The next generation of industrial robots is going to make factory robotic arms look obsolete. The automated machinery we’re familiar with today is enormous, super heavy, and expensive. They’re often difficult to program and generally too unsafe to deploy around human workers with out some sort of protective barrier. However, we are approaching a new age of industrial robotics, and the next generation is going to be everything that prior industrial robots weren’t.
Robotics companies are focused on creating robots that are versatile, safe, and practical. There is a demand from manufacturers for robots that can be used alongside human workers to make their work easier and more productive.
The next generation of industrial robots is much smaller, lighter, and safer than those old giant robot arms. Instead of weighing thousands of pounds, they weigh hundreds.
Next generation factory robots will be much more accessible to smaller companies. Not only will industrial robots be smaller and safer, but they will also be much easier to program and much cheaper. Also, instead of doing a single task, next generation industrial robots will be able to perform a variety of tasks, increasing the efficiency for a number of jobs.
YuMi, designed by ABB Robotics, is one of these new industrial robots. YuMi is a two-armed assembly assistant robot. The company heralds YuMi as a “robotic coworker” rather than an industrial machine, or simply just a robot. The implication is that YuMi is more than just a machine or a tool used by humans. ABB designed YuMi to work alongside humans, increasing the efficiency and job performance of the people around it.
Manuela Veloso, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, believes that robots designed to interact with humans will be more useful than trying to design a robot capable of doing everything all on its own. Veloso says, “It’s very hard to be able to program a robot to be able to understand any speech or grab any object, even if they have arms. So I decided for them to be fully autonomous they have to be in an ‘asking for help’ mode.”
The next generation of industrial robots is going to cast the wow-factor aside. Instead of trying to make automated machines that can do tasks without the assistance of humans, robotics companies are making robots that operate in conjunction with humans because they are more practical.
You know what? The next-gen robotics will still need servo motors. Indramat and Indradrive may still be your top choice when the newest robots arrive — and we can keep them functioning till then. Call us for immediate assistance at 479-422-0390.