How Men And Robots Will Cooperate

Even though it is impossible to imagine industrial production without robots, the interaction of humans and factory robots has been quite difficult and always posed a risk – at least up until now. At NEXT Berlin 2012 Elias Knubben, designer at Festo, and Alexander Hildebrandt, engineer at Festo, presented the latest developments in robotics, which have the potential to dramatically change the current paradigm.

They introduced the “Exohand” and the “Bionic Handling Assistant”, which both contain control systems allowing humans to safely interact with them. “The direct contact of humans and robots is not hazardous anymore. The systems remain save due to their inherent compliance – even in the case of an electronic error.”

The fields of application for such robots range from industrial (e.g. assembly) and private settings (e.g. supporting handicapped persons) to medical therapy and, of course, education. They allow new forms of interaction and thereby usher in a new era.