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Veo Robotics FreeMove Collaboration

Image: Veo Robotics

June 10, 2019      

WALTHAM, Mass. – Veo Robotics, which creates intelligence and perception software for industrial robots to make them safer for collaboration with human workers, today announced availability of its first product, the Veo FreeMove application development kit.

The FreeMove ADK is aimed at development environments where automation engineers need to develop new process steps for their factory lines, the company said. The system includes:

  • Four FreeMove Sensors, which are mounted at the periphery of a work cell to provide depth images;
  • FreeMove Cortex, which directly connects to the robot controllers and sensors to process the image data;
  • FreeMove Studio, Veo’s proprietary software suite for self-service configuration and real-time visualization.
Veo FreeMove Studio Design

Veo Robotics’ FreeMove Studio Design screen shot.

The company noted that the ADK does not yet include its fail-safe hardware, which will enter beta testing at the end of this year, and is not intended for use on a production line.

“We call it FreeMove because it allows production workers to move freely around large robots,” said Patrick Sobalvarro, CEO and co-founder of Veo Robotics, one of the RBR50 Top 50 Robotics Companies for 2019. “It gives manufacturing engineers the freedom to design work cells that combine the ingenuity, dexterity, and judgment of human workers with the tirelessness, strength, and repeatability of industrial robots.”

Sobalvarro added that FreeMove can make manufacturing more efficient and productive by reducing capital and operating expenses, allowing engineers to build production work cells that includes robots (or other automation equipment) and human production workers. “This leads to shorter design times, less custom machinery, and thus less time before the work cell is operational on the line,” he said.

Veo said the FreeMove ADK can be installed in one day or less, with the Cortex processor connecting to standard industrial robot controllers over Ethernet and discrete I/O cables. It also said the production version of FreeMove will be compliant with the ISO 13849 functional safety standard.

Constant calculation

The system constantly calculates protective separation distances between humans, robots, and any workpieces they may be carrying, and will override the robot program as needed to safely slow and stop the robot before a worker can reach it or the work piece, the company added.

“Veo FreeMove is the culmination of three years of advanced research and development,” Sobalvarro said. “We visited over 100 factories and interviewed hundreds of manufacturing engineers. In the summer of 2018, prototypes of the system were installed at three major manufacturers to test their functioning and the practicality of our approach.”

More details on the FreeMove ADK are available here.