Flexiv and Cardinal Machine to Deploy Adaptive Robots for More Applications

Flexiv said experienced systems integrator Cardinal Machine will provide its Rizon robot arms and Moonlight parallel robot to Michigan manufacturers.


Flexiv said its force-sensitive, adaptive robots are suitable for tasks such as surface finishing.
Flexiv, which makes adaptive robots using force sensitivity and AI, has partnered with systems integrator Cardinal Machine and will exhibit its technology at Automate 2023.

Flexiv Robotics Inc., which is developing general-purpose robots, last month announced that it has partnered with Cardinal Machine Co., a machine building and systems integration expert.

“This strategic partnership with Cardinal marks a significant milestone for Flexiv,” said Howard Huang, business director for North America at Flexiv, in a press release.

“With the labor shortage showing no signs of abating and manufacturing being a vital part of Michigan’s economy, we hope that Flexiv’s robotic solutions can be used to fill some of the vacancies negatively impacting supply chains,” he said. “Thanks to Cardinal, we have a real chance to make a positive difference and empower businesses not only to survive, but [also] to excel.”

Flexiv promises to automate more tasks

Founded in 2016, Flexiv said it develops and manufactures adaptive robots, integrating industrial-grade force control, computer vision, and artificial intelligence technologies. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it provides “innovative turnkey systems and services” based on its robots to customers in various industries.

Claiming to be “the world’s only manufacturer of adaptive robots,” Flexiv has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Foshan, China, as well as in Taiwan and Singapore. The company said its systems combine force sensitivity and AI.

The collaboration between Flexiv and Cardinal Machine will enable the automation of tasks that have previously been manual, such as sanding, polishing, palletizing, and delicate assembly, said the partners.

“Merging Flexiv’s robotic expertise with Cardinal’s extensive experience will deliver customers unmatched automation solutions while increasing the productivity, efficiency, flexibility, and competitiveness of businesses within the Great Lake State,” Flexiv said.

Flexiv and Cardinal Machine team

Dajun Tao, an application engineer at Flexiv (left), meets the Cardinal Machine team. Source: Business Wire

Cardinal Machine to integrate Rizon, Moonlight robots

“We are excited and look forward to a successful, long-term partnership with Flexiv,” said Brian Pennington, president of Cardinal Machine. “Having Flexiv’s adaptive force-control technology available to us allows us to provide our customers with complex automation solutions in areas that previously required human intervention.”

“Combining adaptive force-control technology with a robot that can work collaboratively with a human operator offers even more potential solutions to complex tasks,” he said.

As a Flexiv systems integrator, Cardinal will have full access to its Rizon 4, 4s, and 10 robotic arms and the newly released Moonlight parallel robot. Easily integrated into existing production lines or used for standalone applications, Flexiv said its product line promises “almost limitless possibilities for automating repetitive, labor-intensive tasks.”

By creating user-friendly, reliable, maintainable, and durable systems for the most complex manufacturing challenges, Cardinal Machine said it is an ideal integration partner for Flexiv.

Since 1972, Cardinal Machine has offered machine building and systems integration expertise. The Clio, Mich.-based company said its engineers use the latest hardware and software for in-house fabrication, detail manufacturing, and final assembly work.

Cardinal Machine added that it uses traditional on-site or virtual technology for final runoff and buyoff processes. It said it can provide or coordinate crating, shipping, installation, and commissioning worldwide.

Flexiv to exhibit at Automate

At Automate 2023 next week in Detroit, Flexiv plans to show a range of applications for its adaptive robots, including motorcycle engine assembly, bodywork polishing, brake-light assembly, and new and improved screw-fastening. The company said it chose to demonstrate these applications because they show how adaptive robots address the labor shortages present within the manufacturing sector.

The company will display its force-sensing technology at Booth 4418 in Hall C of the Huntington Place convention center.

“Force control is at the heart of our robots,” stated Huang. “Our robots are more than just machines; they’re artificially intelligent solutions capable of understanding and adapting to their environment instantly. This understanding, combined with their precise control capacity, opens up a world of possibilities for manufacturers in all industries.”

Visitors to Flexiv's booth will also be able to interact with the robots physically, experiencing how adaptive technology can compensate for external interference. “From a gentle push to a hard shove, visitors can test the robots for themselves,” the company noted.

Flexiv experts will also be available at Automate to answer visitors’ automation questions. They will have answers to questions ranging from simple queries to in-depth discussions on how adaptive technology can improve productivity, efficiency, and product quality, it said.

“Automate 2023 is the perfect platform for us to demonstrate the capabilities of our adaptive technology,” said Huang. “We look forward to showing the world how our solutions can revolutionize industries and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

Editor's note: For more about Automate, visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage page.

Fusing Rizon's industrial-grade force control capacity with its vision system, Flexiv's solution can accomplish precise loading and unloading of delicate components like PCBs in customers' FATP (Final Assembly, Test and Pack) processes

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Flexiv said its force-sensitive, adaptive robots are suitable for tasks such as surface finishing.

Robot Technologies