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Belgian research team wins KUKA Innovation Award 2024

by Pieter Werner

A Belgian research team has won the KUKA Innovation Award 2024 with their development of a user-friendly cobot application tailored for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The award, marking its tenth anniversary, highlights innovative robotics solutions aimed at transforming industries grappling with skilled labor shortages and rising operational costs.

The award-winning project, led by LVD Robotic Solutions and Acro, features the “Ricobb” — a mobile LBR iisy cobot designed to facilitate manufacturing processes within SMEs. This initiative aims to enable these businesses to retain manufacturing jobs that might otherwise be outsourced to regions with lower wages. Central to their concept is an intuitive cobot application platform, optimized for a bending process, which integrates directly with the machine’s control system to enhance ease of use and adaptability.

The solution presented by the Belgian team also includes functionalities for additional tasks such as sorting and deburring, showcasing the flexibility of the cobot application. Their concept addresses critical industry challenges such as the shortage of skilled workers and demographic shifts, earning them accolades for both the innovative approach and practical implementation of the technology.

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