Unveiled at the Automatica exhibition in Munich this week, AURA (Advanced Use Robotic Arm) was showcased by two automotive applications, with robots handling payloads of 60 and 110 kg, and working on a Maserati Ghibli.

AURA is in fact a technology that can be employed with the company’s other robots, as another, more playful, Automatica demonstration, highlighted. A collaborative system was set up to offer Italian coffee to exhibition visitors, with this seeing the integration of Amico (Comau's humanoid concept), a Racer5 robot in AURA configuration, plus a collaborative rotary table and gripper.

AURA-equipped robots feature a special covering incorporating sensors. Via these sensors and, says Comau, for the very first time, the simultaneous perception of the proximity of humans or any other object, as well as contacts and their intensity, is possible.

Additionally, the system features: perception of tactile pulses; the ability to modify its trajectory according to a contact; manual guidance; an integrated vision system that enables it to predict peoples’ movements in the working area; and the use of laser scanners that monitor the people with which it interacts, making it possible to ramp down a robot’s motion to a complete stop only when it is very close to, or actually in contact with, a worker.

The combined use of control, perception and predictive systems allows an AURA-equipped robot to cooperate with humans in any process or sector, without compromise, says Comau - there is, for example, no need to control vibrations.

At Automatica, Comau also unveiled extensions of its small robot family for quick applications in restricted spaces, including handling, assembly, services and pick and place - Racer5-0.63 and Racer5-0.80 (see video).

Based on the Racer3 platform (3 kg payload), Racer5-0.63 features a reach of 630 mm and payload of 5 kg. Racer5-0.80 is also rated for a payload of 5 kg but has an extended reach of 809 mm. All other features are the same as Racer3, including the sectors and applications for which they are suited: handling; assembly; and pick-and-place duties.