Automation industry experts all seem to agree that the future of collaborative robotics is looking better every day. The market is expected to grow fast over the next decade with future growth even beyond that. Robot manufacturers are quickly adapting to customer demands. Engineers are solving some of their most complex problems with automation.
Collaborative robots are a special group of robotics since they are able to work with and around humans. Safety mechanisms keep nearby human workers safe. Collaborative robots are great at taking over tasks when they become dull, dirty, and dangerous, leaving human workers to focus on more challenging, rewarding jobs.
Cobot Innovations Happening Right Now
Improvements have already been made that let collaborative robots perform tasks right alongside human workers. Thanks to improved sensors, cameras, and embedded vision, most cobots have no need for safety barriers. Cobots can slow, stop, or adapt their movements to account for the presence of humans.
Adding connectivity to cobots via the Industrial Internet of Things has connected cobots to surrounding machinery. By extension, adding connectivity adds machine visibility, data analytics, and improved predictive maintenance. This connection has led to increased precision, flexibility, and efficiency.
Collaborative robots have become exceptionally useful for testing. Thanks to advances in camera, sound, and other sensor technologies, cobots can stand in for human users by testing the proper function of a device and performing rigorous input and output tests. Instead of spending time on these highly repetitive tasks, humans can focus on more nuanced work.
Future Cobot Capabilities to Come
It’s long been assumed that robots are difficult to program. But cobots broke the mold with easy-to-use teach pendants. Many expect this simplification to continue. Simple smartphone apps may allow robot operators to create complex programs. Robot manufacturers hope to soon have a cobot that can be programmed by someone with little training or experience.
With their always-on connection to Big Data and artificial intelligence, collaborative robots may eventually be able to perform unrestricted movements they’ve figured out on their own. This breakthrough will further boost their viability in less structured manufacturing environments.
Learn how collaborative robots and other automated solutions from Genesis Systems could be the right fit for your application.