HHI develops mini shipbuilding robot

Written by Nick Blenkey

HHI minibotMAY 7, 2013 — South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s largest shipbuilder and a leading industrial robot manufacturer, has developed mini welding robots for building ships.

The welding machine measures 50 cm by 30 cm by 15 cm with the welding arm retracted. Its compact design means that it can operate in confined areas inaccessible to human welders. The robot’s six joints enable it to carry out almost all types of welding work at a similar speed to a human.

An operator can control three of the mini robots at one time, increasing productivity three fold.

The machine weighs 15 kg and a magnet on its body enables the machine tobe attached to steel walls or ceilings.

HHI MINIBOT2With the installation of software for steel cutting, blasting and painting, the robot can perform these other shipbuilding roles. Hyundai Heavy also plans to develop the robots to be usable for building onshore/offshore facilities and construction equipment. The mobile welding robots are scheduled to be used in building ships in Hyundai Heavy from the second half of this year.

Hyundai Heavy is South Korea’s largest manufacturer of industrial robots. It manufactures 20 models of car assembly robots, 10 models of LCD handling robots, and is in the process of developing various types of surgical robots in association with Asan Medical Center.

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