The ongoing industrial revolution has been marked with an increased use of collaborative robots in sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and health care. The expansive usage of collaborative robots can be mostly attributed to the advancement in technology and evolution of the market that has been taking place in the past couple of years. This article tries to evaluate the emergence and continuous growth of the collaborative robots in the market. Read on to find out more.
What is a collaborative robot?
Collaborative robots, better known as cobots, are designed to work hand in hand with humans. They are best suited to work in areas where manufacturers can’t effectively automate the process fully or where human input is still considered essential. The development of cobots has revolutionized the robotics industry in that it has created avenues for more design, evolution and possible application for cobots.
The dominant challenge of making robots working alongside other workers in the workplace in such a way that assures efficiency and safety has been eliminated by the use of cobots. They have allowed application of robots in real life and facilitated evolution of the market.
Departure of cobots from industrial robots
Cobots depart from industrial robots in that cobots are better adapted to work in the workplace than the traditional robots. The attributes of collaborative robots when compared to industrial robots includes:
Cobots, unlike the traditional robots are designed to alongside the human workforce in the industry. The industrial robots on the other hand knew their tasks and work with little interaction with people. Cobots on the other hand have safety measures installed in that they can work with humans while promoting safety at the workplace.
2. Movable and lightweight
Collaborative robots are lightweight than industrial robot and this makes it mobile in that they can be moved from one work station to another. This makes it easy for manufacturers and other users to adapt the collaborative robot to the existing work space.
3. Smart technology
Collaborative robots tend to be smarter than industrial robots in that they have sensors, advanced technology and smart systems that are specifically designed to execute a specific task. The sensors serve a purpose of enhancing the safety of cobots as they work alongside the human labor.
4. Ease of use
The installation and programming of cobots tend to be simpler when compared to industrial robots. A new user of the collaborative robots can install and program without the help of a professional unlike the industrial robots which are more complex.
Cobots make use of tablets or user-friendly interface devices which humam beings can use to program the robots. The devices are easy to program, understand and operate.
Types of collaborative operations
Robotic manufacturers have made huge steps in the application of collaborative robots in real life and some of the most common operations that have been automated by the use of collaborative robots include:
1. Power limiting
Cobots limit their energy usage in case of a possible collision at the workplace. They have the ability to determine how much a Human can withstand and create an instant stoppage when an overflow of energy occurs at the workplace.
2. Hand guiding
Cobots are hand-guided enabled with an end-of-arm attachment that is sensitive to changes in pressure. The sensors equipped on the cobots also enable them to learn from some skills from humans such as how to grasp an object and the speed they should use in the movement. This enables production of delicate products with minimal damage.
3. Speed monitoring
Cobots have been designed to detect any human presence and therefore reduce their operational speed and distance to avoid an accident. They make use of advanced sensing technology which recognizes human skin and sends a command causing immediate response from the robot. This has served to reduce work related collisions which might result in fatal injuries.