Collaborative robots (cobots) are providing manufacturers with safe, versatile, easy-to-use automation that supports human laborers. Ergonomically designed machines serve a wide variety of human needs and offer a broad range of capabilities. Cobots are actually improving work conditions and empowering humans to have more fulfilling jobs in manufacturing industries.
Cobot Advancements Make Work Easier
Programming cobots has been made easier than ever with the use of teach pendants. Cobots are intuitive to teach and easy to operate. Businesses don’t need to spend time and resources on writing complicated programming scripts. Mobile bases allow for flexible relocation and automated mobility.
Vision systems can be added so that cobots can inspect surrounding areas with mounted cameras, making environments safer for human workers. Torque sensors added to the cobot’s joints provide excellent collision sensitivity. The technology of these sensors allows cobots to be used in applications that require advanced force and compliance control algorithms.
Collaborative robots play a major role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With the assistance of cobots, humans are able to achieve higher levels of efficiency and rapid productivity gains. Cobots can deliver all the advantages of advanced robotic automation without the added costs associated with programming, setup, and shielded work cells. Most of the time, collaborative robots don’t require safety fencing at all.
Cobots Help Meet Manufacturing Demands
The labor shortage is a real issue for manufacturers. Collaborative robots address many of the industries and applications hit hardest by hiring challenges. Machine tending, packaging, assembly, and processing applications are a fast-growing area for cobots.
Cobots have proven to consistently deliver ROI in less than a year. Some still believe that they are not able to handle robust, industrial applications. But applications such as high-torque screwdriving is within the abilities of modern cobots. Cobots can handle the force back that is exerted during actuation.
Still others feel that cobots can’t handle processing applications like spraying, polishing, dispensing, and sanding. But cobot kits now include pneumatic sanders that can be controlled by the machine. Force and torque sensors allow cobots to be used in applications that require force control right out of the box. Cobots can now take on tasks where force feedback is integral to obtaining uniform results and repeatability.
Cobots Advance Human Satisfaction
Cobots now serve as colleagues to many workers. Humans are able to get out of “3D jobs” – jobs that are dangerous, dirty, or dull. People can now focus on more financially and mentally-rewarding tasks. No prior programming experience required! Collaborative robots are capable of cranking up production levels, but they also are able to add value to existing jobs. This lets humans once again find passion and amass knowledge about what they produce.
For help with your robotic automation project, connect with an RIA certified robot integrator.