In the last few years, automation in the manufacturing industry led to the transformation of industrial floors. Tasks that were initially performed by people are now left to the machines. This has resulted in increased efficiency, reduced production costs, and reduction of work-related injuries. The rapid developments in the manufacturing industry have led to the creation of machines that can match or even outperform humans on the production floor. Due to the advancement in artificial technology and machine learning, we now have machines that can perform tasks requiring cognitive capabilities.
A few decades ago, manufacturers relied on human labour to perform various tasks on the production floor. Within no time, robots were introduced to help with multiple tasks such as manufacturing, packaging, sorting, storage, and transportation. Nowadays, we have collaborative robots which are popularly known as cobots being used in various industries.
Many industries have adopted the use of robots and cobots in their production processes to address the issue of rising labour cost, increase efficiency, and relieve humans of repetitive tasks. Use of robots and cobots has also helped to address the safety issue in manufacturing industries since these machines can be used in handling chemicals that are hazardous to human health.
Despite their increased use in various industries such as electricals and electronics, textile industry, pharmaceutical industries, metal and machinery, and chemical industries, many people can’t tell the difference between a modern cobot and a traditional robot. Let’s look at some of the differences.
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Cobots Work Alongside Humans
The primary objective of building a collaborative robot is to have a machine that can operate safely alongside humans in the same space. Both the cobot and humans should complement each other by utilizing their diverse strengths. Unlike traditional industrial robots, cobots are designed to work with us and not for us.
Ideally, a cobot should be an assistant. It can be set to perform complex tasks which are challenging to humans. The best thing is that cobots are capable of learning. A modern robot can pick up an object and hand it over to a human operator in a cooperative environment.
Modern Cobots are Safer
Since they are designed to work with humans, cobots have features that allow for this seamless collaboration. For instance, cobots have detection sensors that can tell where an operator is at any moment. Cobots are also programmed in a way that they will stop functioning if they pose any danger to the person operating them. So, it’s rare to find a situation where a robot has injured an operator. With modern cobots, you don’t need to set up secure enclosures since they can operate safely amongst humans.
Cobots are Flexible and Easily Scalable
Most of the traditional robots were rigid and difficult to program actions. It would take days or even weeks to set a robot to perform just one action. But this is no longer the case since modern cobots are easy to program and upgrade. You only need to install custom-made software, and the cobot will be ready to go. Besides you can also set the cobot in the desired position manually and save these changes in the software.
Cobots are Economical
One of the significant advantages of cobots is that they are economical. They can save you both space and money. Collaborative robots are also not confined to performing a single task. They can be used in different projects, which makes them an excellent investment for the company. You no longer need to build safety barriers when using cobots. As we mentioned earlier, they are fitted with cameras and sensors which continuously scan their environment.
They are Fast and Efficient
The application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in collaborative robots makes them superior to their predecessors. Besides, cobots are more flexible than traditional robots, which helps them to speed up the operation. If you are looking to scale up production in your company, then cobots could be the way to go.