Hannover Messe 2013: Kuka introduces lightweight robot, gives rides

Kuka Robotics LBR iiwa, a lightweight robot that is “sensitive and yielding,” makes its debut at the Hanover, Germany, trade fair. Hannover Fair 2013 (Hannover Messe in German) has an integrated automation theme, and Kuka is integrating attendees in its exhibit, with rides on its latest version of Robocoaster (see video).


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At Hannover Fair 2013, Kuka again gives passengers a wild ride in its latest “Robocoaster.” In June 2004 information about the ride, Kuka said this is “the first – and only – robot anywhere in the world that is licensed to carry human passengers.” See Robocoaster video and still image. Courtesy: CFE Media video at Hannover Fair 2013

Kuka AG, from April 8-12, at its Hannover Fair booth, is emphasizing the fair’s “Integrated Automation” theme, and is offering the world premiere of LBR iiwa (intelligent industrial work assistant), Kuka's lightweight robot. Kuka offers robots and robotic systems and uses Hannover Fair, every other year to demonstrate its product and service portfolio. Kuka Systems, Kuka Robotics, and Kuka Laboratories also is showing the latest version of its Robocoaster ride (see video and photo), welding robots, machine tool capabilities, assembly and testing systems, robotic services, and other products and capabilities.

At Hannover Fair 2013, Kuka again gives passengers a wild ride in its latest “Robocoaster.” In June 2004 information about the ride, Kuka said this is “the first – and only – robot anywhere in the world that is licensed to carry human passengers.” See Rob

"We will be presenting everything our group offers at Hanover Fair: from components to research and development, up to and including complete plant systems. Of course, we are especially proud of the LBR iiwa, the entirely new generation of robots we will unveil at the show," said Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of Kuka AG, in a pre-show statement.

LBR IIWA: Intelligent, industrial work assistant

The LBR iiwa fulfill’s Kuka's promise to the market to present a lightweight industrial duty robot. Kuka engineers have developed a machine with completely new automation possibilities. Offering “mechanical and drive systems designed for industrial use, the sensitive and yielding LBR iiwa rings in a new era in robotics,” the company said. Kuka presents four applications for the LBR iiwa at Hanover Fair – all demonstrate the sensitive robot's key features.

19 dancing robots

Kuka offers a show of 19 dancing robots in an application that is about 6 m high. Kuka's entire robot family is featured, from the smallest robot, the KR Agilus, to the largest model, the KR 1000 titan. The KR Quantec series, the welding specialists KR 5 arc HW and KR 16 arc HW, and the LBR iiwa are featured in the robot lineup.

Lightweight construction, durability, efficiency

Various applications at the Kuka Competence Center demonstrates company expertise in the growing lightweight construction sector. Visitors can watch live demonstrations of processes, such as welding aluminum, joining metal alloys and an induction welding process for joining carbon-fiber composites. Results of a joint research project on energy-efficient car body assembly are also being discussed. The display shows how manufacturing systems and solutions can be automated in a sustainable and resource-conserving manner. At another part of the booth, Kuka presents the forming expertise of its machine tool segment. The trend in the forming technology area is also towards lightweight construction, such as processing CFRPs or fiber-reinforced composites. Successfully completed projects for assembling transmissions, engines and drive assemblies have repeatedly demonstrated Kuka's performance capabilities in assembly and testing systems.

Presentations: energy efficiency, startups

Visitors to Hanover Fair can receive tips from experts in various Kuka presentations. On Thursday, Kuka specialists plan lectures on: “Energy efficiency in car body assembly systems,” “Efficient joining technologies for aluminum parts,” and “Virtual startups for manufacturing systems.”


The Kuka “Robocoaster” can seat two passengers at one time, offering brave riders “considerable gravitational forces, ranging from a sense of doubled body weight to a feeling of weightlessness,” the company said. Kuka Robot Group “Robocoasters” are certified by the TÜV Technical Inspectorate in Munich and comply with the relevant safety standards. In June 2004, Kuka called the Robocoaster “the first – and only – robot anywhere in the world that is licensed to carry human passengers.”

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com. Video by CFE Media’s Steve Rourke.

ONLINE extras

Kuka provides more info about its Hannover Fair booth.

Also see the Control Engineering Machine Safety blog, with more safety advice about codes, standards, and best practices related to machine safety.

See links at bottom to other collaborative robots that can operate with and next to humans as an assistant, including: “New robotic safety regulations are pending.” 

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