Yaskawa Motoman is expanding its reach beyond the industrial sector with a new robot designed for biomedical applications. Motoman has been active in the health care sector for eight to 10 years, producing robots for clinical laboratory applications and medical device assembly, handling and packaging. The new MH3BM is built to handle specimen processing, drug dispensing and medical research applications.
The robot offers an 804 mm reach and a 3 kg payload capacity. The robots have brakes on all axes and can be floor-, wall-, or ceiling-mounted for layout flexibility. The built-in collision avoidance features with multiple robot control permit two robots to be used together to optimize productivity.
?We see health care as increasing in terms of the market size in general, but also we are looking at how to move beyond and grow well beyond the manufacturing floor,? said Tim DeRosett, Motoman?s director of strategic initiatives. The company is looking at the health care and biomedical markets because of the aging populations in the U.S., Europe and Japan, he said.
While robot assisted surgery and therapy account for the majority of medical robot sales to date, according to the IFR, drug dispensing alone has huge profit potential. The pharmacy automation market, specifically, should grow from $4.7 billion (2011) to nearly $7.8 billion (2018), according to a report by Transparency Market Research.