State research institute develops user-friendly intuitive tutoring device for industrial robots

By Park Sae-jin Posted : October 15, 2019, 11:36 Updated : October 15, 2019, 11:36

[Courtesy of the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials ]

SEOUL -- South Korean researchers have developed a user-friendly intuitive robot-teaching device that allows industrial robots to mimic the movements of workers to increase work efficiency.

The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) said in a statement on Tuesday that the robot-teaching device developed by its research team can be used to adjust the movement of an axis or position of an industrial robot arm.

Similar robot-teaching or motion tracking solutions for industrial robots have been developed in the past but such solutions needed an expert programmer to program and control how robots move. It took a long time to adjust their movement.

"A Non-robot expert will be able to easily control robots at industrial sites as we have designed the device to be user-friendly," researcher Do Hyun-min was quoted as saying. "We hope the robot-teaching device will quickly counteract against rapidly changing industrial processes and increase the efficiency of production.".

When the robot-teaching device is connected to a robot arm, workers can control the robot using a specially designed wireless mouse. The robot will then analyze the movement of the mouse to mimic the actual movement of workers. The device weighs less than 500 grams (1.1 pounds) and does not intervene with the movement of a robot arm.


[Courtesy of the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials ]

The industrial robot market is estimated to reach $75.6 billion by 2024, according to Markets and Markets, a market research firm. South Korean tech companies such as Woowa Brothers, KT and LG Electronics are developing robotics technologies to nurture them as their future engines of growth.

Woowa Brothers, the operator of the country's top food delivery app "Baedal Minjok", joined hands with a prominent Korean-American roboticist in July this year to develop robots capable of carrying out various tasks for cooking. KT, South Korea's largest telecom company, partnered with the world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy to co-develop 5G-connected robots and smart factory platforms.

LG Electronics showcased an exoskeleton robot that helps its wearer to lift heavy objects and assist industrial work at a CES 2019, an annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, in January. The tech giant also showcased a lineup of guide robots that would guide people around large facilities such as airports and smart factories.
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