Parallel Cable Robots for the Mobile Factory

Parallel Cable Robots for the Mobile Factory

Cable Robot IPAnema 3 in the ZFT Hall of Fraunhofer IML
© Photo Fraunhofer IML

Parallel cable robots represent an automation solution that opens up new possibilities in terms of work space and payload. Cables transmit the driving forces with virtually no loss on a mobile robot platform. The Fraunhofer consortium ATLAS (Automatisierte Montage von Großanlagen mit krantechnischen Seilrobotern, or automated assembly of large scale plants with crane technology cable robots) has set itself the goal of developing a new generation cable robots as part of a three-year research project. A further goal is to optimize the processes in a variety of applications.

The Fraunhofer IML team concerned itself in this context primarily with the versatile design of mobile factories, which are characterized by global capability and short assembly and dismantling periods. The cable robot as a resource (for example, inspection, transportation or assembly tasks) is ideal for use within the mobile factory, since it consists of only a few modular and scalable components.

At the conclusion of the project, the work should be verified by demonstrators and made publicly accessible. The goal was to present the life cycle of an operating resource inside the mobile factory. Thanks to extensive planning, it was able to install the cable robot IPAnema 3 in the ZFT Hall of Fraunhofer IML in an area of 120 m². There were only 14 days between arrival at the IML and return shipping. The operation of the factory was simulated as part of a well-attended information session, at which the interaction between cable robots and a swarm of cellular transport vehicles was demonstrated live in an operational scenario.