They are highly flexible cables, offering a long service life and very small bending radii. A wide range is available, from small signal cables to large power cables, high-speed data cables and glass fibre-optic cables.

The company’s energy chains and Chainlflex cables can be delivered as a fully harnessed and pre-assembled Readychain system, cutting purchasing, warehousing and installation costs.

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