Wireless Robotics

Maximum Flexibility for End-of-Arm Solutions

IO-Link Wireless for Cable-free Robot and Cobot Communication

Enabling wireless communication for end of arm devices on robots and cobots addresses an array of challenges. Cables that are in constant motion tend to break and wear out, moreover resistance to bending & torsion-load increases cost of cabling. Multiple units (e.g. grippers, valves, sensors) need to be wired separately for data communication, causing cabling and mounting complexity. Cables frequently get in the way of robot motion range, thus limiting flexibility. Heavy payloads require larger robots, which are more expensive, slower and consume more footprint in the machine/workcell area.

CoreTigo’s industrial-grade IO-Link Wireless solution enables robotic end-of-arm devices with the low-latency, reliability and interference-free communication needed for real-time wireless control and monitoring.

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Wireless Benefits for Robotics

Cable-grade connectivity without the limitations of cables

End-of-Arm Tooling

Increased Flexibility

Full rotation flexibility and agility without cable interference and constraints

Complexity Reduction

Efficient deployment without cable clusters and mounting accessories, simple tool changeover

Maintenance Reduction

Reduce downtime and maintenance due to cable wear and tear

Payload Reduction

Multiple sensors/actuators connected wirelessly on end of arm reduce the weight burden

Cost Reduction

Significant reduction of expensive high-torsion cables and accessories

Case Study: Wireless Zimmer Grippers

Universal End-of-Arm Device for Flexible Robotic Solutions

The Zimmer Group, a leading German automation manufacturer, set out to create a universal end-of-arm connector for robotic arms that meets adaptivity and simplicity requirements. Zimmer have integrated CoreTigo’s IO-Link Wireless embedded module inside the connector to enable reliable and fast wireless communication to the end-of-arm device.

The connector can be mounted on many common types of robots and is suitable for a range of gripping devices. It offers a high degree of flexibility in the choice of applications and allows a simple and rapid exchange of grippers and other compatible end-of-arm devices. This solution is not limited to use only in lightweight robots and cobots, but is also suitable for use in industrial and heavy-duty robots.

Timo Mauderer
"Robots often do not come with cables. This makes a wireless transmission system a great alternative for transmitting information in many applications... The wires have to be installed, they can break and they frequently get in the way of the robot movements. This is why it often makes sense to opt for a wireless solution, where there are no cables at all. With the wireless module, we also have the standard of many robots and still the standardized downward tool."

Timo Mauderer

Mechatronics Manager

How Does it Work

Full Connectivity for Robotics End-Effectors

Implementation of wireless control and monitoring robotic solutions is enabled via two key methods:

  • Embedded IO-Link Wireless Module
    CoreTigo’s TigoAir wireless device connectivity SOM (System-On-Module) is integrated at the end-of-arm device/connector, providing IO-Link Wireless connectivity, and receiving power directly from the robotic arm.
  • External IO-Link Wireless Hub and Bridge
    Other end effectors can be mounted as a retrofit on any Robot/Cobot platform, using CoreTigo’s TigoBridge or TigoHub which allows turning any IO-Link, analog and digital device into an IO-Link Wireless one, seamlessly, with no dedicated design and no prior integration. The TigoBridge and TigoHub come as standalone units with IP67 enclosure, allowing to use them as-is with no integration efforts.

The IO-Link Wireless devices in both cases connect wirelessly to the TigoMaster. The TigoMaster can either be placed on the robot itself or in the production line’s control box where it controls numerous end-effectors and robots. The TigoMaster communicates the data and control commands in real-time to and from the PLC through a preferred industrial ethernet protocol (such as Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, Profinet or OPC-UA). In parallel, it can also send monitoring data to IIoT and other enterprise applications.

Wireless robotics - how does it work

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