Adept Quattro - world's fastest packaging robot.
Adept Quattro - world's fastest packaging robot.

Watch out Flexpicker, there’s a new quick draw robot in town. According to the latest press release from Adept Technology(NASDAQ: ADEP) their new Quattro s650 is the fastest packing robot ever built. Working at over 300 cycles per minute, this new bot sorts, stacks, and places product like a mad man. Check out the video from BotJunkie after the break.

The secret to Quattro’s success is its four arms, one more than Flexpicker, which allow it to move precisely under higher accelerations. It also has a higher load capacity (>2kg) and slightly better range of motion in all three dimensions. Hopefully we won’t see a race to increase arms on industrial robots they way we’ve seen blades added to razors (though the use of “quattro” implies a “cinque”). Still, there’s no doubt that Adept’s pursuit of increasing speed and accuracy isn’t going to stop and is likely to push its competitors towards the same end. Quattro is the fastest, but for how long?


I don’t know if it’s as cost efficient as other industrial robots, but Quattro sure looks impressive. Watch the way it sorts irregular shaped chocolates into a box at 1:05, or the pure speed it displays at 1:32 – this isn’t sped up, it’s in real time! As a competitive nod to Flexpicker, Quattro even takes on pancakes at 1:28.

If moving food around on conveyor belts doesn’t do it for you, the following video shows off Quattro’s metallic balls. With customary agility, the robot precisely moves steel spheres on a tray as it moves. Not a useful skill perhaps, but it’s a great demonstration. Make sure you watch around 1:06 to hear Quattro’s whip-like speed. And is it just me, or does the segment around 3:00 remind you of a certain android’s knife trick?

The automated workforce is no longer a science fiction dream, it’s a manufacturing reality. While bots like Flexpicker and Quattro can vie for the “fastest packaging machine in the world” award, the important thing is that they’ve already surpassed human agility and precision. I’m sure there are many such jobs that these bots can’t perform yet (chick sexing, musical instrument construction, etc)but just give them time. In the meantime, hats off to Adept for upping the ante in industrial robots. Quattro has the title for now, I can’t wait to see what the next challenger can do.

[photo and video credit: Adept Technologies, BotJunkie]