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Collaborative Robot Market on the Rise


Industrial robots move with great force and can easily injure worker if he/she enters a work space during operation. For this reason, robots are contained behind curtains, fencing, or other barriers for the safety and protection of human workers.  This is great for some operations, but other automation businesses need just a little more flexibility. 

Fortunately, ingenuity is prevalent in the automation market and manufacturers such as FANUC, Motoman, KUKA, Universal Robots, and ABB, are taking advantage of the new collaborative technologies that enable humans and robots to safely work together.  The collaborative robot was designed with multiple advanced sensors, software, and EOATs that work together to help avoid injuries/damages. These robots also no longer require safety cages or barriers; human workers and collaborative machines can safely and effectively work together in an uncaged environment. This idea is quickly catching on and the collaborative robots are now expected to grow at exponential rates from 2015-2020, with an expected tenfold increase. 

The proof is in the numbers which reflect just how quickly the collaborative idea is gaining in popularity.  According to a new study published by ABI Research entitled, “Collaborative Robotics: State of the Market / State of the Art”, the collaborative market is set to reach $1 billion from approximately $95 million in 2015.  In this same article it states that “there are three large markets that are fueling this fast growth: electronics manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services companies, small-to-medium manufacturers, and manufacturers seeking robotic solutions optimized to support agile production methodologies.”

The growth will be continued to be fueled by three key markets: electronics manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services companies, small-to-medium manufacturers, and manufacturers seeking robotic solutions optimized to support agile production methodologies.

The following are examples and proof of just how dynamic and creative the manufacturers are to add to the collaborative sector:

1. ABB’s YuMi 

ABB Yumi

2. Universal Robots UR family of robots

Universal Robots

3. KUKA’s LBR iiwa, and 

KUKA LBR iiwa Robot

4. FANUC’s Collaborative Family

FANUC Collaborative RobotThe automation market continues to boom with this amazing partnership of flesh and machine, enabling each to bring unique talents to the table to create the perfect collaborative team. Collaborative robots seem to be one of the biggest ROIs to come. They offer huge economic benefits to production lines by easing difficult human tasks while also enabling workers to focus and bring the company their 100%, undivided, individual skill set. It is safe to say that man and machine are seamlessly uniting and working side by side without any barriers or risks, creating a faster, safer, and more effective workplace.

Overall, the collaborative robotics movement means that humans and robots are going to be able to work together without all of the safety guards and barriers, which will improve application functionality, while also cutting down on the amount of space necessary for a robotic unit.

While collaborative robots are new to the market and quickly gaining popularity, the entire automation industry is setting records as robots are becoming more affordable and available to companies of all sizes. These companies realize the advantage of using automation on their production line and making them more productive and competitive in the global market than ever before.

Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA said, “As the technology behind robots is evolving, the number of tasks they are able to perform is increasing. Today more than ever, robots can handle complex tasks at fast speeds, leading to high productivity for customers. Disruptive innovations like collaborative robots are helping to drive adoption of robotics in new and exciting ways, and that is promising for the future of our industry.”

So cheers to the automation industry for its success now, and in the many years to come. If you have questions about any automation systems, contact RobotWorx online or at 740-251-4312. Our representatives are eager to listen to your needs and help you get the best ROI yet!