Robot maker claims industrial automation cost breakthrough

Companies looking to speed up their automated processes can now do so more easily and cheaply, claimed ST Robotics, as it announced a new low-cost benchtop industrial robot, the R12-500 Firefly, which it said could be unpacked and programmed in just a few hours.

"The R12 is by far the world's most cost-effective robot in its class," asserted David Sands, president and CEO of ST Robotics. "We used the latest technology and production techniques to manufacture the R12, resulting in a technologically advanced, yet low-priced, industrial system with remarkable software and unparalleled reliability and performance."

The self-contained system features a five-axis, vertically articulated, industrial robot arm with a 500mm reach. Its simple interface allows it to be adapted to many applications, from machine feeding to testing to laboratory sample handling.

ST Robotics added that, until the end of 2009, it would offer a 20 per cent discount on R12 sales via its website. That brings a complete, ready-to-use package - including the R12-500 robot arm, its new Mk5 controller, RoboForth II software, teach pad, simple interfacing with other equipment, cables, manuals, a two-year warranty and unlimited free technical support - down to just £3600, the company said.

Additional options available via the website include pneumatic, electric and vacuum grippers, and expandable I/O.

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