Frida the two-armed robot would like to work with you. She wants you to know she would make a great assistant, with her dextrous arms and headless torso, incapable of inane small talk. She will not hurt you, she promises. But she might make you obsolete.
A new breed of friendly workerbots like Frida is poised to take over painstaking small-scale assembly work, matching human dexterity and careful movement. Frida stands for “Friendly Robot for Industrial Dual-Arm Assembly,” and is designed to be installed anywhere within an assembly line.Frida is designed for the express purpose of working with people, either side-by-side or face-to-face, and as such it calmly obeys the first law of robotics and keeps people safe. It stops its weird hand-clasping motion if any human limbs happen to get in the way, for instance. Check it out in the video below.
It can operate in tight spaces and can even reach components below its base. The arms have seven joints and the controls are embedded in the torso, simplifying design for easy cleanup. It can be carried around with a handle where its head would be, and is easily mounted to a workbench or wall.
Frida was unveiled at the Hannover Fair, but it’s just a prototype, so companies can't get one yet. Remaining factory workers can breathe a sigh of relief.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.