Application Stories

Lightweight robotics for medical manufacturing

Tech Talks by igus helping solve design engineering problems with motion plastics

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Learn more at software or controller changes and then working around the physical structures' limitations, modular robotic joint systems can allow for facility operators to create and adapt robotic systems easily and as needed. For example, a robotic joint with 5 degrees of freedom is being used to install a single tiny lens into endoscopes, but technology updates require 3 lenses installed in each, while an adjacent robot installs fiber optic cables, all in the same space on the assembly line. While a lightweight robot may have to be expertly programmed and regularly inspected to work in such close proximity, a modular system can be changed physically to better suit this new arrangement. If, for example, a symmetrical robotic joint is already in place, an asymmetric one can be installed alongside, so the individual joints are on opposing sides to minimize the risk of the two systems interfering with one another. Another solution would be to reduce the reach of one system by eliminating a joint or shortening the body, then extending the reach of the new system, allowing two jobs to be completed in the same space as the initial, less complex task. In addition to allowing for much higher levels of flexibility, modular robotic joints also generally cost less than full robotic systems, as only necessary components are purchased, and manufacturers like igus also offer a range of cost levels. For an exceptionally light-duty application, the basic system can be purchased instead of using a more expensive system and only utilizing a small percentage of its capabilities. All in all, lightweight robotic joint systems are an ideal solution to a wide range of manufacturing challenges across the medical industry. Their modular nature and ability to custom-design an application-specific system allows manufacturers to save costs, maximize space, and increase plant flexibility and performance. To learn more about robolink modular robotic joints, visit, or explore white papers, videos, webinars, and more at Lightweight, modular robolink systems can be used in close proximity to each other, as well as human coworkers

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