Collaborative robots have become a regular part of applications with high part mixes at low volumes. These kinds of tasks require high degrees of flexibility and safety, as oftentimes collaborative robots must work alongside a human worker, and many industrial robots simply aren’t built with this level of finesse.
When they were first introduced, collaborative robots were a major innovation in robotic technology. While they’ve become commonplace today, they aren’t done evolving. As OEMs and academic researchers constantly look for more productive systems, collaborative robots will acquire new capabilities and tackle new tasks.
4 Futuristic Potential Capabilities of Collaborative Robots
As collaborative robots advance, there are a few ways in which today’s research may radically change the collaborative robots of the future.
- Adaptability to Human Behavior
In order for more efficient collaboration in the future, collaborative robots could be designed to recognize and adapt to the behavior of humans. This could manifest in the form of seamless, real-time programming through mimicry without the need for downtime or programming knowledge.
Efficient collaboration on complex tasks will require communication between a collaborative robot and a human worker. Future robots could be able to understand voice commands or hand gestures to interact with a human worker. This would avoid unnecessary downtime for programming in the middle of time-consuming tasks.
- Unrestricted Movement
Collaborative robots of the future may be able to adeptly sense and react to the environment around them. While many robots do this in a primitive way now, in the future these robots may never make the same movement twice in order to complete their assigned tasks.
- True Collaboration
Today’s collaborative robots are actually fairly independent. In the future, collaborative robots that can sense human behavior may be able to understand this in the context of the larger project and then adjust their own behavior accordingly to keep things moving smoothly. This would be far closer to a truly collaborative relationship between humans and robots.
Much of this is far from reality today, but not impossible one day. Collaborative robots of the future may be radically different than their current form as research and development efforts yield futuristic new abilities.
To learn more about collaborative robots, visit our educational section on collaborative robot technology and the marketplace.