ABB’s YuMi®, world’s first truly collaborative dual-arm robot
YuMi, another step in ABB’s Next Level strategy, heralds a new era of robotic coworkers that are able to
work collaboratively on the same tasks with humans while still ensuring the safety of those around it.
A play on words, YuMi signifies “you” and “me” creating an automated future together. YuMi is an element of our Internet of Things, Services and People strategy creating an automated future together. Few production arenas are changing as quickly as small parts assembly. The
electronics industry, in particular, has seen demand for products skyrocket past the supply of skilled labor. As conventional assembly methods diminish in value, manufacturers are finding it strategically and economically imperative to invest in new solutions.
BCG Research for example predicts that by 2025, adoption of advanced robots will boost productivity by up to 30 percent in many industries and lower total labor costs by 18 percent or more in countries such as South Korea, China, the U.S., Japan, and Germany. While YuMi was specifically designed to meet the flexible and agile production needs of the consumer electronics
industry, it has equal application in any small parts assembly environment thanks to its dual arms, flexible hands, universal parts feeding system, camera-based part location, lead-through programming, and state-of-the-art precise motion control. At first glance, processes on manual
assembly lines might seem relatively simple to automate, but in reality it is not so easy to replicate human abilities— humans are amazing machines. We have touch and motor control which allows us to handle delicate things with dexterity and precision, as well as judge how much force to use on a given component so that we do not break it. We can see where an item is, easily pick it up, and are able to handle an incredibly diverse variety of parts without pausing. We also have spatial awareness which allows us to interact closely and in harmony with our
With Robots, the challenge is to determine how to replicate all of these human attributes in a way that is cost-effective essentially recreating abilities necessary to be at least as safe as humans, yet still able to provide the substantial benefits of automation. Through purpose-built design that is much more than just the robot, ABB has created an inherently safe system of components that delivers the precision, ease-of-use, speed, flexibility and returnon- investment required for the future of small parts assembly. At its core, YuMi has the DNA of safety. Much like a human arm has a skeleton covered with muscles that provide padding, YuMi has a lightweight yet rigid magnesium skeleton covered with a floating plastic casing wrapped in soft
padding. This arrangement absorbs the force of any unexpected impacts to a very high degree.
Like the human arm, YuMi has no pinch points so that ancillary parts cannot be crushed be-tween two opposing surfaces as the axes open and close. YuMi is compact, with dimensions similar to that of a human, and dual-arms featuring seven axes of movement each allow
the robot to have greater dexterity andprecision inside a compact, human-sized workspace.
YuMi only weighs 35 kg, has an integrated control system, integrated internal cabling for a multitude of input and output commands including air and digital, works off of standard household electrical power found the world over, and is extremely portable and re-deployable at will. With the rise of collaborative robots we will see a drastic change in theway manufacturing is automated and conducted in the future. We will also see a paradigm shift in the way humans do work and what types of work are considered valuable. Just like every other major advance in the history of industrialization, the increasing automation of more and more jobs will result in an explosion of newer and better jobs, some of which we cannot even envision right now.