Even if sewing isn’t your strong point, chances are you could outperform most machines. Fabric needs to be carefully aligned and held with the right amount of tension during stitching, a task best suited for two human hands. But now a one-armed robot, developed by a European project called Leapfrog, seems like it’s up to the challenge. In this video, you can watch it slide up two joined pieces of cloth and successfully sew up a seam.
The arm, developed by German company Moll Automatische Nahsysteme, was initially designed to help doctors stitch up patients after surgery. Since then, it has also been used to sew car upholstery. It’s a much faster worker than humans: a job that would take an experienced human 5 minutes to complete is finished up by this robot in just 20 seconds.
The robot is just one element of an automated production line being developed by Leapfrog to create a jacket. A pattern is first cut out by a computer-controlled cutting table before suction grippers transfer the pieces to a bespoke, shape-changing dummy. Then pins hold the fabric in place for the arm to sew it up.
You can read the full-length feature about sewing robots here.