The newer, gentler factory robot

Jul 22, 2013

Collaborative robots are able to work directly next to a human worker without a safety fence or barrier. These robots are uncaged and completely safe, all the while bringing the same levels of productivity.


Fac­to­ry robots are usu­al­ly seen as large, rigid pieces of steel that are dan­ger­ous unable to work inter­change­ably with humans. The new­er fac­to­ry robots are actu­al­ly do just that – they are team­ing up with humans to have even more effec­tive­ness in the workplace.

Unlike their swift mov­ing, force­ful pre­de­ces­sors, new­er fac­to­ry robots are equipped with fea­tures that allow humans to work in close prox­im­i­ty. A recent study, per­formed by Dr. Julie A. Shah of MIT, had human and robot teams plac­ing screws and drilling on an assem­bly line.

Dur­ing this study, the robots and humans cross-trained, switch­ing jobs halfway through the task. The study found that both the robots and the humans bet­ter learned their tasks when they per­formed cross train­ing as a team.

Along with learn­ing their own jobs, fac­to­ry robots in this study learned to antic­i­pate their human partner’s moves too. The humans on the teams gained extra skills as well – their team­work skills improved overall.

These new­er fac­to­ry robots are equipped with vision-guid­ance and touch and motion sen­sors. All of these fea­tures com­bined work togeth­er to safe­guard any humans work­ing in close prox­im­i­ty to the oper­at­ing robot.

While these uncaged, free robots are gen­tler than old­er mod­els, they can still be dan­ger­ous if human work­ers do not fol­low safe­ty prac­tices. It is impor­tant that work­ers do not get too com­fort­able and lax when work­ing hand in hand with a fac­to­ry robot partner.

Robots​.com sells robots from Fanuc, KUKA, ABB, Uni­ver­sal Robots, and Motoman, has many dif­fer­ent robots suit­ed for the mate­r­i­al han­dling prac­tices men­tioned above. All of our robots can also be out­fit­ted with sen­sors and cam­eras to help the robots to more safe­ly work in line with humans.

Our Robots​.com staff with work with you to design the per­fect sys­tem for your facil­i­ty. For more infor­ma­tion about what Robots​.com can do with you, con­tact us today at 8777626881 or reach rep­re­sen­ta­tives online.

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