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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Festo awarded with German Future Prize

Taking inspiration from nature, Festo has developed the Bionic Handling Assistant modeled on an elephant’s trunk. It is an adaptable assistance system that allows man and machine to interact effectively as a team and without risk. What makes the Bionic Handling Assistant system so unique is its safe and compliant behavior. Conventional systems and industrial robots are not compliant. They are designed for stiffness, resulting in heavy configurations that are not entirely without danger for the operator. Contact between man and robot is only possible with permanently installed safety devices such as protective screens or the use of costly shielding.

Partnership between Festo and Fraunhofer IPA

Festo has been chiefly responsible for the development and design of the Bionic Handling Assistant. To complement their own core competence the Festo team enlisted the support of generative manufacturing experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA as partner. The team was able to utilize the expertise of Fraunhofer IPA in the area of rapid manufacturing, particularly for the development of the expansion bellows.

About Festo
Festo is a leading international supplier of automation technology. With its innovations and problem-solving expertise in the field of pneumatics and electronics, the company has established itself as the performance leader in its sector. Festo’s innovative strength is demonstrated by over 100 new products which it launches every year and the 2,900 patents it holds worldwide. Its new approach to product development using bionics and biomechatronics within the framework of the Bionic Learning Network, represents a true first in the field of automation technology.

About Fraunhofer IPA
The research and development focus of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is on organizational and technological tasks related to production. Since 2005, the institute has been aiding partners and clients both in the planning and design of new products as well as the redesigning and optimization of existing product lines using generative manufacturing processes.

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