Robotic coffee dance
Selfridges has a 109 year history and the department store has a pedigree for gaining technological firsts. The London department store in Oxford Street has played host to a number of new technologies from the Bleriot XI aeroplane, the first ever to cross the channel, as well as the first demonstration of a television set and many more. The machine they have in store now is a robot called YuMi and its main employment in this instance is to make a great cup of coffee. The complexity of making a good cup of coffee requires a great deal of precision, a skill that we have the fortune to take for granted every day, it's actually very difficult for a machine to master. The accuracy of YuMi is thanks to years of R&D and a plethora of sensors.
YuMi is proof that the tech path is still alive and well as the store is set to take in its first ever robot, Abb's YuMi duel-arm collaborative robot. YuMi stands for You and Me working together and it was introduced in 2015. It was originally designed to take on repetitive high accuracy tasks in a manufacturing role such as the handling of phones and watches.
The CEO of Smartech Nathalie Bernce has this to say,
“We are thrilled to bring life to the Coffee Barista by YuMi at our new expanded store in Selfridges. Smartech is all about offering customers the latest in innovation and creating unforgettable experiences around the best tech brands in the world. We hope this exciting collaboration with ABB will not only help people to discover the new era of robotics but hopefully change the way humans and robots interact.”
Robots have an endurance that can't be matched when combining them with peoples problem-solving abilities and adaptability will contribute to more flexible and efficient factories. This tech will be particularly useful today where tech is more often made in smaller lots of greater diversity and the accuracy found in YuMi is to the level of the motors being able to thread a needle. It's this tech that would aid the manufacture of the kind of advanced electronics you'd find in the modern car or phone.
YuMi has many tech innovations built in starting with the safety features where it can pause at a moments notice within milliseconds, or it's zero pinch operation so you wouldn't find a point where you could find your hand trapped. The dexterity is achieved by using the 14-axis agility and the lightweight design keeping YuMi nimble. YuMi can also be equipped with vision systems and dexterous grippers and sensitive force control feedback which enable it to effectively see and feel the objects it is handling.
The three years since it launched in 2015 have been productive for YuMi as it has helped launch a car, met a number of heads of state and even conducted an orchestra with Andrea Bocelli. The robot is helping attract the next generation of engineers and robot operators by being toured across the UK in schools and colleges. The main goal here is to show students what can be achieved with the latest collaborative robotic technology.
A collection of articles written by the dedicated staff of Masteroast