At the Hannover exhibition in early 2014, KUKA showed an omnimove mobile platform with a robot arm, which is the first “composite robot” ” Implementation of the concept of; In China, Xinsong robot launched China’s first hybrid robot at the world robot conference at the end of 2015 and put into mass production in early 2016.

After six years, there are more players in the compound robot track, including strong alliances such as Mir + ur, but what is the actual market acceptance of the compound robot? Is it a gimmick or a real need?

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The compound robot is mainly composed of AGV, manipulator, camera and end effector. The earliest form is to lay guide rail on the ground, and the more traditional magnetic navigation AGV is used. However, this way of guide rail plus robot is inconvenient to lay, covers a large area and fails to meet the requirements of safety.

With the more flexible production requirements, the combination of AMR mobile robot and cooperative robot has become the mainstream, and their characteristics also determine the congenital deficiency of compound robot, that is, low load.

From the perspective of cooperative robot, Dr. Xu Xiong, CTO of card saving robot, said: “in addition to the load, it also requires the cooperative robot to have DC mode. At the same time, the control cabinet is light and compact. According to different application scenarios, other aspects, such as accuracy requirements, will also change. ”

From the perspective of AGV, ye Yangsheng, co-founder of Xianzhi robot, said: “the load of AGV is positively correlated with the chassis. In many scenes, such as 3C processing workshop, the space left for AGV is very small, so it is difficult to achieve large load because there should be precision error and steering space. ”

Finally, from the perspective of the integrator, Zeng Yuquan, general manager of Shanlong intelligent control, said: “We used to do this kind of project for the CNC workshop. AGV is from stander robot. We used the dual vision assisted positioning method, because AGV can only transport the manipulator to the approximate position, but the vision has a field of vision, and the higher the accuracy, the smaller the field of vision. Therefore, we did coarse and fine positioning. In addition, the whole process control needs PLC coordination, and the vision and Software for secondary development. ”

Zhang Xin, an analyst at the Institute of robotics of Gaogong, believes that: “The complex composition and technical difficulty of the compound robot lead to its slow product iteration. AGV first transmits its positioning error to the controller. After the controller eliminates the error, the manipulator will have an error, which will be transmitted to the controller again, and the camera may have an error. How to eliminate the cumulative error is very demanding for the algorithm of the controller. ”

These are still ideal conditions. The most difficult is the emergency, that is, the order of AGV – manipulator – camera is disturbed. How to make the controller schedule in order will be more complex.

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In addition to the technical difficulty caused by the complex composition, the cost of hundreds of thousands or millions is often prohibitive to many enterprises. Does that mean that the compound robot is just a gimmick?

Not necessarily. Shanlong Zhikong has received orders for five CNC workshop production lines this year.

Zeng Yuquan said: “According to the scene, a compound robot can replace more than one person. If one can only replace one, there is no need to use a compound robot. I think CNC loading and unloading is definitely a scene that may erupt, because the treatment of CNC operators is relatively high. For example, a compound robot can meet the loading and unloading of 8 machine tools, which is basically a guest Households can also return their capital in a year. ”

Therefore, there is no scene, but the cost is too high and the return on investment ratio of the enterprise is too low.

Ye Yangsheng, co-founder of Xianzhi robot, said: “our composite robot has been implemented in semiconductor, card printing, certificate making and other industries. At present, the main constraint is that the cost is too high, which is difficult for customers to accept. However, with the continuous price reduction of cooperative manipulator and AGV in the future, the cost of composite robot will be reduced. ”

GGII data show that from 2014 to 2019, the average price of AGV in the Chinese market has been reduced from 200000 to 110000, and the cooperative robot has also been reduced from 210000 to 130000. Of course, there are products of various grades, but it must be acknowledged that with the increasing number of manufacturers, price reduction has become an industry trend.

Lu Zhangyuan, director of the Institute of robotics of higher engineering, believes that: “From the birth to the present, the attention of products such as composite robots has been high, but it is undeniable that the high price and low maturity of composite robots are the obstacles to their starting capacity. GGII judges that composite robots do not have sufficient factors for starting capacity in the short term. On the one hand, their high price leads to the lengthening of the investment return period. On the premise of choice, composite robots will not Become a must for most customers; On the other hand, the maturity and stability of the technology determine the short board of the composite robot, which can only meet the needs of users in specific scenes. ”

However, in the future, with the maturity of technology and the decline of price, compound robots may have their own place.

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