Bosch Rexroth, one of the world’s leading suppliers of drive and control technologies, has won the 2023 Hermes Award for its Smart Flex Effector at the Hannover Messe held in Germany in April. The Hermes Award is considered one of the most important technology prizes worldwide. The Hanover Messe is the world’s premier trade fair for industry, providing a central platform for innovation, networking and orientation in the age of industrial transformation.
The company’s second Hermes award follows its win at the Hanover Messe 2021 for the SVA R2, the world’s most compact electrical Subsea Valve Actuator, which helps to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from process systems and minimises environmental risks. Developed by Bosch Research, the Smart Flex Effector compensation module, on the other hand, gives industrial robots a sense of touch similar to that of the human hand.
Smart Flex Effector: An intelligent all-rounder
The Smart Flex Effector is a cutting-edge module designed to enhance precision and expand the possibilities of industrial robots and Cartesian systems. With its active measurement function in six degrees of freedom, this intelligent compensation module serves as a valuable tool in various applications.
By incorporating high-resolution position sensors, the Smart Flex Effector allows for the detection of position deviations in the tool. These deviations are then actively corrected by the manipulator through precise movements. Real-time readjustment is made possible by the advanced sensor technology embedded in the compensation element. Furthermore, the measured values obtained from the module offer insights into process quality, enabling quality monitoring and data logging.
This innovative compensation module finds wide application in automation technology and robotics, particularly in handling and joining processes that require strict tolerances. Whether it’s for achieving precise joinings, documenting quality and recording tool points, or automatically compensating for position drifts in the rotary axes, as well as in the X, Y, and Z directions, the Smart Flex Effector proves to be an indispensable solution.
A game changer for industry and society
According to Professor Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Society and Chairperson of the Hermes Award, the Smart Flex Effector is expected to play a key role in solving pressing economic, societal, and demographic challenges: from optimising industrial assembly to increasing productivity in agriculture to supporting medical and nursing staff in the form of assistance robots. “The Smart Flex Effector is driving efficiency and diversity in the uses of robots, creating quantifiable value for industry, the environment and society,” said Professor Neugebauer in a congratulatory message to Bosch Rexroth.
“This award makes us incredibly proud. Both Bosch Rexroth and Bosch Research teams have put a lot of heart and soul into the development of the intelligent end effector, so the award is more than deserved!” noted the teams’ representatives at the Hanover Messe.
Bosch Rexroth, through Bosch Rexroth Africa, offers its clients in Africa access to the latest technologies, innovations, and technical support from Germany. Leveraging the well-established local knowledge, expertise, and end-user relationships of the Bosch Rexroth Africa Group, the company aims to achieve strategic growth throughout Africa.