30 January 2023

Spain’s Footwear Technology Centre (Inescop) is developing its HandyBot project. This is equipment that seeks to automate tasks in the production of footwear.

The new creation is a ‘robotic hand’ that could manipulate small objects such as insoles, soles, heels, uppers or finished shoes, to replace the tasks that operators with a certain degree of qualification usually do.

The objective of the project is to automate repetitive manual tasks so that the employee is released (or discarded) from performing them. To achieve this, “it is very important to improve capabilities such as the dexterity of robotic systems to ensure that a greater number of industrial tasks are susceptible to being robotized.

HandyBot uses artificial vision to identify objects and thus calculate the optimal grip points for the robotic hand. With the addition of virtual reality, the robot can copy the movements that a human being performs at a distance.

The result of using HandyBot will be to help companies to be more efficient. They will be improving production processes by reducing waste, improving productivity and reducing energy consumption, while at the same time saving on labour costs.

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