Robots make industries, companies, and manufacturers more efficient. By increasing productivity and decreasing downtime, robotic automation is an excellent way to improve efficiency for any industry imaginable.
Robots have improved the efficiency of Iowa dairies. Robots milk dairy herds every day: the cows actually get in line at entry gates for their turn with the robot. The robot identifies the cow by reading a transponder around its neck, storing and utilizing information about the cow. A robot arm then cleans each teat, using lasers and sensors to find them before attaching teat cups for when the milk begins flowing. The robots use a cell phone if there is a problem to report, and they compile daily dairy records about herd health, feed use, animal weight, milk production, and breeding. Many dairy farmers in Iowa believe that hands-free milking is the future of dairy.
Hospitals are also turning to robotics to become more efficient and improve patient safety. Automating some hospital jobs performed by humans can help avoid potentially fatal mistakes. Robots help in eliminating errors: as many as 98,000 people die each year in the US due to mistakes such as giving patients the wrong medicine. Robots can sort pills and dosages into individual plastic bags before affixing them with barcodes to go into storage. The robot can sift through the rows of medicines to pick out the one it needs when a customer arrives. Soon, robotics will be heavily involved in surgery as well.
The aerospace industry is another that benefits greatly from robotics efficiency. Aerospace companies are increasingly investing in robots to perform drilling, painting, and other tasks on airframes. Robots are reliable and precise when working on very large aerospace components. Drilling holes into components is the largest use of robots in aerospace. Thousands of holes need to be drilled into a fuselage, and humans simply cannot complete this task efficiently or accurately.
The automotive industry is automating their manufacturing plants. For example, Ford used robots to improve assembly on their 2013 Escape model. The robots use lasers and cameras to fit windshields, door panels, and fenders together more closely than before. Gaps between pieces are now smaller, making a more aerodynamic and quieter ride. Laser-vision robots can inspect their own work. Robots can apply paint and sealer to vehicles, which decreases human exposure to a hazardous climate. Two ABB robots, the IRB 6640 and IRB 7600, are used to perform high-precision welding operations in an advanced Chinese automotive plant. The robots are so fast that they can complete the welding of an entire SUV in just 86 seconds.