Universal Robots' little UR3 robotic arm is one of a generation of collaborative robots designed to be flexible and to work well alongside humans.
(Universal Robots UR3 robotic arm video)
An interesting feature is the robot’s ability to follow the shape of a part—while applying glue to it, for example—by “feeling” its outline rather than through a pre-configured path (which would be time consuming to program).
The company says the UR3 is particularly suited for “light assembly tasks and automated workbench scenarios” in a variety of industries. In fact, there’s one application the new robot is already helping with: making copies of itself. Universal Robots has provided robotic arms to several of its suppliers, with the arms helping human workers assemble components that will go into other arms, [Universal Robots CTO and co-founder Esben Řstergaard] says.
“Our robots are indeed helping to build our robots.”
Fans of Golden Age science fiction master Raymond Z. Gallun recall the ultra-micro robot that was very handy for making... more robots like itself (and even smaller!)
"...you haven't got all of my idea yet, Doc. I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course - at least, not directly. I mean that you should manipulate the robot control, making our Scarab do the work."