Productive Robotics
Productive Robotics’ user interface allows operators to teach a cobot to perform tasks by showing it each step of a job.

Vision System for Augmented Intelligent Cobots

June 30, 2022
A proprietary, “no programming” user interface allows operators to teach seven-axis collaborative devices automate repetitive tasks on the shop floor, cutting set-up time and requiring no software.

A proprietary, “no programming” user interface allows operators of PRODUCTIVE ROBOTICS’ seven-axis, OB7 cobots to teach the device to perform tasks by showing it each step of a job. The budget-friendly, U.S.-built OB7 collaborative robots automate repetitive tasks, reduce set-up time, and perform a variety of machine operations.

“Our goal has always been to simplify the use of cobots on the shop floor by eliminating the need for software and programming,” stated Zac Bogart, president of Productive Robotics. “Now we’ve made OB7 even easier to use by giving it sight. With this evolutionary step, OB7’s ability to adapt to its work environment is significantly enhanced.

“Operators simply show OB7 what to pick up, push one button, and OB Vision learns to recognize the object and pick it up in one automated step.”

The sighted OB7 cobots eliminate the need for fixtures and staging parts for pick-up – two of the largest bottlenecks when it comes to implementing collaborative robots. With a sighted OB7, manufacturers can deploy cobots faster and produce more complex parts while reducing costs. It can perform vision-based bin picking and provide sensitive gripping for handling delicate parts.

“We wanted to get the mind of the operator into the mind of OB7,” Bogart said. “With a tablet, a technician or operator will be able to see what OB7 sees as it automatically identifies parts that it can touch, handle and pickup.” 

Each of the OB7’s joints can rotate 360 degrees in both directions. The cobot can sense collisions at every joint, a function that triggers a safe stop. Also, the OB7 can be stopped with an operator’s hand and restarted with a tap on one of its joints. When running at collaborative speeds, guarding is not required. For high speed operations, a laser safety scanner is available.

To automate OB7, fabricators can add a Productive Robotics parallel electric gripper/end effector, patented robot rolling stand and work table. The cobot is compatible with other grippers, cameras, and accessories, too.

Data collection is supported by Productive Robotics’ cloud analytics system making it easy for small- to medium-sized job shops to implement real-time reporting on cobot activity. Installation of the OB7 can take approximately two hours.

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