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Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

TECNALIA wins “Factory of the Future” award at European Manufacturing Awards 2012

2012.11.09

Thanks to the intelligence and flexibility of TECNALIA's humanoid robot, it has been hailed as the best development at the European Manufacturing Awards

Hiro works with humans to rivet aeronautical parts

The European Manufacturing Awards take place every year in Dusseldorf to select the best manufacturing developments in Europe. This year the Applied Research Centre, TECNALIA Research & Innovation, has won the award thanks to the use of its humanoid robot, Hiro, in aeronautical plants. It thus becomes a benchmark for manufacturing in Europe.

David Sánchez Premio Manufacturing

Thanks to its experience in the sector, TECNALIA has identified the demands of the factory of the future and has provided a solution through research and technology – this humanoid robot. Hiro, developed by Kawada Industries (Japan), arrived in Europe this year thanks to TECNALIA. Thanks to the intelligence and flexibility that Hiro has been equipped with, it is currently enabling the automation of assembly operations for the Airbus Spain plant, working alongside humans riveting aeronautical parts.

In short, Hiro marks the beginning of a new manufacturing era, as it is able to increase the capacity of European manufacturing plants and face competition in international markets, while guaranteeing workers' safety.

Hiro inside out

Hiro the robot has a humanoid torso. According to Japanese philosophy, giving robots a human-like appearance favours their integration into the work environment and interaction with the workers. That is why at the top it has a head, a trunk and two extremities that end in hand shapes. It also has a total of four eyes, two on its face and one on each hand, which help it to perform operations that are uncomfortable or dangerous to humans.

TECNALIA is developing the intelligence and flexibility of the robot, in order to adapt it to the industry, so it can carry out several tasks in different scenarios, according to the needs of each factory and each client. The aim is to meet real needs of the industry, which is already happening at Airbus production plants.

A social and collaborative robot

With Hiro, TECNALIA aims to guarantee workers' safety and to increase the capacity of European manufacturing plants. To this end, it promotes the combination of human intelligence with the properties of industrial robots, seeking efficiency and profitability.

The innovation is that Hiro is a social robot, that is, it is able to share the workspace with people in absolutely safe conditions, and if it comes into contact with a human, it is programmed to stop automatically. The robots can also undertake tasks that could prove to be a hazard to workers' health, in order to fully guarantee the staff's safety.


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