Virtual Collaborative Robot Expo from Ann Arbor Company Debuts This Month

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, one local company is showcasing how collaborative robots can help businesses through a free virtual expo.
Universal Robots Cobot Expo
Universal Robots’ free virtual Cobot Expo will allow visitors to ask questions and attend keynote addresses. // Image courtesy of Universal Robots

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, one local company is showcasing how collaborative robots can help businesses through a free virtual expo.

Ann Arbor’s Universal Robots is offering a free virtual Cobot Expo. Attendees can “visit” booths that feature insights and resources on the most common cobot, or collaborative robot, applications such as machine tending, packaging and palletizing, product inspection, assembly, welding, dispensing, and finishing.

Joining the lineup is ActiNav, an autonomous bin picking kit for machine tending launched by Universal Robots in the spring. Each application booth will be staffed with automation experts that can engage in one-on-one conversations with attendees.

There will also be keynotes with live Q-and-A sessions that will cover topics such as how to identify quality projects, choosing the right cobot model and peripherals, conducting risk assessment, and more. There also will be presentations on cobot maintenance and programming and the new ways cobots are being deployed to address the COVID-19 crisis, including area disinfection; test kit, face shield, and ventilator manufacturing; and the handling of COVID-19 tests to protect hospital staff from exposure.

“The crisis has accelerated the need for flexible automation,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development at Universal Robots. “We’re seeing an uptick in interest for collaborative robots due to social distancing requirements, reshoring to avoid long supply chains, and the need for rapid production line changeovers. The Cobot Expo is a timely opportunity to showcase and discuss how cobots can play a pivotal role in helping manufacturers successfully navigate the pandemic.”

Universal Robots partners also will offer an ecosystem of new products certified to integrate with the cobots. The rapidly expanding UR+ platform includes more than 250 UR+ components and application kits with more than 400 approved commercial developer companies in the UR+ program.

Partners include ATI Industrial Automation, Energid, Flexibowl, Flexxbotics, Hexagon, Mircopsi/Nvidia, New Scale Robotics, OnRobot, Piab, Robotiq, Schmalz, Schunk, SMC, Vectis, Vention, VersaBuilt, Visumatic, Wiretank, and Zimmer.

The Association for Advancing Automation and OEM partners showcasing products powered by Universal Robots will also have booths. OEM partners include Columbia Okura/Rocketfarm, Computech, Hirebotics, IRIS, Melton Machine, ONExia, and ProCobots/Easy Robotics.

“With tradeshows and conferences cancelled, we are experiencing phenomenal interest from all industry stakeholders in participating in the Cobot Expo,” says Campbell. “This truly is an extraordinary opportunity for an extraordinary time.”

The expo is free for anyone to attend and will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 28-30. Registration is available here.

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