Robot Bicep Curl Accompanied By Too Much Fanfare

So this is the world’s strongest robot arm. Great… no really, that’s wonderful. We think lifting a 1000 kilogram dumbbell is a good way to show it off to the public. But with great power came the world’s most over-the top marketing. Well, maybe not as bad as the shake weight but it’s getting there. In the video after the break you’ll see that there is plenty of adrenaline-pumping music and they’ve hired an acrobat to pull a sheet off of the thing. We’ve pointed her out in the image above. [Caleb] noticed that they seem to have programmed in human kinetic to make it bounce and strain as a human lifting a heavy load would. And then there’s the fog machine. Classic. We also enjoy the use of a tap light (which we’ve seen around here before) to activate the demo.

But now we’re getting carried away. The article linked at the top covers a new development for the arm; a motorized base that can move it around. Looks like the base, which uses mecanum wheels, just slips under a stationary frame for the robot and lifts enough to truck it around.


43 thoughts on “Robot Bicep Curl Accompanied By Too Much Fanfare

  1. So what’s the big deal here? “Robot arm lifts 1000kg.” Ever seen a truck factory? It’s full of those things, except they are performing useful activities. Making the robot arm jack off the company’s marketing director would have been more appropriate.

  2. Welcome to corporate fanfare. You should see the lengths private companies will go to impress the defense sector. Would almost be cheaper to bribe us. (joking)


    Are you sure? I heard the arm refused consent to have it’s hydraulic fluids tested.

  3. Oh my word… what was that mini-me arm doing? At the end they couldn’t even turn at the same rate, so it had to do a little arm dance so it didn’t sit there looking stupid…utterly ridiculous.

  4. Did anybody else secretly hope the thing would topple over onto the crowd?….No? Just me? Ok.

    You can make it strong, but is it engineered well? That you can only figure out after it has been in the field for a while.

  5. The only thing left is for robots to compete in the Olympics. I’m betting humans are just scared to let robots compete.

    Did anyone else find the wheels the robot is mounted on to be more interesting?

  6. So no one noticed what the “REALLY?” was pointing at?

    Looks like that hot chick in the background is topless! Or at least thats what the arrow is pointing at when i look at the picture ;)

  7. Had it reached out to its full extension,
    grabbed a free weight, lifted it on the outside arc, and put it down someplace else, I mighta been impressed. especially if the target site saw no compression.

    Meanwhile, any decent backhoe built in the last 30 years can do the same thing.

    A semi-portable backhoe, and a battery powered closet light. They probably spent more on the Buffet.

  8. The reason this was a big deal (and not just a fancy backhoe demo) is that this robot is capable of repeatably placing that 1000 kg load to within 0.1 mm, or .004 inches. That makes it suitable for use in automotive factories where it can pick and place an entire car body by itself, and does not require two coordinated arms to share the load.

    With that kind of accuracy, it could place a truck engine directly in the motor mounts without requiring alignment pins or tools. Instead of taking a guy a minute with a chain and hoist, this robot could place it in seconds, all lined up for final assembly.

    And I don’t know nuthin’ about the fancy tractors you use, but my father-in-law’s backhoe has an accuracy of about three inches (if we remember to top off the reservoir,) and shakes about eight inches when you suddenly stop the arm from moving. (Yes, it’s a 40 year old piece of junk. The valve spools leak something awful, and it operates it’s like it has a hydraulic form of Parkinson’s disease.) It’s good enough for loading field stone into a truck, or digging dirt when you don’t care too much about the shape of the hole.

  9. Notes:

    Car body is FAR LESS than 1000Kilos.

    This thing can pick and lift Semi Truck Engines with transmissions and full drive trains attached.

    The vehicle body is one of the LIGHTEST major parts of the car. Maybe if you guys knew what you were talking about you would make more sense…

  10. Why must everything interesting be immediately flamed? I work with industrial robots and they are amazing machines. The precision and speed they are capable of is outstanding. Yes they’re things that can lift more, heck if you wanted you could get a few guys and a pulley system, but not with the repeatability of such a machine.
    And yes all of this is over the top, but it has to be. We recently had our open house and we had robots doing demonstrations that were flashier than what they had to be, but it is what gets the customers looking.

  11. I’ll bet tuning this thing with a 1000kg payload for that kind of accuracy was a bitch.

    I’m a bit more impressed now that I know the specs. Those have to be some killer harmonic drives in the joints..

  12. That’s the video in case somebody still hasn’t seen it:
    She is definitely not topless, the dancers (doing The Robot, of course) just have very well fitting orange suits (and a Kuka logo on their chest).

    The “fanfare” played when the robot successfully lifts the weight is the theme music of the German show “Wetten Dass?!” (where people do crazy things and guests bet for or against them.)

  13. At the IMTS show a couple of years ago in Chicago Fanuc was showing an arm lifting a 2000lb frame with 8 robots synchronized to follow seams on the frame as if to model welding. I don’t see anything special about this, except the mecanum wheels, and the topless women.

  14. @Jeff

    1 is 1/8th of 8 if you did not already know that

    one robot lifting 2 times the weight of 8 is quite a task

    keep in mind 1000kg is a ton … well 1.1 tons thats basically a car engine and all

  15. @pRoFlT: we just know how to read, and in the article there’s: “… they’ve hired an acrobat to pull a sheet off of the thing. We’ve pointed her out in the image above.”

  16. @Olivier, looks like the girl your pointing to is not the guy that “…pull a sheet off of the thing…” in the video?

    And that is some skin tight outfit. I looked for pics of the event online, but couldn’t find any. You would think someone would have a camera there and post online! It was like a year ago…

    Anyways, dont ruin it for me! i saw what i saw ;)

  17. @Jason Knight
    Anyone who told you that a cantilever crane counts as a robotic arm is either an idiot or a liar. Probably both. They’re not. Totally different types of machinery.

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