Defining Qualities of Collaborative Robots

Robots and robotic technology have been there for many generations. The technology is continuously advanced to make robots as human-like as possible. In the past, robots couldn’t work alongside humans. For a manufacturing plant or warehouse to automate using robots, they first required to build cages for the robots. This way, it ensured that humans could not interact with the robot while it works for safety reasons.

Today, advancements in technology have made it possible for robots to work alongside humans. Collaborative robots are created with features that make it possible for them to work safely without the need to be caged. These robots have the ability to do jobs that cannot be done by humans. They also perform these tasks with consistent accuracy and speed.

Here are the factors that make robots the machines they are today.

Intelligence

While human intelligence comes from an interconnected network of neurons in the brain, it is still unclear how this connectivity cultivates activities of the brain, such as reasoning and thoughts. Technological advancements have made it possible for humans to create artificial intelligence to reflect human mental capabilities in machines.

Collaborative robots have the ability to operate just like humans with better and improved capabilities. For instance, they can perform repetitive tasks like robotic machine tending without getting tired or performing errors. This is why they are being used in multiple manufacturing plants to replace humans in repetitive jobs, and for tasks that require accuracy.

Senses

Today, robots are manufactured with high sensing capabilities by use of motion sensors installed in their system, and camera lenses. These features enable these robots to transmit data to the central computers in their systems. These sensing capabilities have made it possible for collaborative robots to work alongside humans conveniently.

The motions sensors sense when there is human presence close. This prompts the robot to slow down to avoid a collision. Once the human moves out of the space, the robot is able to resume in its initial speed automatically.

Dexterity

This is a term used to refer to the functionality of robotic appendages, limbs and extremities. In collaborative robots, dexterity is ensured by creating a balance between the hardware parts and the programming which incorporates small sensing abilities. This determines how far a collaborative arm can stretch. For instance, universal robots have created the UR3, UR5 and the UR10 all with varying dexterity capabilities. The UR10 stretches furthest and can support the most weight.

The power capabilities

For robots to function, they require energy. Numerous factors determine the ideal power type for different robots. The best power option provides freedom and supports high capabilities in the robotic arm. There are several unique ways of transmitting, storing and generating power. These include the use of fuel cells, batteries and generators. All these methods enable the robot to access energy that has been temporarily stored while it is tethered to a power source. Other technological advancements make it possible for the robot to store power without the need of always being connected to a power source. There is a lot of potential in robotic power optimization and generation technology.

Independence

All the above factors work together to give collaborative robots independence. This makes it possible to completely automate robots for specific tasks or for multiple tasks at the same time. As robotic technology advances, experts are finding more ways to make the robots as personified as possible. Collaborative robotic arms are used in hospitals for surgical processes, in machine shops to automate CNC machine processes, for packaging and storage in warehouses and even as maids in homes.

There are numerous benefits associated with the use of collaborative robots. The factors above ensure that these robots can deliver these benefits. It is estimated that, by 2023, the robotic industry will be worth billions of dollars. With the continued development in robotic technology, the future holds a lot of surprises and possibilities in terms of how far robotic automation can go.