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Bota Systems launches PixONE sensor to give robots sense of touch

In the ongoing quest to make robots more capable and human-like, Swiss startup Bota Systems has released its latest innovation - the PixONE multi-axis force-torque sensor. With a compact, lightweight design optimized for seamless robotic integration, PixONE aims to equip robots with an advanced sense of touch.

"Our objective is to give robots the sense of touch, making them not only safer and more user-friendly, but also more collaborative," stated Klajd Lika, co-founder and CEO of Bota Systems. "PixONE is an advanced OEM sensing solution that enables effortless enhancement of any robot with minimal integration effort."



Founded in 2020 as an ETH Zurich spin-off, Bota Systems specializes in multi-axis force-torque sensing technology crucial for robots to intelligently interact with their surroundings. The company's new PixONE sensor features high-performance electronics integrated into a compact, hollow shaft design ideal for internal cable routing in robotic arms.

This innovative through-hole architecture maintains an unobstructed path for utilities while enabling seamless connection of a robot's arm and end-of-arm tooling. Many robot makers are adopting internal routing to eliminate tangled cabling that can restrict fluid motion.

"PixONE elevates sensor integration by offering this internal connection capability and cable pass-through, making it ideal for a wide range of robotic applications across industries," said Ilias Patsiaouras, Bota Systems' co-founder and CTO.

Less Weight, More Capability In addition to its space-saving design, PixONE has a minimalistic two-piece construction that drastically reduces weight compared to conventional sensors - up to 30% lighter. This lighter weight prevents excess inertia that can limit speed and energy efficiency for dynamic robotic systems.

The sensor's hollow shaft design also provides a higher torque-to-force ratio than comparable products. This gives robot integrators more flexibility when utilizing larger, heavier end-effectors or robotic "hands."

Bota Systems offers various PixONE models capable of supporting payloads up to 250 kg (551 lbs), with standard external diameters starting at 60 mm and internal through-holes of 15 mm. All configurations maintain a uniform software and hardware interface to simplify integration.

With built-in inertial measurement and IP67 waterproof protection, PixONE is rugged enough for demanding industrial environments but nimble enough for more precise tasks - even with a human in the loop.

From the production line to the operating room, Bota's force-sensing robotic technology aims to make robots increasingly adept at jobs that have been difficult or impossible to fully automate. The potential benefits of such robotic dexterity range from higher productivity to improved worker safety by offloading hazardous manual tasks.

As robots continue advancing into roles once reserved for human workers, innovations like PixONE's sense of touch could help determine which jobs will eventually be "robbed" by automated systems - and which uniquely human skills remain challenging for machines.

Bota Systems will showcase PixONE and its other sensing solutions at the upcoming Robotics Summit & Expo in Boston on May 1-2, 2024.

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