Electrical Power & Protection


Modular industrial robot system nominated for the 2023 Hermes Award

June 2023 Electrical Power & Protection

Defined mechanical and electrical interfaces enable fast, precise, and tool-free assembly of any robot kinematics. The modular mechanics are supported by modular software that provides functions such as image processing, artificial intelligence, or scientific automation, in addition to robot motion. This innovation has now been recognised with a nomination for the Hermes Award, announced at the Hannover Messe.

The ATRO modular industrial robot system beat many submissions, to be nominated as one of the top three innovations for the 2023 Hermes Award, selected by a jury of experts from the politics, business, research, and society sectors. According to Deutsche Messe, this international technology prize honours outstanding products and innovative solutions that demonstrate a particularly high degree of technological innovation and which offer benefits to industry, the environment, and society. ATRO fits these criteria in many respects.

In a statement issued by Deutsche Messe, jury chairman and president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Professor Reimund Neugebauer, says: “Once again this year, the high quality of the submissions was very impressive. With a sensor-based compensation module for robots, a modular industrial robot system, and a multi-user platform for building management, the nominees impressively showcased their innovative powers, demonstrating efficiency, sustainability and flexibility to varying degrees. All three solutions have the potential to develop a high level of momentum in their respective fields, and bring about lasting change in their areas of application.”

Hans Beckhoff, Managing Director and owner of the nominated company, adds: “Beckhoff Automation represents innovation and, with our ATRO system, we seem to have succeeded in creating another small revolution. Naturally, we are very proud of that. I would like to thank our mechanical, electronic, and software engineers who worked together in perfect harmony to create our ATRO!”

Technological advantages

With ATRO, users can create almost any robot design which is perfectly attuned to their application from the modules provided – from a simple one-axis rotary indexing table application to delta kinematics, through to multi-axis articulated robots. The holistic approach of the Beckhoff technology plays a key role in user-friendly commissioning and handling, not least because the direct integration of the robot system into the PC-based control platform is the only way to create a truly optimised and complete solution for a machine or plant. This reduces the number of controllers needed to just one industrial PC, even with multiple robots. All modules are interconnected via the ATRO interface, which guarantees a fixed connection, and also feeds through the input media. Data, power and fluids (compressed air, vacuum or water) can therefore be internally fed through the modules in the ATRO kinematics. Conventional robotic solutions, on the other hand, route media externally and are therefore limited in terms of rotation and use of the workspace. These limitations are completely eliminated with the Beckhoff solution – each axis can be rotated endlessly, which enables better Cartesian accessibility and short positioning paths.


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