Concept: Montreal’s robotic solutions provider Kinova has launched Link 6, a collaborative robot (COBOT) for industrial applications. Designed for better user experience and flexibility, the COBOT automates production capabilities and helps improve efficiency at a low-cost deployment.

Nature of Disruption: Link 6 provides an improved user experience and better programming flexibility with a superior user interface along with visual programming, and error handling for quick learning. It offers integration assistance from Kinova’s Application Engineering team, as well as advanced manual guiding capabilities. The multi-purpose wrist of the COBOT has a colorful ring annunciator that displays the robot’s status and operating mode at a glance for simplicity of usage and greater efficiency. It offers six degrees of freedom and has a modular design with plug-ins that can be used to provide specific functionalities to client applications. Link 6 has native support for a variety of industrial grippers, and a programming interface that accelerates the adoption of new developments in the field. Moreover, clients can also opt for a GPU to provide AI capabilities.

Outlook: Link 6 is Canada’s first industrial collaborative robot, with automation solutions that increase everyday productivity while enhancing product quality and consistency. Pick-and-place, part assembly, and machine tending could be key applications at launch.  Kinova’s Link 6 controller seemingly has the greatest processing power and memory capacity on the market, making it suitable to use with future AI solutions while being compact. The Link 6 robotic arm is designed and developed with any user in mind: an experienced industrial integrator and an operator with no specific robotic expertise. It achieves quick cycle times through greater reach and rapid motions. With a majority market share in the US, the company aims to expand its geographic service foothold in its native land. COBOTS like Link 6 are becoming an intriguing and more sought-after solution to overcoming labor shortages in North America and worldwide. Kinova aims to assist expanding businesses and make automation much more accessible than most people believe.

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