Voice-Controlled Cutting Robot Makes Construction Three Times Faster
Arnold Lander posted on July 02, 2019 |
New Danish robot makes construction up to three times faster by cutting materials from plasterboard to tiles based on voice commands. The company is supported by the founder of growth comet Mobile Industrial Robots

New Danish robot makes construction up to three times faster by cutting materials from plasterboard to tiles based on voice commands. The company is supported by the founder of growth comet Mobile Industrial Robots

Many years ago, I worked for a small machine tool company building special-purpose gantry robots for the automotive industry. These were the robot industries “Wild West” days where crazy ideas were commonplace. Old notions were being challenged, and incredible machines were being built. But the technology was still very primitive.

Back then, the joke was that robots were the stupidest creatures on the face of the planet. You couldn’t just walk up to a robot and say “Hey! Move that pile of bricks over there.” You had to teach it the points in space it had to move through and the speed it had to travel to arrive at the first brick. You had to tell it to close its grippers. You had to give it the exact coordinates for the bricks new location, and you had to command it to open its grippers when it got there.

This process had to be repeated for every brick in the stack, and if a new load of bricks was delivered with any of them even slightly out of position, the result would often involve angry men in suits writing checks to repair the damage. Even the dullest worker in your company could do better than that so you had to wonder, what exactly were the circumstances that would cause someone to lose their job to a device that was even dumber than they were!

One of my favorite stories from that period involves a robotic fender application we installed in a local assembly plant. The machine had been in service for several weeks without incident, and “Atta boys” were being handed out like candy. The goodwill ended when one of our robot programmers who had been touching up some points, sent the robot home without bothering to open its grippers. This touched off a brief but violent struggle that ended with the vehicle being flung out of the station and coming to rest in the aisle way — not a good day.

Fast forward thirty years and robots aren’t so dumb anymore. 

The latest newcomer to the industry is the Kobot Amigo 900. Voice-responsive cutting robot. This device consists of a mobile frame and a tool adapter for various types of angle grinders, routers, plunge saws, etc. and advanced software with speech recognition and reproduction.

Each carpenter wears a headset so that his hands are free to measure and install. The robot asks for the information it needs on an ongoing basis. For example, it says "side?" "top?" "bottom?" or "state measures." The carpenter controls the robot manually using 25 to 50 predetermined answers and the sequence of numbers. If the plasterboard has to be cut several times, the robot asks the various questions over again until the carpenter gives it the order: "Cut". Then the plasterboard is cut and ready for installation within a few seconds. Meanwhile, the carpenter can prepare for installation.

According to the company, the Amigo 900 can increase production by up to 300 percent due to less waiting time while materials are cut effectively and precisely the first time.  At the same time, the robot reduces waste and increases safety and work environment. The world’s first voice-controlled flexible cutting system precision cuts most materials from tiles to plaster from the orders given by voice. Due to advanced software, start-up Kobots – Voice Responsive Robotics secures a stable dialogue between the craftsman and the cutting robot - easily, quickly and safely. The entire machine can be set up in 10 minutes and can be stored in two carrying cases the size of surfboard bags.  

Odense, Denmark is a global hub of robotics innovation, home to hundreds of startups as well as established players such as Universal Robots and MiR. Stay tuned for more coverage of what makes this small Danish city a big player in the robotics industry.



Recommended For You

Recommended For You