A new type of robo endowed with fingertip sensitivity and many facial expressions promises to be quite extraordinary.
Designed by Dr.-Ing. Dragoljub Surdilovic at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK in Berlin, the pi4-workerbot is capable of complex movements and expressions.
Its purpose is to help keep European production competitive. The idea is that manufacturers should even be able to lease these robots as and when necessary.
"We developed the workerbot to be roughly the same size as a human being," said Surdilovic.
The robot has three cameras - a 3D camera in its forehead that captures its general surroundings and two others used for inspection purposes.
"It can measure objects or inspect a variety of surfaces. If you use two different cameras, it can inspect one aspect with its left eye, and another with its right," said Matthias Krinke, Managing Director of pi4-Robotics.
Another distinctive feature of the pi4-workerbot is that it has two arms.
"This allows it to carry out new kinds of operations. These robots can transfer a workpiece from one hand to the other," said Surdilovic.
The researchers also endowed the robot with fingertip sensitivity.
"If you set the strength of the grip correctly, it will take hold of an egg without cracking it," said Surdilovic.
The robo even smiles if its work is going smoothly, or bored if it's awaiting work.