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April 13, 2015

Microsoft lends Azure IoT platform to KUKA LBR iiwa robot

Technology demonstrated at the Hannover Messe 2015 in Germany.

By CBR Staff Writer

German industrial robot maker KUKA have introduced KUKA’s Intelligent Industrial Work Assistant (KUKA LBR iiwa), a robot built with Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) platform.

KUKA LBR iiwa is designed to improve human-robot collaboration to perform complex tasks, as the lightweight robot is capable of performing precise automation movements safely and can sense its way around complex tasks.

Apart from Microsoft, KUKA has used hardware from Kinect and the OPC-UA communications standard, which has resulted in a robot that will provide a smarter manufacturing solution.

According to the robot maker, KUKA LBR iiwa is the first robot to feature safe torque sensors in every axis, and is reportedly suited for gripper systems and tactile solutions.

Workers will be able to monitor movement data from the robots through Azure cloud, which will help them monitor progress and receive status reports from the factory floor. It can also rectify errors faster through the use of Windows tablets.

KUKA CTO Dr. Christian Schlogel said: "Robots serve as the link between IT and production, between humans and technology.

"The showcase we created together with Microsoft is one example of how this link can be used in the future and how our KUKA technologies are ready for Industry 4.0. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of sensitive robotics and to create the technology to allow humans to interact directly, increasing efficiency and productivity."

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