Rainbow Robotics unveils RB-Y1 wheeled, two armed robot

RB-Y1 mounts a humanoid-type double-arm robot on a wheeled, high-speed mobile base. | Credit: Rainbow Robotics

Rainbow Robotics announced the release of detailed specifications for the new RB-Y1 mobile robot. The company recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Schaeffler Group and the Korea Electronics Technology Institute, or KETI, to co-develop the RB-Y1 and other mobile manipulators in Korea.

What’s in a name: Wheeled humanoid? Bimanual manipulator?

The past year has seen an explosion in the growth of humanoids, where most of the robots are bipedal and walk on two legs. Likewise, there have been many recent releases of mobile manipulators, or autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with a single arm manipulator on board the vehicle.

The RB-Y1 is a form of wheeled robot base with a humanoid double-arm robot on top. Rainbow Robotics’ robot uses that base to maneuver through its environment and position the arms for manipulation tasks. The company called this configuration a “bimanual manipulator.”

To perform various and complex tasks, both arms on the RB-Y1 are equipped with seven degrees of freedom and consist of a single torso with six axes that can move the body. With this kinematic configuration, it is possible to move more than 50 cm (19.7 in.) vertically, making it possible to perform tasks at various heights.

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Rainbow Robotics provides high-speed cornering

The maximum driving speed for the RB-Y1 is 2,500 mm/s (5.6 mph), and the company is claiming that the robot can accelerate quickly and turn at higher speeds by leaning the body into the turn. To avoid toppling while in motion, the center of gravity can be safely controlled by dynamically changing the height of the body.

The dimensions of the robots are 600 x 690 x 1,400 mm (23.6 x 27.2 x 55.1 in.), and the unit weighs 131 kg (288.8 lb.). The manipulators can each lift 3 kg (6.61 lb.).

At press time, there are not a lot of details about the robot’s ability to function using artificial intelligence, and one early video showed it working via teleoperation. It’s likely that the demonstrations in the video below are with remote operators.

However, Rainbow Robotics clearly has the goal of making its robot fully autonomous in the future, as more research, development, training, and simulation are completed.

“These days, when Generative AI such as ChatGPT and Figure is a hot topic in the robot industry, we have developed a bimanual mobile manipulator in line with the AI era,” stated a company spokesperson. “We hope that the platform will overcome the limitations of existing industrial robots and be used in many industrial sites.”

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