CRS Robotics Corp. (Burlington, Ontario) announces that Microsoft Corp. has successfully demonstrated robot control using the Microsoft Windows CE operating systems and the CRS F3 robot. The demonstration took place at the 1999 Microsoft Windows CE Developers Conference in Denver, CO.
CRS Robotics' F3 is a six-axis, fully-digital robot with amplifier technology integrated into the arm. Since the F3 performs much like a human arm, it can be used in industrial applications such as product testing, material handling, trimming, deburring, dispensing, machine loading and assembly.
"The fact that Microsoft was able to develop a working demonstration with the F3 robot in such a short time attests to the ease of use of both Windows CE and the F3, which is the first intelligent robot in the industrial market," says Paul Ritchie, managing director of CRS' Robot Division.
According to CRS Robotics, an integrated servo control network within the F3 robot issues high-speed digital signals to all amplifiers along a fiber-optic cable or twisted copper wire. The F3 communicates with its external controller, sensors and other devices along a dedicated communication network, eliminating the masses of wires required by traditional robots. Absolute encoders are used, enabling the F3 Robot to be turned on and ready to go in mere seconds. Arm position parameters can be maintained in memory for up to two months, even if the robot and controller are disconnected. Initialization is only required after prolonged shelf-storage of the robotic system.
"The automation industry is seeking increasing integration of Windows-based products and robot systems," says Tony Barbagallo, group product manager, Windows CE, Microsoft. "We are excited about having taken one of the first steps in this direction with CRS Robotics and plan to work with them to explore other possibilities of integrating Windows CE and CRS' robot systems."