Robot researchers in the UK and China have developed a pick-and-place robot which, they say, combines the best of parallel and series designs and costs a third less than comparable designs.
The Diamond 600 robot, developed by researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Tianjin in China, uses parallel motors to drive it along a line of objects that it is manipulating. A simple series motor moves it in the short hops between each row.
So far, two of the robots have been built. One is working in a Chinese battery-making plant. The other is being used as a teaching and research tool in the University of Warwick`s school of engineering.
One of the project`s leaders, Professor Tian Huang (seen above with the robot), holds a joint appointment at Warwick, where he teaches and researches for one term a year, and as dean of Tianjin University`s school of mechanical engineering. The project has been co-sponsored by China and the Royal Society`s UK-China exchange programme.