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Techman launches powerful TM30S cobot amid partnership upheaval

Taiwan-based robotics company Techman Robot has unveiled its latest collaborative robot offering - the highly capable TM30S model aimed at palletizing and packaging tasks. However, the launch comes amid swirling questions about Techman's strategic partnership with industrial automation giant OMRON.



The TM30S is an extension of Techman's TM AI cobot series, boasting an impressive 35kg payload capacity and 1.7 meter reach across its six-jointed arm. But what really sets this new robot apart is its built-in smart vision and 3D camera powered by AI recognition technology.

According to Techman, the TM30S can detect the size and position of objects, allowing it to palletize items without needing pre-programmed stacking patterns. This versatility extends to handling complex scenarios like tilting, fitting, and tape wrapping for efficient mixed case palletizing driven by AI automation.

Beyond palletizing, the company touts the TM30S as an ideal solution for pick-and-place, material handling, and heavy machine tending applications across smart manufacturing environments. With integrated smart vision, software integration capabilities, and a redesigned intuitive user interface, Techman is positioning its latest cobot as a highly automated boost to production efficiency.

However, the TM30S launch also shines a light on Techman's increasingly complicated partnership with OMRON. The two companies joined forces in 2018 to meet rising automation demands amidst labor shortages, with OMRON selling co-branded versions of Techman's TM cobots worldwide.

Their partnership deepened in 2021 when OMRON acquired a 10% stake in Techman, with plans to combine OMRON's factory automation equipment with Techman's cobots into innovative new robotics solutions. But recent moves call that collaboration into question.

Just last month at Automate 2024, OMRON unveiled a partnership with startup NEURA Robotics to develop new "cognitive robots" for manufacturing. NEURA's intelligent cobot prototypes were featured prominently at the event, leading some to wonder about the future of Techman and OMRON's relationship.

One OMRON source cited the need to diversify offerings in light of geopolitical tensions as a driver behind the NEURA partnership. A veteran robotics industry insider bluntly stated that while Techman's relationship with OMRON had been "frayed" in the past, NEURA represents a major technological leap that could make Techman obsolete.

However, an OMRON spokesperson maintained that the NEURA partnership will not impact their dealings with Techman, stating "We will continue working with Techman, and the TM cobot is still a big part of our cobot series."

Only time will tell how this tangled web of robotics partnerships and rivalries ultimately plays out. But one thing is clear - amid potential upheaval, Techman is staking its claim as an innovative force with the highly capable TM30S at the forefront of cobot technologies for smart factories.

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