Friday, December 1, 2023

Unitree Z1 6-axis harmonic force control dexterous robotic arm

Four-legged robots offer many practical applications, such as cargo transportation and patrolling, especially in factories, warehouses, and similar premises. To perform any active actions, the robots can be equipped with articulated robotic arms that consist of a multi-jointed limb to pick up, move, and put down stock.

Boston Dynamics developed a robotic arm for this task and began selling it at the beginning of the year. Now, the four-legged robot from the Chinese company Unitree Robotics received a robotic arm consisting of four segments and has six degrees of freedom.

The arm is attached to the back of the robot, and there is a simple grip on the other end that can squeeze and unfold to grab objects. According to the developers, the gripper can be replaced by any other functionality, for example, with suction cups or screwdrivers. With the mechanical claw, the arm has eight joint units, and only one joint unit is used, which greatly reduces the cost and production difficulty of the machine.

The Z1 robotic arm will be available in two models – the Air and the Pro. The Air is the lighter of the two, tipping the scales at 4.1 kg as opposed to the Pro’s 4.3 kg. It’s also a little weaker, though, with a maximum lifting capacity of 2 kg instead of the Pro’s 5 kg. The hand itself weighs just over 4 kg. The developers note that the accuracy of the hand is about 0.1 millimeters.

The manipulator can cooperate with the company‘s Aliengo or B1 quadruped and other mobile robots to complete complex tasks and explore various applications scenarios. The users can control the arm and dog together to open the door, carry the load, and easily pour the wine into a glass.

As time goes by, the combination of robot dogs and collaborative robotic arms can do more and more things. It can be used to fulfill different application requirements of industry and family services. Now, Unitree is exploring to classify the combination between robot dog and robotic arm and make industry standards.