German robotics company WHN Technologies has been presented with the prestigious Robotics Award 2016 for its X-arm robotic hand, which was unveiled this week at Hannover Messe.
Nicole and Horst Gusterhuber, the two founders and directors of WHN Technologies, received their Award during an official prize-giving ceremony, which was attended by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport for Lower Saxony, Olaf Lies.
The award serves to recognise excellence in international applied robotics solutions and is presented each year at the annual Hannover Messe trade fair. In order to qualify, entries must be on show to the public for the very first time.
Each year robotics solutions companies from across the world come to Hannover Messe to showcase their work in the hopes of securing the prize. This year the competition was fiercer than ever, with an enormous array of robotics on display across the fairground as potential solutions for industry 4.0 and the smart factory.
“Robotics is an integral part of industry 4.0 and is very important for the future of business and competitiveness,” said Olaf Lies, who presented the award. “This is reflected in the amount of space this topic accounts for at this year’s Hannover Messe.”
The winning X-Arm robotic hand is made up of a multi-axle module located at the end of a manually guided manipulator that can be moved freely in all directions. The combination of the manipulator and the industrial robotic arm allows the robot to semi-autonomously carry out complex and varied assembly tasks with pin-point precision.
The device was designed specifically for use in the automotive industry, and has already been snapped up for use in several locations across Bavaria, including the BMW plant in Dingolfing. WHN Technologies have also commented that it could be put to use in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
WHN Technologies came out ahead of pi4 robotics from Berlin, which secured second place for the newly developed workerbot3 – an innovative humanoid robot capable of carrying out manufacturing, handling and inspection tasks that require a high level of flexibility.
Third place was awarded to FARO Europe from Korntal-Münchingen in Baden-Württemberg for its Factory Robo Imager Mobil, or ‘Faro Frim’, a collaborative mobile robotic platform for 3D measurement in manufacturing and laboratory environments.