Creating a Better (Safer) Robot and Human Partnership


Robot technology is on the brink of yet another major advancement. The goal is increased cooperation between robotic and human workers. Find out what this will mean for robot technology and robot users.

Reasons for Heading in the Direction of Collaboration:
Robots and humans bring different strengths to the table. Industrial robots are capable of performing with precision and repeatability. They are also extremely strong. Humans, on the other hand, offer the ability to reason and to adapt to ever changing scenarios and challenges.

If robots and humans can work together safely, their respective strengths will definitely compliment one another. Such collaboration will open up new horizons for manufacturing. Thanks to advancements in technology, it won't be long before this dream of robot and human cooperation becomes a reality.

Previously, the technology has not been sufficiently advanced to accommodate safe robot and human collaboration. Robots have been restricted to heavily safeguarded cell enclosures (workcells).

A safer, adaptive industrial robot will be able to work alongside a human -- feeding parts back and forth, holding something steady while it is worked on, etc. Plus, programming could become more adaptive and quick if humans could interact directly by physically guiding the robotic arm to teach it.

How the Robot Will Evolve:
Changes to the robot manipulator, tooling, sensors, programming, software, and vision hardware, will be necessary before robots can work alongside humans. Some of these developments have already taken place.

Already, several robot manufacturers have developed safer robots capable of working in closer proximity with humans. KUKA Robotics created the LWR (lightweight robot) and ABB Robotics built FRIDA, a dual-arm robot. It's just a matter of time before other robot manufacturers create additional manipulators. Researchers at the Technical University at Munich have made significant headway with a project called JAHIR: Joint-Action for Humans and Industrial Robots.

In addition, advancements in EOAT, such as the Robotiq Adaptive Gripper, are leading the way to more versatile robotic abilities and human-robot collaboration. A number of different vision hardware and software options have appeared on the market recently (for example: Motoman's MotoSight 3D).

For more information contact the experts at RobotWorx today online or at 740-251-4312.

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