ABB releases its smallest industrial robot ever

The IRB 1010 is ABB’s smallest-ever industrial robot. | Credit: ABB

ABB has launched the IRB 1010, which is the company’s smallest industrial robot ever. With a footprint of 135 mm (5.2 inches) by 250 mm (9.8 inches), the IRB 1010 is 30% smaller than ABB’s now second-smallest robot, the IRB 120.

ABB said the IRB 1010 offers manufacturers of small electronics the opportunity to increase their production of devices such as smart watches, earphones, sensors and health trackers.

The IRB 1010 has a reach of 370 mm (14.5 inches), repeatability of 0.01 mm and can handle payloads up to 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). The IRB 1010 also six braking systems, which ABB said allows the robot arm to remain in its position even when stopped. By eliminating the time needed for the robot to recover its position after a stop or pause, production can be resumed more quickly, ABB claimed.

“The market for wearable smart devices is accelerating rapidly, with projections estimating double-digit growth between 2022 and 2028,” said Rui Liang, managing director of ABB Robotics’ electronics business line. “To meet this growth, companies are demanding compact robotic solutions that are suited to narrow production spaces in electronics manufacturing lines and that can accurately handle the small components used in wearable devices. As the most accurate robot in its class for 1.5kg payloads, our IRB 1010 meets these demands, enabling companies to maximize output and productivity while maintaining the highest levels of product quality.”

The IRB 1010 works with ABB’s OmniCore E10 controller. Programming of the IRB 1010 is done with ABB’s Robot Control Mate, which is an add-on to ABB’s RobotStudio programming software.

ABB is not the only company to have industrial robots of such small stature. The Robot Report first examined these ultra small industrial robots in 2018 after visiting Automatica in Germany. Mecademic beat others to the punch, giving us the first glimpse of the 6-axis Meca500 small industrial robot in 2014.

ABB recently launched its first range of rebranded autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), following its acquisition of ASTI Mobile Robotics in 2021 for $190M. ASTI Mobile Robotics’ solutions are now rebranded and integrated into ABB’s portfolio, grouped under the Flexley name, indicating the flexibility of operations that the AMRs offer.

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