Could you envision yourself working alongside artificial intelligence in an office or on a factory floor? It might sound like something out of a science fiction TV show, but robots designed to work alongside humans are becoming commonplace in the office, food industry, the healthcare sector, manufacturing industry, schools, airports, and many other places.
What is a Collaborative Robot?
The acronym “cobot” is an abbreviation for “collaborative robot,” which describes a robot built to work in tandem with humans. In contrast to conventional industrial robots, kept physically separate from people to ensure optimum safety, cobots work alongside humans in the same environment without compromising safety or mobility.
Cobots can accomplish this because they have sensors that make them feel. If the robot’s task gets disrupted, it will immediately switch into a safety mode. Conventional robots would move in the same direction, putting people in danger.
Today’s cobots are capable of many tasks, including learning on the job and handling objects weighing hundreds of kilos. They empower human workers by allowing them to tackle higher-value activities that demand problem-solving talents and superior cognitive skills. The following is a list of the most meaningful areas where collaborative robots make humans more effective:
Raise the Bar for Safety Standards
In the workplace, contact with various equipment is among the most common causes of injury. Worker safety can improve with the help of collaborative robots because these machines can take over potentially hazardous jobs that could result in injuries. Using cobots raises the bar for safety standards because they will not complain of tiredness or distractions.
Cobots do not endanger the lives of human employees in any way. In the case of an assembly line robot, for instance, a robot will cease operations if it encounters a mechanical flaw or runs out of power. In addition, businesses report fewer incidents at work as a direct result of the implementation of cobots, which enhances their reputation as a credible and secure working environment.
Get Rid of Those Boring Tasks
There are many examples of how using cobots can remove monotonous and tedious duties from the workplace, freeing people to engage in more value-added activities that can help firms achieve a competitive advantage. Cobots take over labour-intensive, repetitive, and dull jobs previously carried out by humans, such as palletizing, and perform them more effectively.
Collaborative robots have the potential to make the working environment more appealing and boost overall employee happiness. Employees are thus able to direct their attention toward activities that need greater creativity and a focus on finding solutions, which is beneficial to their health and personal growth. Additionally, humans working alongside cobots suffer less weariness, allowing them to remain more productive for extended periods.
Increase Productivity and Efficiency
Downtime in production lines is a common issue that many manufacturers must contend with. The problem can result from one of many situations, including broken parts, machine failures, and so on, which results in higher expenses and lost income. Deploying cobots, which do not require rest periods or time off for themselves, can prevent the consequences. Cobots have software that monitors production lines and sends warnings if there is any issue with how things are going.
When something out of the ordinary occurs, human workers step in to finish the task that the robot cannot continue with, and then they return to their jobs after the issue is out of the way and the robots take over again. As a result, assembly line efficiency is enhanced, and firms benefit from increased employee output even during slow periods.
Another benefit associated with cobots is their flexibility. Because of its small size, it is simple to set up, disassemble, and reposition, as well as shift from one location in the plant to another, without modifying the production structure. Cobots do not have to be permanently stationed in one spot; with some pre-programming, you can move them over to the other end of the production line and have them up and running in no time.
Programming robots is now possible for everyone, not just engineers, thanks to a technique called kinaesthetic guiding, also referred to as hand guiding in some contexts. The teaching pendant, which operates as the user’s interface with the robot, features a button that, when pressed, makes it easy for the user to move the arm of the robot.
The teaching pendant stores the recorded path demonstration for later use in programming. A procedure like this can take up to an hour to complete, but for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that create a wide variety of low-volume items, collaborative robots are an attractive option due to their fast changeover time.
Increase Ability to Compete
Robots can increase consistency of quality and flow in every sector that makes use of them. These two factors are necessary for a firm to make competitive items for the global market. It is significant for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), as cobots can offer the adaptability and efficiency increases needed to keep up with larger competitors.
Cobots have a small footprint, are easy to program, flexible, and affordable. These characteristics are vital in decentralizing robotic process automation (RPA), making it possible for nearly any corporation to use them to pump up their competitive edge.
In addition, using robots makes it possible for businesses in high-cost nations to bring back onshore aspects of their operations previously delegated to countries with lower labour costs, thereby restoring employment and generating new ones.
When firms improve their competitiveness, they become interdependent and experience growth, creating new employment opportunities.
There has been a lot of effort put in by Universal Robots and other firms that manufacture cobots to raise awareness, influence industry standards, and change the attitudes of customers influenced by their previous interactions with traditional robots. Cobots are responsible for much more than merely taking over monotonous and tedious chores.
By taking over dull, repetitive jobs, robots make it possible for human workers to become more proficient in their employment. They can accomplish anything, anytime, while posing no threat to their natural surroundings or the people that work side by side with them.