Philip English

Robotics Enthusiast, Director, Investor, Trainer, Author and Vlogger

Kinova Robotics

Kinova Robotics

Hi, guys! Philip English from and today we have an interview from Jerome Bedard, who are telling us about Kinova Robotics

Philip English – Hi guys, Philip English, at Innorobo 2016. So, we got new stands, we got, the Kinova stands. I’ve got a gentleman here, just gonna introduce himself, and he’s gonna tell us a little bit more about his robots.

Jerome Bedard – Hello, I’m Jerome Bedard, a product specialist at Kinova Robotics. Firstly, Kinova Robotics was founded in 2006, near Montreal in fact, in Canada. At first, the arm JACO was created for people in power wheelchair, as an arm that would be fit on the power wheelchair to help to grasp daily the objects. So, for that reason, the arm that we created was really small and mostly light, light in weight, so the lightness. And also lower in power consumption. So that was the first thing that was invented in 2006, and first sale was maybe 2010.

Philip English – Okay.

Jerome Bedard – Yeah. So, from there, since we have a really special product, really small compared to traditional, let’s say, industrial robot that are more really, stronger and faster and heavier. We were really different from the other standard robot. So, we decided to open the perspective of our product, and then we started to, to meet new people, especially in research and logistic application. And the demand for a robot continue, and people wanna invent smaller robots, and then we invented MICO, even smaller. And that was really a new way of seeing the robotic, even for us and for people, like, okay, so a robot now can be a really safe and simple robot instead of just being dangerous. Maybe, like an automative kind of a way of seeing robotics. So, that was the first thing, and then continue, we continue to put for example, torque sensor in every joint of our robot. So now we can do what we call torque control, we can move the robot around, and when it touch something, it will stop. So that’s the kind of innovation that we’re doing right now.

Philip English – Way to get it, yeah, so what I do is I put in some videos of the robot, like, getting moved around in a minute. So, what’s the main difference between JACO and MICRO, like, as strength-wise and speed-wise and weight-wise.

Jerome Bedard – Both has, have 20 centimeter a second, so they’re really not fast robot, they are . It’s mainly the reach, JACO has 90 centimeters of reach, and MICO, 70. But what is interesting is that they both have the same weight, let’s say 4.5 kilogram. But JACO is bigger, because it’s in fiber, carbon fiber.

Philip English – Right, I see.

Jerome Bedard – Also, the payload, JACO is at full reach is 1.5 kilogram, and MICO is one kilogram. But it’s interesting because the reach is longer but the payload is still bigger. The reason for that is the second actuator is for JACO is really, really stronger. But, so there’s not much difference and actually just the way we see robotic at Kinova, it’s also, we have product that are really modular in Canada. It all comes through the actuators that we sell as well. So it’s possible for people for example to buy a JACO and okay, put some, remove the last two joint and change something there. So it’s possible to put another kind of actuator at the end. So it’s possible to go that way, so we sell those two robots, but you can also customize it in a way.

Philip English – So, so could you extend it out, say, could you have like, a JACO, and then you add a few more links, so it’s even longer arm. Is that possible?

Jerome Bedard – That could be possible but of course it always goes to the payload that you can watch first, that’s– well for example, we had some people just getting the MICO, and they added a fifth link; no, because we also sell the version in 4 DOF, those are 6 DOF version, but it’s possible to have this in 4 DOF version. So it’s possible to buy a 4 DOF, and let’s say, upgrade it in 5 DOF, see how many joints you need for your specific task. Some would think that’s possible; but of course, the longer reach go, the farther the payload. – So you got JACO, you got MICRO, is there another one that you guys are developing or are those your two key products?

Jerome Bedard – We’re still developing of course, maybe like in one year and a half we’ll have our third version because this is already the second version of our robot.

Philip English – Right, okay.

Jerome Bedard – Maybe a third version we, with a more precision and repeatability from the actuators or with a new version of actuators, all goes to this, I could have this, this mind, is the actuator is, that’s the technology that kind of develop itself, and the new generation’s gonna be a bit stronger, precise, that’s the thing. And then, with this, we’ll be about to do a new robot as well.

Philip English – Okay, okay, no that sounds great, I mean I think that’s a brilliant, like, overview, yeah of obviously like, Kinova, and that’s your robot, so like, thanks very much for your time.

Jerome Bedard – My pleasure.

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