Franka Panda © Franka Emika

The winners of an iF Award 2019, the German Innovation Award 2018, Deutsche Zukunftspreis 2017 and has recently been named “Time Best Invention of 2018” have landed on Brainport Innovation Campus (BIC). WiredWorkers’ Franka Emika Panda – the robot arm that has been given all that praise – was added to Fieldlab Flexible Manufacturing at BIC. Together with knowledge partners, companies can develop, test and implement applications to make the step to ‘Factory of the Future’ easier. “Especially for SME companies, this is a great way to go” a representative of WiredWorkers adds. “Innovations have not yet sufficiently found their way to small and medium-sized businesses.”

Franka Emika is the Munich based spinoff of TU München which mission it is to make robot technology accessible to the general population. WiredWorkers is a Dutch start-up specialized in collaborative robots. It offers hardware and software for lightweight robot technology. The use of Panda at BIC is also part of a Flemish-Dutch initiative supported by EU’s Interreg-funding, aimed at accelerating the transition to a future-proof industry, particularly in the SME sector. Partners in this project are FME, TNO, Brainport Industries and High Tech NL. From the Flemish side, Agoria, Sirris, Flandersmake, OMC and KU Leuven are involved.

More on Brainport Industries Campus here

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Franka World

The project might get extra opportunities after the launch, earlier this month, of ‘Franka World‘, a digital robotics platform that enables interaction between researchers, partners, customers, developers, suppliers and robots. The online community allows partner companies and developers to share their expertise in the field of collaborative robots. New applications for the Panda can be offered here, as well as integrated hardware such as end-effectors and image processing systems. On the day of its introduction, more than a hundred robot apps were already available in the Franka World shop. This number is expected to increase significantly in the coming year.

WiredWorkers is also focusing on Franka World: “This year we hope to offer our own apps on the platform. The arrival of Franka World is a new chapter in the world of collaborative robotics. It gives us the opportunity to collaborate worldwide on improving the Panda. We are confident that the development of this robot is accelerating so that we can offer more and more automation solutions.”

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.