June 16, 2011 weblog
Equipois Inc sells lightweight robot arms to space human labor (w/ video)
(PhysOrg.com) -- A Ford Motor Co. truck plant in Louisville, Ky., is now the home to a super sized 800-pound robotic arms. They are currently used to bolting together parts during assembly. These arms, once the pinnacle of robotics technology are being replaces by a slender robot arm that can be controlled by a finger.
These new arms are about the quarter the size and weight of the traditional robot arms. According to the company they are not only increasing the speed of the assembly process, but it is also designed to help reduce the amount of injuries that are happening on the factory floor.
The plant has purchased 10 of these arms from Equipois Inc., a Playa Vista-based company that got its start creating robot limbs for Hollywood productions. The limb, named the x-Ar exoskeletal arm, looks like something from a complete robot from the future. The robot arm attaches to a chair and is able to hold up the arm of the human operating it, which reduces fatigue over the time of use. According to the company users would usually need to rest after using a more traditional robot arm after about ten minutes.
The machines made by Equipois Inc costs between $5,000 and $10,000. Other companies that have bought the robot arms include: Boeing Co., General Electric Co., Ford and Lockheed Martin Corp. The arms have also been bought by two different branches of the military, the US Air Force and the US Navy.
Despite the fact that Equipois is expected to make between $4 million to $5 million dollars this year the company is not expected to turn a profit until late in 2012.
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