Many businesses have embraced automation in their various operations. Unlike in the past when industrial robots needed securing, modern day robots can interact with humans in the same workspace. The demand for collaborative robots is set to rise in subsequent years and robot manufacturing companies are developing them to ensure effective and safe human cobots interaction.
The principle concept of cobots is expected to be used in many years. This is because organizations gain a lot by adopting machines that can work together with humans in the same environment. For instance, businesses enhance precision in various operations and delegate repetitive processes to the cobots. This gives humans an opportunity to exercise their prowess in more complex tasks.
Currently, the demand for cobots is rising and the trend will continue increasing in the coming years. This is expected to make them more affordable, which will see various companies, both middle and small sized adopt them.
Contrary to popular belief, cobots will not replace human workforce. They are designed to collaborate with humans and assist them complete tasks fast, and with increased precision. It is worth noting that various tasks in the manufacturing industry require decision making and judgment, all of which need human input.
Still, many of these tasks involve lots of predictable and repetitive tasks which are best undertaken by cobots. In this case, humans and cobots will need to collaborate to complete tasks, meaning that cobots are not designed to replace employees.
Cobot manufacturers such as Universal Robots are advancing their cobot specifications to ensure they can recognize various human actions, and enhance machine learning. This is expected to improve their safety.
The Popularity of Cobots
Universal Robots, one of the leading modern day robot manufacturers estimates that the cobot industry will be rated approximately $3 billion by the year 2020. This, they attribute to the fact that cobot prices have been declining by approximately 5 percent every year. In the year 2015, the average price of a cobot was approximately $28,000 and this is expected to drop further to approximately $17,500 by the earlier 2020s.
Even then, some individuals have been doubtful of cobot sales. However, one cannot dismiss these unit prices when compared to the rapidly increasing costly labor. Currently the cost of labor in the first world countries is rising rapidly and with such high rates, organizations will have no option but to embrace automation. Wide Range of Tasks
Modern day automation can handle a wide range of tasks which ranges from packaging, handling laboratory samples, and lifting heavy objects. The future of cobots is bright and rather than replacing humans, they will work together in the same workspace. Various logistics companies have adopted the use of cobots to aid in locating and picking objects for shipment. This will increase accuracy and speed up operations. The result will be enhanced efficiency and productivity, and make work easier.
While many companies are expected to adopt cobots, the safety of employees should be guaranteed. There are existing regulations that require robust safety measures to be put in place to restrict force and power, and regulate separation and speed. Still there is more that needs to be done to make cobots entirely safe.
Researchers are looking for ways to make cobots recognize human actions. This, they believe will enhance employee safety as well as eliminate actions that may cause injuries. Preliminary tests indicate that cobots fitted with separation regulation and force restriction were able to sense and adapt to human presence.
This enabled both machine and humans to collaborate and complete tasks safely and faster. According to this research, collaborating with cobots that could envision and identify human actions resulted in better human and machine interaction, and helped the employees feel safer. Again, employees should be adequately trained to ensure that they can identify machine motions. This will enable them to interact efficiently with the cobots.
As technological advancements continue to surge, future cobot designs are expected to be smarter in imitating human actions. The automation industry is yet to see sophisticated cobots.