Well, Delta robots may no longer be considered a novelty (at least the visitors of our robotics lab are no longer impressed by our FlexPicker), they are certainly here to stay. A new breed of four-armed parallel robots, however, starts to emerge. The first and best known member of this new family is the Quattro robot, introduced by Adept Technology in 2009, but several new examples are about to be launched. The main advantage of these new parallel robots is the elimination of the passive prismatic strut of 4-DOF Delta robots, which is the most problematic part in Delta robots.
Who said China can’t build original fine-quality parallel robots
While, so far, all Chinese robot manufacturers build standard six-axis industrial robots and conventional Delta robots, one of the top universities in China has just developped a novel four-armed parallel robot. Professor Xin-Jun Liu and his team from Tsinghua University (Beijing) patented and built one of the first pick-and-place parallel robots with four identical legs and unarticulated mobile platform, called the X4.
Europe is still where most pick-and-place robots originate from
Most know that the Delta robot was invented by the Swiss professor Reymond Clavel (now retired), but few probably know that the Quattro was the product of a collaboration between researchers from LIRMM in France and Fatronik in Spain. The next four-armed parallel robot to hit the market this summer was developped in the Netherlands by Penta Robotics. Their Veloce has the same arms as the Quattro and the X4, but features modular design and an articulated mobile platform.