Designer Mario Selic

 KR 270 R2700 ultra Industrial Robot
In-house design: Günther Merk, Germany
Design: Selic Industriedesign (Mario Selic), Germany
Manufacturer: KUKA Roboter GmbH, Germany

Special: red dot best practice

KUKA Roboter GmbH & Selic Industriedesign, Germany

While manufacturers and designers around the world are being invited to register their works for the “red dot award: product design 2013”, we are presenting you with a selection of the award-winning works from last year’s competition in this special publication.

In 2012, KUKA Roboter GmbH and Selic Industriedesign received the “red dot: best of the best” for the outstanding design of the industrial robot KR 270 R2700 ultra.

“The convincing design concept behind the KR 270 R2700 ultra has produced an industrial robot with outstanding new capabilities. It looks agile and its movements are flowing and accentuated”, stated the renowned experts of the red dot jury.


Agile performer

Industrial robots are used today in many branches of industry to do laborious, cumbersome and time-consuming work that in the past had to be done by hand. These robots work with an ease and lightness that superficially provide few clues about the enormous complexity underlying their movements. The KR 270 R2700 ultra is a highly versatile and flexible industrial robot for use in the automotive sector and in general industry. The robot can move to its target point with an accuracy of ±0.06 mm within seconds for spot welding, assembly and packaging tasks.

The design objective in creating this robot was to lend it a lean yet powerful look that particularly reflects its dynamic skills. The result is a flexible industrial robot of almost lithe appearance, whose organically formed, high-tensile-strength components give a visual expression of the performance capability and agility of the machine. Smooth transitions between structural shapes improve the mechanical force transmission and increase the dynamic properties. Its appearance is reduced to the essential and makes no use of superfluous external styling trim – instead, every component has its technical function.

All the manufacturing processes for the individual housing components were optimised for this application: ductile cast iron was used for components subject to major forces, and cast aluminium for dynamically stressed lightweight components. A focused effort to minimise the amount of material used helped save resources and decrease both the robot’s material costs and weight.

red dot: Is there a motive that is of significance to you and your work?
Mario Selic: Nature – a complex system that has evolved over billions of years, of which we are a part and which we have understood so far only rudimentarily and in tiny parts.

What are the greatest challenges that you currently see in your branch of industry?
Substituting or even exceeding a high-quality product with an improved, follow-up product.

How would you define the term design quality?
A product possesses design quality when it for instance withstands many years of use and operation, maintains its attractiveness for years, and still triggers emotions and fascination.