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Japan firm releases functional protective wear for robotic arms

Robo-Uni cover wear certified by Danish maker Universal Robots A/S as peripherals for its robotic arms. (Photo courtesy of Rocket Road Co./Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Japanese company on Thursday released its first lineup of functional protective cover wear for robotic arms, with the aim of providing more personality to the automatons and brightening the working environments where they are deployed.

    The range of high-performance cover wear by Robo-Uni, a brand created by Fukuoka-based Rocket Road Co., is the first from Japan to be certified by Danish maker Universal Robots A/S as an official peripheral for its e-Series cobots -- collaborative robots designed to work alongside humans.

    Founded in 2005 by three university students in Denmark, Universal Robots is a leading manufacturer of industrial cobots that are used to assist in tasks such as assembly, painting, screwing, labeling, packaging, polishing, injection molding and welding.

    Robo-Uni's stylish wear, available in over 40 different colors, is specially made to fit the robotic arms as they operate in harsh working environments. Customers can also choose between dustproof, anti-bacterial, water repellent or heat-resistant material.

    "I have high expectations that (the wear) will contribute to transforming robots, long considered inorganic, into a more familiar collaborative presence," Tsuyoshi Yamane, general manager at Universal Robots Japan, said in a press release.

    Rocket Road has been dedicated to creating specialized clothing for communication robots since 2016 and has worked with over 20 robot manufacturers, including SoftBank Robotics Corp., Sony Corp. and Sharp Corp., to design uniforms for their creations.

    The company also operates Romotto, an online service that allows customers to rent small communication robots for both personal and corporate use.

    Rocket Road founder and CEO Yukinori Izumi, who is eager to continue expanding his business, said there are plans to cater to international buyers of the robot wear in the future.

    "We look forward to helping create a comfortable environment where UR robots and people can work together with our Robo-Uni cover wear," he said.

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