Smart Flex Effector reaches for the Hermes Award 2023
Smart Flex Effector reaches for the Hermes Award 2023
Linear Motion Technology

And the winner is: Smart Flex Effector wins multiple awards

A winning product! Not only our customers love the Smart Flex Effector – our innovative compensation module is winning over more and more specialist juries too. After receiving the Best of Industry Award 2022 and being named Product of the Year 2023, it has now won the prestigious Hermes Award too.

The Technology Innovation Prize of Hannover Messe, the State of Lower Saxony and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been awarded since 2004 and is one of the world's most prestigious technology competitions. The success of the Smart Flex Effector underlines its importance and innovative nature. It has also won praise from key figures – the award was presented by Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research, in the presence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

What makes the Smart Flex Effector so special?

The Smart Flex Effector is a sensor-based compensation module (end effector) which gives robots the sensitivity of a human hand. This is possible thanks to a combination of sensors and independent kinematics in six degrees of freedom. If articulated or linear robots are equipped with it, they can “sense” objects by touching them and pass on information regarding their position to the control system for active compensation.

With this real-time information, numerous production processes can be made transparent and optimized. Errors and reject rates are minimized on a permanent basis. In addition, processes which were difficult or even impossible to master can be automated in an economical manner. Typical applications include high-precision assembly and handling processes with weights of up to 6 kg and a maximum load moment of 15 Nm. The Smart Flex Effector is also suitable for human-robot collaboration.

The Hermes Award 2023 is awarded during the opening ceremony of Hannover Messe.

Why did it win over the jury?

Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Society and Chairman of the Hermes Award jury, explained the disruptive potential of the Smart Flex Effector: “Close human-robot interaction plays a central role in solving economic, social and demographic challenges: From optimizing industrial assembly and increasing productivity in agriculture to supporting medical and nursing staff with assistance robots. The Smart Flex Effector boosts the efficiency of robots and allows them to be used in a wider range of areas. It thus provides measurable added value for industry, the environment and society.”

The Smart Flex Effector team is delighted to have received the Hermes Award.

The award is further proof of the innovative work going on at Bosch Rexroth. The Smart Flex Effector not only expands the current market for compensation systems – it creates a market of its own. In the long term, the technology will not only simplify planning concepts – it will also take on a key role in self-learning production systems.

Experience the Smart Flex Effector in the video

Michael Danzberger

Author: Michael Danzberger

Position: Product Owner Smart End Effectors, Bosch Rexroth AG