This blog is translated from German with DeepL.
When we received our first Panda robot from Franka Emika GmbH, we unwrapped it with shining faces like little children at Christmas. Indeed, Christmas 2017 was just around the corner. We had many ideas and very concrete plans for where we wanted to go with “little Levi” – our name for the “first-born”. The possibilities seemed so extensive that we set to work directly in coordination with Franka Emika to teach our Levi, symbolically, to crawl and then to walk. But Levi is so adaptive that he skipped running in favor of sprinting. So what does this mean?
It takes a bit of digging to get to that: The Panda is an app-controllable single-arm robot with 7 axes, 3kg payload, 855mm reach, 2,000mm/s top speed, and software accessible on any web browser: Desk. Within the Desk interface, the apps can be arranged in such a way that the intended movement or work sequence of the robot can be called up and executed.
What is ultimately processed depends on the apps. They are the “walking aids” of the Panda robot. The end user, e.g. the production manager of a company that purchases the Panda for certain tasks and workflows, can easily control the small robot via these apps.
But where do you get these apps? What can they do? Can you program apps to do certain tasks? Yes, you can. And this is where we come back to our “concrete plans”. Since we recognized the potential of this app model early on, we set ourselves the goal of programming apps with our customers’ needs in mind. “Panda customized”, so to speak.
We started with “Circ motion” – a simple arc motion that can be used, for example, to trace contours. Voilá: our Panda was able to “crawl” its first steps. We quickly overflowed with ideas – the apps became more sophisticated, more extensive and also more customized. In the meantime – as I said, we have skipped the “walking” part – we are already sprinting with our Levi into regions with camera and recognition functions, with vacuum pumps, weight recognition, and so on.
In addition, the experience came that some workflows (apps) require additional support. I.e. one must be able to define certain parameters separately in order to make the process efficient and clean. The “Supportive App” was born.
So much for the theory. We would like to show you the practice on our website in the AppWORLD. Browse through the categories “Apps” and “Supportive Apps” and maybe you will realize that you could also very well use this ingenious little helper in your production or laboratory or even in training…
Let us check your task in our Panda Robolab or we come by with the Panda to solve the task together on site – we are very flexible. You are also welcome to spend a robot event day with us as a team and actively enter the robot world yourself. Just contact us!