OptoForce to Introduce Sense of Touch to U.S. Robots

OptoForce, a Hungarian Robotics company has opened a U.S. office with the aim to deliver the much-needed sense of touch to robots. The company’s 6-axis force/torque sensors, which are already in use in service and medical sectors and other hard-to-automate assembly tasks across Western Europe and Asia, will be showcased at Automate 2017 April 3-6 in Booth #469.

The OptoForce 6-axis sensors are not only robust and light-weight but also easy-to-install. They create a sense of touch for robots that have to perform high-precision tasks such as bolt insertion, polishing, and other finer assembly tasks. Currently compatible with robots from KUKA and Universal Robots, OptoForce sensors automate these tasks, boosting efficiency, accelerating project development, and reducing overall production costs.

With robots working more closely with humans, they need to accurately and precisely sense their surroundings and accomplish many tasks requiring the dexterity and sensitivity of the human hand. Equipped with OptoForce high-precision sensors, these robots can now feel if they are placing an object in the right place or need to adjust it, and can automatically correct course. This speeds the production process and ultimately decreases costs, an ideal scenario for many U.S. manufacturers that have long offshored production due to high labor costs and the traditionally high cost of automation.

Ákos Dömötör, CEO, OptoForce

The OptoForce founders, then university students, built a walking robot together, where they encountered endless issues with the rigidity, weight, and cost of the then existing multi-axis force sensors. To solve the many issues, they created a prototype of the existing sensors that used infrared light to spot deformations of the silicone sensor structure. This profoundly new and unique method forms the foundation of the present OptoForce solution and ensures precise measurements even up to 200 % overload.

Gary Eliasson to Lead OptoForce North American Efforts

Gary Eliasson will back this technology and lead the OptoForce office in presenting a sense of touch to North American automation. OptoForce introduces this initiative at a perfect time. According to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) survey, the 2016 North American robotics market has broken all-time records in orders and shipments. Therefore, OptoForce is looking forward to playing an influential role in the automation of North American manufacturing enterprises.

Today’s robotics tasks require a new level of sensitivity. OptoForce delivers this level of competence, outperforming related technologies in precision, cost, strength and flexibility. This opens up opportunities for companies to decrease costs and improve productivity.

Gary Eliasson

Eliasson’s first mandate will be to create a strong distributor network. Present OptoForce distributors include The Knotts Company, Inc and Essential Robot Products.

The expansion of OptoForce is supported by robot technology investor, Enrico Krog Iversen, as well as private equity investors Day One Capital and Finext Startup. Iversen sold Danish robot manufacturer Universal Robots to the U.S.-based Teradyne in 2015.

See OptoForce at Automate 2017

OptoForce will display at Automate 2017, Booth #469, with more applications showcased at the Essential Robot Products booth (#1407) and the Universal Robot booth (#1245) as a UR+ partner.

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