Since the introduction of robots for manufacturing around 1800 everything has changed in factories, and it’s still changing. One of newest innovation are the collaborative robots, also called cobots, which are getting more and more usual in every kind of company.
The collaborative robots are a big improvement in comparison with the traditional industrial robots due to safety, ease of handling and profitability.
Designed to work side by side with human colleagues, collaborative robots are equipped with features allowing it. They are equipped with detection sensors, enabling it to know where its operators are at any moment or when they hit something (or someone). They make classic fencing irrelevant, so space and money savings regarding to it.
Because cobots are extremely flexible in their applications, they are no longer need to be confined to a single task. They can be included in numerous projects, making them much more useful.
As we mentioned before, they are also easy to handle. Cobots are lighter than their older brothers, they weight between 10 and 30 kg, so moving them around is not an issue anymore. Whereas traditional industrial robots require advanced computer programming skills, collaborative robots are capable of learning.
All of it leaded by the ability to increase the production, obviously.
As we can see in the example of Paradigm Electronics, a Canadian manufacturer of high performance loud speakers and subwoofers, they increased 50% the production of their new speakers with a unique polishing using a cobot from Universal Robots:
There are good few companies working on it, for example, Fanuc, a company with a long history of robotics, has developed its own collaborative robot, the CR-35iA, the world’s strongest one that can lift 35 kg. The normal payload of these type of robots is in between 3 and 10 kg.
They are called collaborative robots, but it’s not mandatory to collaborate with humans. Rethink Robots set a Sawyer to work in tandem with the company’s welding machine. Picking and placing parts in pairs of two, enabling a completely autonomous welding process:
According to Moshe Vardi of Rice University, Houston in less than 30 years robots will be able to do almost any work done by a human and as we saw, it makes sense. Do you have any experience with robots yet? How could you take advantage of collaborative robots in your workplace?
The increasing number of uses and tasks that can be developed by them and the high quality of their work, makes us think that cobots are going to be a major improve in every industry. Nowadays they are used from automotive to consumer goods going through electronics, plastic, metal fabrication and packaging. But they are likely to be used in every handling task making it neater, safer and more productive.
If you can think of new applications of them and you have a creative way of think about robots, keep an eye in our challenges, you will find them interesting!