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KUKA Collaborative Robot Arms: LBR iiwa Cobots

company logo for KUKA KUKA

Country: Germany

Year: 2013


The KUKA LBR iiwa cobots remain as pioneering examples with their lightweight build, advanced safety, & precision in handling delicate tasks

Status: Commercially available

Operation: Autonomous, Teleoperation, Collaborative

Robot Type / Domain: Multi/General-Purpose, Industrial, Medical & Healthcare

Tasks: Machining & Polishing, Handling, Assembly, Painting, Gluing, Measuring, ...

Whimsical Intro (by addoobot)

These cobots by KUKA are truly stunning. We tried to design a more beautiful one ourselves, but we fell short despite not having other constraints in terms of practicality and mechanics.

Major Events or News

  • In 2018, KUKA introduced a mobile robot named KMR iiwa, which complements the LBR iiwa cobots. This mobile robot is autonomous and utilizes the strengths of the LBR iiwa cobot (mounted on top of the mobile platform). As a result, the cobot is no longer fixed to a single location and has the mobility and flexibility to move around and perform various tasks, making it Industry 4.0 friendly.

More Videos

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Collaborative Robotic Cell Using KUKA LBR iiwa Cobots
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LBR iiwa Cobots in Creative Korea Fair
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LBR iiwa Cobot as Medical Assistant
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Combining Artificial Intelligence with KUKA Cobots

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Introduction to LBR iiwa Cobots

These collaborative robot arms by KUKA are truly collaborative. Not only are they lightweight, safe, accurate, and precise but they are designed with delicate and sensitive tasks in mind (e.g., delicate assembly tasks).

They are created to be the industrial work assistants you need for a seamless human-robot collaboration (HRC). So much so that this objective is reflected in the name itself: the 'iiwa' represents "intelligent industrial work assistant".

Applications and Use Cases

Thanks to their versatility and safety features, the LBR iiwa cobots can be utilized in a wide variety of applications across multiple industries. For example, they can be deployed in an electronics manufacturing plant where human-like dexterity and handling of fragile components are needed. They may also be deployed for testing and quality assurance of components where precise and accurate movements are critical. 

Other applications of these cobots include but are not limited to:

  • Mechanical Machining & Polishing: For example, buffing an intricate component without causing scratches or exerting more force than needed which may cause damages. 
  • Handling & Assembly: For example, when arranging intricate parts or assembling delicate components.
  • Applying / Painting / Glueing: For example, detecting contours and applying just the right amount of force precisely and accurately to glue components together.
  • Palletizing / Packaging: For example, when you need human-like dexterity to package and palletize goods appropriately.
  • Measuring / Inspection: For example, when you need a precise measurement of a component. 

What Makes LBR iiwa Special

The LBR iiwa cobots stand out for several reasons, some of which include:

Safety & Hazard Prevention: These cobots are equipped with joint torque sensors that enable them to react swiftly. As a result, if an unexpected contact is detected, the cobots can immediately lower their force and speed to prevent crashes, injury, or other accidents. 

Learning is Made Simple: These cobots can be quickly and conveniently taught to perform a task; e.g., by simply using touch as a way to provide commands. 

Sensitive Operation: When accurately detecting contours is imortant (e.g., for gluing components) and the task needs to be carried out with great precision, then these cobots are just what you need thanks to their high-performance servo control.

Other Features and Benefits

In addition to their features discussed above, the LBR iiwa cobots offer:

Ease of Integration: The LBR iiwa cobots are designed to seamlessly integrate into existing workflows; hence, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity.

Variations for Every Task: These cobots come in different versions to suit various tasks. Payload options include 7 kg or 14 kg. The maximum reach of these cobots is either 800 mm or 820 mm. There are options for 'cleanroom' environment but they can only be mounted on the floor; whereas, other versions can be mounted in any orientation (ceiling, wall, or floor).

Brief History

KUKA's LBR iiwa cobots were launched in 2013 and they were one of the first cobots to incorporate sensitive torque sensors in all of their seven axes. This was a major step forward in enhancing safety in human-robot collaboration where robots operate closely with humans in a shared workspace. Major innovations were needed to make this feature possible but these innovations enabled the cobots to respond swiftly, appropriately, and gently when detecting contact with humans or objects. To this date, these cobots remain a pioneering example of how robots can assist and augment human work.

Technical Specifications (best specs out of all products)

Max. Reach: 820 mm

Max. Reach: 32.283 in

Payload: 14 kg

Payload: 30.865 lbs

Max. Payload: N/A

Pose Repeatability: ± 0.1 mm

Pose Repeatability: ± 0.004 in

Weight: 23.9 kg

Weight: 52.690 lbs

Battery Operated? No, Tethered

Arm Type: Articulated, Collaborative

Number of Axes: 7 DoF

IP Rating: IP54

Mounting: Floor, Ceiling, Wall, Any desired angle

Footprint: N/A

Operating Temperature: 0 ℃ to 45 ℃

Operating Temperature: 32.000 ℉ to 113.000 ℉

Motion Range: A1: ±170° • A2: 120° • A3: ±170° • A4: ±120° • A5: ±170° • A6: ±120° • A7: ±170°

Speed with rated payload: A1: 98°/s • A2: 98°/s • A3: 100°/s • A4: 130°/s • A5: 140°/s • A6: 180°/s • A7: 180°/s

Ambient temperature during operation: 5 °C to 45 °C (278 K to 318 K)

Controller & Computing: KUKA Sunrise Cabinet Controller

No more specs to show.

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Comment by addoobot - Our Perspective

The features of these cobots in terms of being lightweight, safe, and able to handle delicate tasks are particularly impressive. Combine these features with the reliability, high quality, and professionalism that KUKA provides and you have truly amazing cobots.

addoorable score:
We really like the visual appearance of these cobots. We think they are one of the most adorable cobots out there, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Comment your opinion below.

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