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Industrial handling gets to grips with AI for the smart factory

At the international fair, the company will also show this flexible mechatronic gripper with a long stroke, controlled by ProfiNet. It is designed for industrial applications and is able to position its fingers quickly to identify, grip and move parts easily and smoothly.

“Industrial handling will be reinvented in the years ahead,” said Professor Dr Markus Glück, managing director R&D at Schunk. “Intelligence, networking and collaboration are becoming the drivers of production automation,” he added, referring to the growing importance of collaboration between humans and robots as well as communication between components in the production process.

In April, the company will demonstrate the possibilities and opportunities for intelligent gripping systems in smart factories as well as how digitalisation and AI enhance handling processes.

The company will also present its studies for handling, with machine learning to recognise patterns and to take action, as a step towards autonomous gripping. For example, using 2D and 3D cameras, grippers will be able to avoid collisions and learn how to effectively handle different-shaped pieces. The ultimate aim is for gripping systems that handle parts autonomously and refine the underlying algorithms on their own.