Reading-based robotics company Rapid Robotics (Rapid) has announced a new partnership with Yaskawa America, Inc., Motoman Robotics Div. (Yaskawa Motoman) to introduce industrial capabilities to the former’s Rapid Machine Operator (RMO).
Rapid Robotics’ industrial RMO is designed to offer the flexibility of a collaborative robot (cobot) solution, while also meeting all mandatory safety measures with the added payload, speed and reach of a traditional industrial arm.
The company is now integrated with the entire Yaskawa robotics portfolio, with Rapid claiming this means it can now deliver more speed, higher payload and increased performance to a greater number of manufacturers.
“Since our founding in 2019, Rapid Robotics has been committed to providing manufacturers with a holistic workforce solution in the form of accessible, low-risk automation,” said Jordan Kretchmer, CEO and co-founder of Rapid Robotics.
“Today, we’re able to deliver on that commitment better than ever through our partnership with Yaskawa Motoman and their legacy of industrial expertise.”
By combining computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and instinctive learning with Robotics-as-a-Service functions like cloud connectivity and monthly leasing, Rapid Robotics hopes to make automation more accessible, especially in the face of growing labour shortages.
By integrating Yaskawa’s products into its offering, Rapid says it can now offer industrial-sized solutions to those who could previously not automate due to barriers such as cost, inflexibility or lengthy deployments.
“A trusted name in industrial automation for over a hundred years, Yaskawa is an established leader in the robotics market,” said Chris Caldwell, product manager of Yaskawa Motoman.
“A partnership with Rapid Robotics opens the door to automation for a large number of enterprises that have previously found it difficult or intimidating to deploy robotic solutions.
“Yaskawa is excited for the opportunity to offer truly industrial solutions, expanding Rapid Robotics’ capabilities while providing improved cycle-times and return-on-investment for end users.
“By combining strengths, Rapid Robotics’ advanced vision systems and state-of-the-art AI allow Yaskawa’s full line of robotic manipulators to shift repetitive or dangerous tasks away from your human workforce, freeing them to perform more fulfilling work.”
The UK robotics firm claims that one of the key benefits of its solutions is speed of deployment, which is also applicable due to its new industrial RMO, due to the company’s modular approach to work cell design.
What’s more, industrial Yaskawa robots with robust capabilities are designed to take advantage of a fast-deployment approach, meaning they can avoid interference with peripheral devices and keep the installation space of an industrial RMO to a minimum.
This, Rapid claims, offers a range of benefits compared to the traditional challenges and time-consuming nature of industrial robotic arm installation, especially in terms of disruption to production environments and the extensive safety regulation involved.
A key feature of the companies’ re-imagined work cell is a mobile robot pedestal with modular fixturing, which reportedly gives RMO’s light industrial arm the same flexibility as the company’s cobot solution. This is because the pedestal can be easily reconfigured and re-locked into place by a single operator, according to Rapid.