For many generations, robotics technology has been a common automation preference in different industries for different purposes. Over the years, the technology has continued to advance as the robotic industry works to make robots as human-like as possible.
A decade ago, it was impossible for robots to work alongside humans, not to mention the danger they posed to humans who come too close to them. Even today, for traditional industrial robots to be used in any manufacturing plants or warehouses, the company must first build safety cages and safe zones on the manufacturing floor for the robots. This way, there are no interactions between the robot and human workers.
Fast forward to today, robotics technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, making it safe for human workers and robots to coexist in the same work environment.
A welding robot comprises a robot arm with features that make it safe to weld in proximity to human workers without requiring safety cages. Welding collaborative robots can complete strenuous or respective welding jobs with accuracy, consistency, and speed.
Here are some features that make welding collaborative robots unique.
Modern-day robots are built with high sensing capabilities that include the use of motion sensors and robot camera lenses installed in the programing system. With these sensing abilities, cobots transmit data to the central computer in the robotic systems. With these senses, collaborative robots are able to work safely amongst humans.
Motion sensors check for human presence too close to the robotic arm and send a command to the robotic software. The signal sent to the central computer causes the cobot to slow down or come to a stop to avoid a collision with the human worker. Once the human worker is a safe distance away, the cobot picks up the process at full speed again.
Advancements in technology have made it possible for tech experts to develop AI for robots (artificial intelligence). This technology is a reflection of the mental capabilities of humans, copied for machines. Collaborative robots/cobots make use of artificial intelligence to perform human-like operations with improved throughput and accuracy.
For example, collaborative robots can perform repetitive tasks like material handling or machine tending without needing breaks or making errors. This level of accuracy and precision is why robotics technology is quickly adopted in multiple manufacturing plants. These cobots free human workers from repetitive, manual jobs, as well as tasks that require accuracy.
Dexterity is a common term used to describe the flexibility and function of robotic arms, appendages, and extremities. In collaborative robots, the robotic arm’s dexterity can be enhanced by incorporating sensing capabilities when installing the cobot hardware parts and program.
A robotic arm’s dexterity determines how far it can stretch. For instance, Universal Robots come as either UR3, UR5, or UR10 cobot arms with varying dexterity abilities. The UR10 collaborative robot is fitted with sensors that enable it to stretch furthest amongst the three and supports the most weight.
Collaborative robots can employ several unique ways to generate, transmit, and store power, including the use of generators, batteries, and fuel cells.
Advancement in robotic technology has led to the manufacture of robots with power storage capabilities. Having a backup power source allows the cobot to access energy that is temporarily stored whenever the robot is not tethered to a power source. This way, welding robots can function without needing to be constantly connected to a power source.
Automating welding processed using collaborative robots delivers a wide range of benefits. By 2023, the robotics industry is expected to be worth billions of dollars. As robotic technology continues to advance and the market continues to grow, the future holds endless possibilities for robotic automation.
With this continued advancement in robot technology, better ways of making robots more collaborative and human-like are being invented each day. This has seen collaborative robots being used in other industries like hospitals for surgical processes, automation of CNC machine processes in machine tending shops, packaging and storage, and industries and warehouses.