At a VW diesel engine production plant in Salzgitter, a Universal Robots UR5 robot carefully picks up delicate glow plugs and puts them into hard-to-reach drill holes. An employee is then responsible for insulating the cylinder head, which is required for the next step in production. The robot, which acts as an assistant, enables the worker to carry out these activities in an upright, healthy posture, unlike previous methods.
The 6DOF UR5 arm has an integrated safety mode which allows it to collaborate directly with people without any protective guards.
This is the first collaborative robot in use at VW and a precursor to the direction of co-robots augmenting worker capabilities at factories everywhere.
[Image courtesy of Universal Robotics. Photo by Thomas Gasparini.]