Sanding and polishing are the types of task that are traditionally difficult to automate. In the past, you either had to invest big in an automatic sanding machine — the type that will take up half of the space in your workshop and cost a small fortune — or you’d have to do the task manually.
The problem with doing surface finishing manually is that it is time-consuming, physically hard work, and provides an inconsistent quality. Sounds like the perfect task for a robot!
In recent years, surface finishing with an industrial robot has now become a viable option. By adding a force sensor onto the robot’s end effector, you can use force control to provide consistent surface finishing with an orbital sanding tool.
As a result, industrial robots can now be used for surface finishing tasks that require a high degree of consistency, such as propeller blade polishing for aircraft…
… which is exactly what the team has done at Kane Robotics.