Plastic bearings with self-lubricating properties run smoothly

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The NimbRo team from the University of Bonn won the world champion title in the TeenSize class in RoboCup 2012. Critical to the smooth movements of its Copedo robot are 16 iglidur plastic plain bearings from igus.

Plastic bearings with self-lubricating properties run smoothlyMore than 370 teams from around the world participated at RoboCup 2012 in a range of categories. The NimbRo team from the Autonomous Intelligent Systems group of the Informatics Institute at the University of Bonn defeated the Japanese CIT Brains team 6–3 in the TeenSize final. NimbRo was also awarded the Louis Vuitton Award for the best humanoid robot and it beat strong competition in the @Home league for service robots.

The football-playing robots from the world champions in Bonn are self-constructions, and the NimRo team consisted of the experienced player Dynaped and the new Copedo. To be able to carry out movements smoothly and without lubrication, 16 iglidur plastic plain bearings from igus were used in the parallel kinematics of the Copedo robot. Smooth movements under load and impacts were achieved with the tribo-optimised plastics.

igus bearings are available in a variety of polymer materials, each with different properties, and can be custom designed for almost any application. igus polymer materials are composed of a base polymer, fibres and filling material and a solid lubricant. The type of polymer material used determines the bearing’s properties; for example, its resistance to temperature extremes or chemicals as well as the life of the product.

igus polymer bearings are entirely lubricant free. Where there is surface-to-surface contact, or any sliding motion, the solid lubricant is always present, making the polymer bearing self-lubricating.

This tribological technology is used throughout the igus bearing range, including the iglidur plain bearings, xiros ball bearings, igubal spherical bearings, PRT slewing rings and drylin linear systems.

For further information on RoboCup and the competition visit For more information on igus bearings, visit the igus website at

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