Nordbo Robotics is a Denmark-based startup developing Mimic technology that allows end users to record and save complex movements that a robot can then mimic. Nordbo said this optimizes work environments and boosts production.
Initially developed for polishing, the technology was further developed to reach new customers and markets. Mimic has since been released as an intuitive programming platform for Universal Robots cobots, enabling many new applications such as sanding and painting.
Nordbo Robotics first started developing the Mimic platform to meet the needs of their clients in China, who had difficulties finding qualified employees with polishing expertise. Smaller components for watches and electronics require precise polishing craftsmanship and knowledge, which is monotonous, health hazardous and dangerous work. Nordbo Robotics set out to automate this craft (notoriously difficult to automate with traditional means) through Mimic to increase safety, enhance work environments and boost productivity.
The Mimic platform allows end users to replicate their expertise onto a robot, optimizing the initial programming phase as no programming knowledge is required. The user simply guides the robot in real time and performs the needed movements, which are directly programmed into the robot.
“Mimic is unique as it is a solution that end users with no prior programming competences can program. The interface allows any user to efficiently record complex movements, which the robot can mimic immediately. The Mimic platform breaks down barriers keeping companies from automating their production and enables SMEs to automate smaller series productions with ease and efficiency,” said Thomas Gammelgaard, Project Manager of Odense Robotics, which is Denmark’s national robot and drone cluster.
Through a program run by Odense Robotics and Business Hub Fyn, Nordbo Robotics wanted to expand the Mimic technology to the European market. By providing manufacturers with the opportunity to automate their expertise, even smaller businesses can relieve craftsmen, optimize work environments and scale production.
”We believe robots make the world a better place. They create better work environments and conditions, which is why it is also important for smaller companies to implement robots. We need to eliminate the barriers keeping businesses from automating their production in order for everyone to work with robotics in the future,” said Jimmy Jørgensen, CTO at Nordbo Robotics.
Nordbo Robotics collaborated with Danish machine manufacturers on its technology. They wanted to find partners who could develop and deliver entire solutions based on the Mimic software, which end users could purchase, easily program and apply to small series productions.
Thanks to funding, the Mimic technology branched into two new solutions: a high-precision Mimic solution for polishing moulds used to make plastic parts – which is now being further developed with the end user, Polérteknik – and a Mimic kit for cobots. The kit was recently launched in collaboration with Universal Robots and introduces a simpler and general-purpose version designed for powder coating, furniture polishing, dispensing, sanding etc.
“Thanks to the administrative assistance and network we had access to through DigitaliseringsBoost, we had the chance to further develop the Mimic platform. The program also made it possible for us to think outside the box and devise new ways to make the Mimic technology accessible to new markets and users,” said Jørgensen. “Automation is usually associated with large productions, but at Nordbo Robotics we want to make automation simple and possible for large enterprises as well as smaller businesses with smaller high-end and customized productions.”