ABB Launches Its Smallest Industrial Robot, the IRB1010, to Help Meet Smart Device Demand

ABB said its new robot has class-leading payload and accuracy and is energy-efficient.

ABB Robotics

The compact IRB 1010 allows more robots to be fitted into narrow production lines.

ABB Robotics today launched the IRB 1010, which it said is its smallest-ever industrial robot. The compact system is designed to help electronics manufacturers increase the production of devices such as smart watches, earphones, sensors, and health trackers, said the company.

“The market for wearable smart devices is accelerating rapidly, with projections estimating double-digit growth between 2022 and 2028,” said Rui Liang, managing director of ABB Robotics’ electronics business line. “To meet this growth, companies are demanding compact robotic solutions that are suited to narrow production spaces in electronics manufacturing lines and that can accurately handle the small components used in wearable devices.”

“As the most accurate robot in its class for 1.5 kg [3.3 lb.] payloads, our IRB 1010 meets these demands, enabling companies to maximize output and productivity while maintaining the highest levels of product quality,” Liang claimed.

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation provides robotics, machine automation, and digital services to industries including automotive, electronics, and logistics. The unit of Switzerland-based ABB said it has shipped more than 500,000 systems. It employs more than 11,000 people in more than 53 countries.

ABB IRB 1010 saves space

With a reach of 370 mm (14.5 in.) and a footprint of 135 by 250 mm (5.3 by 9.8 in.), the IRB 1010 is 30% smaller than ABB’s current smallest robot, the IRB 120, said the company. These dimensions increase the number of cells that can be fit into production spaces, enabling manufacturers to boost output through higher-density factory layouts, said ABB.

It added that the IRB 1010 has the highest payload in its class, with the ability to lift up to three times more weight than comparable robot arms. Along with a larger-diameter air hose that provides added power for vacuum suction, the robot can simultaneously handle multiple objects, processing more items per hour.

Potential applications include film peeling, material handling, assembly, gluing and inspection, according to ABB.

Six braking systems allow the robot arm to remain in its position even when stopped, said the company. By eliminating the time needed for the robot to recover its position after a stop or pause, production can be resumed more quickly. The IRB 1010 can thus do more in less time than other robots in its class, ABB said.

OmniCore E10 controller saves space

The IRB 1010’s high accuracy is based on ABB’s OmniCore E10 controller, which offers position and path repeatability of 0.01 mm (0.0003 in.). With its slimline design, the controller is suitable for small parts assembly in applications where production cell sizes need to be minimized, noted the company.

The controller offers the flexibility to meet changing requirements, with built-in digital connectivity and over 1,000 additional functions offering easy scalability, said ABB. 

Consuming up to 20% less energy compared to ABB’s previous IRC5C controllers, the OmniCore E10 also enables manufacturers to cut their energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

Robot Control Mate simplifies programming

ABB’s Robot Control Mate is available as an add-on to ABB’s RobotStudio software. The company said it enables users to move, teach, and calibrate the IRB 1010 from their computers or mobile tablets without programming skills.

This simple programming, together with the small size of the IRB 1010, also opens new possibilities for educational applications, added ABB. The IRB 1010 can be installed on classroom desktops, both teachers and students can quickly and easily master the skills needed for programming and operation, the company claimed.

The IRB 1010 joins ABB’s range of articulated industrial robots, with includes a full range of small, midsize, and large options. It also includes a growing family of collaborative robots that can be safely deployed alongside workers.


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ABB Robotics

The compact IRB 1010 allows more robots to be fitted into narrow production lines.


Robot Technologies