Heavy robotic arms of the old age were cordoned off behind shields and fences so that they did not harm human employees. It hindered and dampened their usefulness. Then came Collaborative robots with 3D sensors located on their arms. These cobots can accurately gather data and visualise their surroundings which aids them in predicting:
- The location of a person or object or cobot
- The movement of a person or object or cobot
The consequence is that cobots can continue working at a fast pace without the need for ballistic shields because as soon as someone approaches, they either slow down or cease all motion.
How Are Collaborative Robots Further Transforming Industries?
· Autonomous Vehicles
In specific fields such as equipment and vehicle manufacturing, the environment is always dangerous. These businesses are not only loud and demanding but also require movement of heavy payloads from one point to another in a set time to assemble the entire vehicle. Until recently, most of them utilised heavy trucks operated by humans to deliver components internally within the assembly line.
These led to several workplace injuries because the machines and human workers were continually bumping into each other at various location of the factory. Cobots came to save the day. The collaborative robots are autonomous vehicles that can travel a distance of thirty miles per day. Made to fit in the standard space between pallets, these mobile cobots are perfect solutions to manned trucks.
They can lift over 1000 pounds of payload at a given time and travel around the factory without human guides.
· Mobile Manipulators
Robotics arms are utilized for donkey uses, but it is the latest offshoot of them that is changing the era. Called mobile manipulators, these are autonomous robots that combine two features:
- Raw power and strength of traditional robotic arms
- And the portability of cobots along with advanced pathfinding
Mobile manipulators can be transferred to any place in the work area where a human employee needs a helping hand. They do not require guidance to navigate between locations because they come with collision detection technology. Added to it is a map-making feature which makes these cobots learn safe routes.
· Dexterous Movement
Yes, cobots have the power and strength to pick heavy loads with a weight exceeding 2.3 tons, but these novel robots are so much more. Collaborative robots have a six-axis movement which gives them considerable reach and significant dexterity. In addition to the dexterous movement, cobots have degrees of flexibility.
It is these qualities that make collaborative robots a boon to industries such as metal fabrication and automotive. These sectors depend on heavy payloads that need to be fitted in dangerous environments. Cobots can complete all these tasks while the human operators are free to focus on more cerebral jobs.
· Agilely Adaptable
For businesses and companies, the biggest transformation comes due to agility and adaptability of cobots. Collaborative robots are:
- Intuitively programmed
- Designed to plug-and-play
- Equipped with modular joints
These features give them a range of payload capacity and closing speed. Besides the possibility of using different end effectors allow them varying grip strengths. Collectively, these capabilities ensure that the same cobot can be applied for a whole gamut of manipulative and handling tasks. All it takes is to swap one tool with another, and the same collaborative robot can perform several jobs.
The evolution of industrial robots have been building up slowly. This year it reached a pivotal stage. With companies under pressure to offer more customised design and to reduce labour costs, they need a solution that is not heavy on the pocket yet doesn’t compromise quality. Collaborative robots are the obvious answer.
Their affordable price tag means a business doesn’t need to invest heavily. Their collaborative ability implies that they do not take away the pay checks of human employees. Their autonomy ensures that constant supervision is not required. Their dexterity makes certain that they can be implemented in a range of tasks.
Cobots are safe. Cobots are efficient. Cobots are faster. Altogether, they increase the productivity of any industry, which is why they are transforming the way work is done.