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Leverage Robotics - From Science to Industry - Investors Welcome

Flexible factory automation for small and medium-sized series and strengthening competitiveness through innovation: These are the goals set by three scientists from the German Aerospace Center. The team combines know-how in robotics, mechanics and computer science and recently founded the spin-off Leverage Robotics in Munich. Together, they want to counteract offshoring of production and bring production back to Europe. To this end, the team has developed a flexible robotic cell for fast set-up and multi-task applications in order to be able to realize many different applications with one robot as a co-worker. In many areas, a robotic system only pays off if several different products can be manufactured, packaged or handled quickly and flexibly.

The toolbox for the robot

The focus here is on a hardware toolbox with various tools that can be gripped by the robot. These so-called ToolCubes are purely passive tools. This means that, for example, no vacuum is required for the suction pad or electronics need to be connected or controlled for the centering gripper.

The tools are simply placed in the robot's "hand" and can be used directly. This is very interesting both for assembly or packaging on a stationary unit, but also especially for mobile systems, since a gripper or tool can be changed quickly and easily and no additional control units, pneumatic supply, etc. have to be transported along. Each of these tools also has corresponding
pre-programmed software modules for intuitive robot programming for the non-expert. With the aid of a foot switch, it is possible to put the cobot into Freedrive mode, program complete applications and exchange tools or grippers quickly and easily.

Inherent safety for people

A spatially close coexistence of humans and robots can become a danger for humans. In this context, tools and workpieces on the robot are always a problem. Leverage Robotics is developing a flexible safety solution for this, the Robotic Airbag, which is currently still in the prototype stage and has yet to go through the certification process. The Robotic Airbag is activated before each ride and encloses sharp edges that can pose a danger to humans in the event of a collision. The airbag cushions the impact in such a way that even at higher speeds of the cobot there is no danger to humans. If the robot stops, or moves slowly, the airbag retracts and the full functionality
of the tool or the manageability of the workpiece is restored. The airbag is inflated and deflated at such high speeds that cycle times can also be significantly reduced on many robot runs, thus increasing efficiency in production.

Flexible Plug & Produce Robot Station

Small and medium-sized companies are often faced with major challenges due to the complexity and investment hurdles involved in collaborative robotics. To counter this problem, the team at Leverage Robotics has developed an overall concept that they themselves call FlexAssemblyCell. This is a robotic cell that can implement different manufacturing and packaging tasks. It combines a collaborative robot, safety components, ToolCubes and intuitive robot programming via software modules, the so-called ToolCubeSkills, to form an efficient and highly flexible co-worker station. Teaching of the robot is made possible via foot pedals, so that the user keeps two hands free at all times to operate and guide the robot. Thus, everything is integrated into an intuitive robot control system that simplifies the teaching of the robot. This enables (partial) automation of a wide variety of assembly and packaging tasks, which also introduces small companies to automation. To minimize the entry barriers and risks for your customers, Leverage Robotics offers the whole package as Robotics-as-a-Service, a kind of leasing model.

Know-how from research for innovation in industry

If you are interested in flexible automation for packaging, assembly or mobile robotics and want to strengthen your competitiveness through innovation, the team is also happy to offer individual consulting, conduct feasibility studies or provide support in the implementation of complex applications.

Investor inquiries are equally welcome.

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In my own right/advertisement
The author of this blog is significantly involved in the AI/robotics project Opdra. He advises robotics companies and investors on market analysis and funding/subsidies. More about him can be found here.

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