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Automation made easy with new modular motion concept from igus2018-06-13

Kinematics of all kinds quickly and cost-effectively with robolink Apiro

The pressure of competition on companies is growing locally and globally due to the increasing automation of production processes. In order to make automatic processes possible cost-effectively and individually, igus is developing low-cost solutions with the help of high-performance plastics such as the new modular motion system, robolink Apiro. Design engineers can choose from three lubrication-free worm gears for standard movement, inverted movement and linear movement. For the user, there are practically no limits anymore, with solutions ranging from the simple linear robot to complex humanoid and animatronic robots. The new robolink concept will be presented at Stand H04, Hall 17, at Hannover Messe.

Implementing individual automation solutions easily and cost-effectively is the mission of the new robolink Apiro modular motion system from igus. The name says it all: Apiro is derived from the Greek word for "unlimited". When the new series was being developed, the focus was on decoupling the motor and gearbox as well as on the introduction of completely new kinds of worm gear for the achievement of six axes, for example, in an articulated robot. Gearbox with linear motion, inverted and conventional robolink worm gears in four different sizes are planned and, thanks to the exceptional modularity of the system, can be combined with each other as required. With the new modular system, therefore, even complicated movements can be implemented. For example, cost-effective and individual SCARA robots and linear robots as well as sprue pickers from the removal of products from injection-moulding machines. Transport and handling system, as well as humanoid and animatronic robots which can perform movements like those of a spider, for instance. The new robolink series is also suitable for training, development and research as different kinematics can be set up easily and quickly.

Flexible design due to modular system and multi-functional Profile
In the worm gears of the new Apiro series, high-quality tribo-polymers with solid lubricants are used. The corrosion-free and chemical-resistant high-performance plastics ensure a high degree of stability, low weight, a long service life and freedom from the need for maintenance. In the case of the modular robolink Apiro system, the joints are joined together by means of a multi-functional profile made of aluminium. This makes it possible to insert drive shafts through a hollow space in the middle, a possibility that the inverted worm gear makes use of. The gearbox causes the aluminium profile to rotate, as a result of which it is ideally suited for use in robotics and rotating applications. In the case of the new worm gear with linear movement, the aluminium profile can travel linearly through the worm gear or the worm gear travels on the linear profile. In addition, worm gears have very little clearance. The multi-functional profile also enables the user to connect the different gearboxes of the robolink Apiro series, for example. Placing several Apiro joints side by side makes parallel joint connections possible as well. This results in innumerable possibilities of combination in order to automate very different applications.

From the pre-production batch to the modular system from stock
After the Hannover Messe, igus will be looking for testers who want to use free sample parts to set up very different kinematics for further optimisation of the new robolink Apiro concept. The aim is, to be able to offer robolink Apiro as a series-produced solution for a wide market after the test phases. In addition, a configurator is being planned that is to simulate the modular system's different possibilities of movement.