South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder — and South Korea’s largest industrial robot manufacturer — has now developed miniature welding robots for building ships. The mobile welding robots are scheduled to be used in building ships for Hyundai Heavy from the second half of this year.
The compact design of the welding machine, measuring just 50 cm by 30 cm by 15cm when its welding arm is retracted, can operate in confined areas inaccessible to human welders. The robot’s six joints enable the machine to carry out almost all types of welding work at a similar speed usually done by a real, human welder.
Weighing in at just 33 lb., the robot is equipped with a magnet on its body so it can be attached to steel walls or ceilings. To increase productivity, the robot?s operator can control three machines simultaneously.
With the installation of software for steel cutting, blasting and painting, the robot can perform these other shipbuilding roles. Hyundai Heavy also plans to improve the robots to be usable for building onshore/offshore facilities and construction equipment.
Hyundai Heavy also manufactures 20 models of car assembly robots, 10 models of LCD handling robots, and is in the process of developing various types of surgical robots in association with Asan Medical Center.
The Asan Foundation, established by Chung Ju-yung in 1977 with 50% of the stock of Hyundai Construction, subsidizes medical services in Korea primarily through the Asan Medical Center and six other hospitals