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Flexible and reconfigurable robotic laser processing tool – FlexLase

Start Date: October 2015
Project Close: January 2018
Lead Organisation: Cyan TEC Systems Ltd
Funding: Innovate UK


Laser processing is extensively used in modern manufacturing for a wide range of applications.

Many critical laser processes such as laser drilling need to achieve precise positioning of the laser - often on complex part geometries and in particular for high-value applications.

Unfortunately, this prevents conventional robotic solutions from being employed due to their low accuracy levels. Currently, high precision CNC based machine tools are used which are expensive and, perhaps more importantly, lack the inherent flexibility of robots, thus limiting the size and geometrical complexity of the workpiece which can be processed.

The FlexLase project aims to develop a flexible robotic system with positional accuracy much higher than similarly priced market competitors. This is achieved through using an in-process vision system and software algorithm which enables dynamic laser beam position control through a high precision end effector tool. The final FlexLase system is highly flexible, affordable and reconfigurable compared to current/alternative technologies.