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So, you want to buy an industrial robot. Not sure where to start? That’s okay. Let’s take this one step at a time. An industrial robot is a robot that is used in an industrial market to perform applications like welding, material handling, dispensing and material removal processes.
In the 1960s, scientists began to develop the robotic technology that we see today in factories all over the world. By the 1980s, manufacturers began flocking to integrators to buy robotic systems specially designed for their production lines. Over the last five decades, robot improvements have stretched the limits, moving from the factory to the service industry and beyond.
Automated robotic systems have been working in factories for more than 40 years. Many of them are able to last decades doing the same job, as long as they have proper robotic maintenance periodically. By performing this maintenance to a robot, manufacturers will extend the life of the robot well beyond what anyone would have imagined. A good robot can last decades with the right maintenance. However, with the wrong maintenance, it can cause interruptions and production shutdowns regularly.
Material removal is probably one of the most used and necessary group of robotic applications available for manufacturing today. While welding and material handling applications are necessary for moving things down the line or piecing them together, the pieces themselves would not be formed without the various array of different material removal applications available for robot systems to perform. Cutting is one of the most common of all the material removal processes.
Adults have been at the forefront of robotic innovation for many years, but it may be time for the adults to step aside a bit. Children are starting in robotics earlier and earlier, which is giving them skills that no one in the current generation was lucky enough to have at such a young age. These future robot technicians, scientists and engineers are interacting the robotic world around them every day. There are several robotic children’s toys on the market right now.
In the first half of the 20th century, humans saw robots taking over the world in science fiction literature and B-movies. Then, toward the end of the 20th century, as industrial robots began to rise in popularity, humans were concerned that they would take over the job market. However, industrial robots are not going to “take over” all of the jobs, as human workers fear.
Manufacturing has been around since the industrial revolution in the 1800s. Robotic manufacturing has developed over a much more recent timeline, starting in the 1960s. While assembly lines and conveyors used to be manned by hundreds of human workers, they are now manned by robots that can do the job of many quicker and more accurately than ever before. In the 1970s and early 1980s, robotic manufacturing began to explode onto the industrial scene.
Laboratories all over the world are constantly pushing the envelope to develop new robots and applications for robots. Many of these labs are found in universities, where scientists and students work together to innovate in the field of robotics. Researchers worldwide are developing robots to perform new tasks for a variety of environments, like the ocean and space.
Welding is one of the more common robotic applications on the market today. Robot welders can be found perform all different kinds of arc and spot welding in factories across the globe. They can even weld underwater. But, why would a manufacturer choose a robotic welding system over a skilled human welder? That is simple – it is more cost effective, and it improves the quality of the welds and the products.
Tragedies come in all shapes and sizes – from the collapsing of the World Trade Center Towers to the devastation that washed ashore during Hurricane Katrina. Scientists are trying to make search and rescue after such events easier and more effective with an array of search and rescue robots for the air and ground. These robots will hopefully make search and rescue a quicker and more efficient process.
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