2013 International Robot Exhibition: The largest robotics event on the planet

From large robots to small, and everything in between, we've got something for every interest at our booth in Tokyo, Japan. Come say hi.

Japan is well known as a country passionate for robots—so what better location than Tokyo to host what could easily be called the most futuristic robotics event on the planet?

Once every two years Tokyo plays host to robots of every flavor at the International Robot Exhibition, or iREX. From the industrial and robust to the wild and wacky, iREX is the place to see next generation “conventional” robots that make up the backbone of the manufacturing industry set up right alongside humanoid robots that look like they stepped out of the latest Hollywood sci-fi flick.

And this go around ABB has chosen the event to show off some of its most important products and concepts in years—products that represent what we see as the beginning of a new wave of robotics technology. Given that one of the most impressive features of iREX is the ability to experience and see robots of all types for many needs, ABB’s booth fits right in. Over the past few years, ABB has begun a transition into a “3rd Era of Robotics”—one in which close collaboration between humans and robots is commonplace, solutions are thought of as complete systems instead of discrete pieces, and traditional industrial robots become more reliable and affordable. These themes are on full display in the ABB booth at iREX 2013–which also happens to be part of Robotics Month here at ABB.

In a global debut, the all new IRB 6700 family is being unveiled to the public for the first time. Representing almost 40 years of experience, the IRB 6700 is the impressive 7th generation of our popular large robot series at ABB.  Not only have accuracy, payload and speed been increased, but power consumption has been lowered by 15% and service has been simplified. In total, hundreds of improvements combine with better energy efficiency for a 20% lower total cost of ownership versus the IRB 6700’s predecessor. If you’re involved in any way with robotic manufacturing, then you will instantly recognize just how spectacular those numbers are.

Watch the IRB 6700 launch video:

On the other end of the size spectrum, our well-known and very futuristic Dual Arm Concept robot is making a rare public appearance and for the first time showing off a real-world example of collaborative human-robot small parts assembly. The prototype cell on display has been in operation for many weeks in an actual manufacturing environment and has assembled tens of thousands of emergency stop switches. The Dual Arm Concept robot previews a forthcoming product from ABB meant to address the burgeoning needs of industries such as electronics and pharmaceuticals that require flexible and cost effective automation of small parts assembly.

In between those two important displays, the ABB booth at iREX 2013 also includes a unique look into our software development process, addressing ways to make programming robots easier. A new version of our PC-based 3D virtual programming tool, RobotStudio, allows for simpler touch-based programming. We are also showing off new software technologies that shed light on a vision of the future in which robots can be monitored and controlled from any device, anywhere.

Further demonstrations at iREX 2013 highlight ABB’s proactive service technologies as well as new packaging products for the Japanese market and laser cutting solutions. Our service display includes an interactive Remote Service demonstration featuring immediate troubleshooting, automated backups, and life cycle support. Our packaging demonstration is showing off an award winning high speed picking cell and our new 8kg payload IRB 360 FlexPicker. In addition, a laser cutting display illustrates how robots can add flexibility to both plastic and metal cutting applications.

The ABB Booth at iREX 2013 is full of cutting edge and useful technology for virtually all automation applications. With experts from dozens of application areas on hand to answer attendees questions, this is something you don’t want to miss. Please stop by and introduce yourself at our booth located in East 2 Hall, IR2-63.

If the local TV stars have reason to do it, so do you.

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About the author

Nicole Salas

I'm the Events Manager for ABB Robotics globally. I joined ABB in 2007, working for corporate communications in the United States before joining Robotics in 2013. I began my career as a journalist in Caracas, Venezuela and have worked for United Rentals Inc. as well as several international public and investor relations agencies. Outside of the office, you will find me racing sailboats.
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