Saturday, September 10, 2011

Industrial robot love fest.

A while back I was asked by my boss to look into automating a few processes on a production line using industrial robots. I had to present my findings in a super boring meeting which I wont replicate here. You should thank me.

What I discovered while I was doing my research was the story of the Kuka KR500 industrial robot. Capable of lifting 500kg like it was nothing, the KR500 was Kuka Robotic’s highest selling robot a few years back. I could watch the KR500 do its day job endlessly and never get tired of it…..

But the KR 500 was approaching the end of its useful life. There are better robots out there now, with more degrees of movement and capable of lifting more kgs. But the good people at Kuka had a brilliant idea that would give their beloved robot a second life. Turn it into a theme park ride!

Here is one of the early versions. Still looks really industrial but you gotta love it.

Here is the refined version. The Sum of All Thrills Ride at Epcot’s Innoventions. You get to choose from a bunch of options as to how you want your ride to go and then you get in your pod-mounted robot and experience it. I have no idea how good this ride is and I don’t care. The KR500 is too cool.

The KR500 (I believe) has also been used in the latest Harry Potter theme ride. This time it is mounted on tracks so that it can move through a scene at the same time as flinging you around. All the available footage I can show you is appallingly bad, bootleg, hidden camera stuff so I will spare you the pain.

Instead, as a parting gift, here is a super short, 8 second video of the KR500 creating a work of art.

Too awesome, the mechanical engineer in me wants you all to hug an industrial robot with her.

In fact, speaking of hugging robots, here is a music video made for Bjork’s “All is full of love”

Ok, done now.



Feasibility is an engineering based blog designed to reach other STEM people. Non-STEM people are also welcome! I try to give good advice and well-reasoned opinions but please don’t hesitate to disagree with me. This blog exists because I realised that I live in a metaphorical bubble and that simply wont do. Nup.


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