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Close Up: KUKA KR 1000 Titan

To describe the new robot from KUKA Robotics Corp. (www.kukarobotics.com), the KR 1000 Titan, as "big" is to essentially understate the case.

To describe the new robot from KUKA Robotics Corp. (www.kukarobotics.com), the KR 1000 Titan, as "big" is to essentially understate the case. Terms like "huge"-or even "titanic"-come to mind, as this robot is apparently a Guinness Book of World Records entry for its capabilities in the strength category. Clearly, if you're interested in getting an industrial robot, it is for purposes other than being in the book of sometimes bizarre accomplishments and capabilities, which brings us to the fact that this robot was engineered by a development team in Ausburg to have the power, reach, and precision required by people looking for a high-performance six-axis robot. This robot can handle a payload of 1,000 kg. That's said to be the highest capacity of a six-axis machine with an open kinematic chain (i.e., it is simply a pedestal-mounted device like typical six-axis robots, not something with an elaborate gridded structure). It has a maximum horizontal reach of 3,202 mm and a vertical reach of 5,000 mm.

In order to accomplish its feats of strength, the machine, which is constructed with ductile cast iron and features a steel base frame, there are nine motors deployed. Two motors are used for axes 1 and 3; they feed into a single gear unit. Two motors are also used for axis 2, although each of these motors has an individual gear unit. The robot can handle a static torque of 60,000 Nm. Pluggable brushless AC servo motors are used in the robot. The main axes are lubricated for life, thereby helping minimize maintenance requirements.

The KR 1000 has a work envelope of 77.7 m3. Thanks to having its energy and fluid supply systems integrated within itself, the axis motion range is not restricted by, say, hoses. It has a repeatability of ±0.2 mm. Control is provided by the company's Windows-based kr c2 controller.

So what can you do with this? Well, one application area that the robot can be fitted to handle (e.g., with the addition of heat-and corrosion-protected paint and a wrist with high impact strength and acid- and alkali-resistance) foundry work. Or it can be used in the more benign conditions of an assembly plant. Given its payload capacity, it is capable of handling an entire body-in-white by itself, which could facilitate factory operations and simplify changeover. 

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