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  • Rise of Cobots

    Published Date : May 21, 2018

    All the cricket fans following IPL this season must have seen cobots as cheerleaders for Team RCB. These cobots were introduced for the first time in IPL on 13th April 2018 where RCB took on KXIP at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

    So what are cobots? Cobots in summary are Collaborative Robots. They make up just three percent of all robot sales worldwide, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics and Loup Ventures. However, awareness of their benefits for manufacturers is increasing and it’s expected that, by 2025, the sales of cobots is expected to jump to 34 percent of all robot sales.

    The concept of a robot co-worker is relatively new. Danish company Universal Robots, founded in 2005, introduced cobots for industrial applications in late 2008, closely working with major German automakers such as Volkswagen.

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    The key advantage of many collaborative robots is that they are safer to work alongside human workers. Features such as sensors, speed restrictions and payload limits make them apt for working alongside with humans. For example, the Sawyer cobot from “Rethink Robotics”. It has force-sensing capabilities that prompt it to stop moving when it comes into contact with another body.

    This removes the need for cages in the factories, thus freeing up a considerable amount of space to be used for other tasks. These benefits often make cobots a convincing option for companies seeking appropriate means of improving productivity and production quality.

    Global automation corporation KUKA developed its lightweight robot LBR. It is based on the human arm and can be operated in position and compliance control. This, combined with the integrated sensor systems, endows it with programmable sensitivity. Its high-performance collision detection function and integrated joint torque sensors in all axes make it suitable for delicate joining processes and allow the use of simple tools.

    Not only in Industrial Sector, but also in the Indian banking sphere the cobots are making an entry. According to recent media reports, Universal robots and G + D (Gieseck + Devrient) are working together to bring these Robots to the Banking industry. The plan includes deploying these Cobots in currency chests for ‘pick and place’ processes. The cost of each such cobot would be close to Rs. 15 lacs making it inexpensive enough to facilitate a quick return on investment.

    The definition of collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something and cobots are designed with that in mind, working along with employees and not as a replacement for them.

    Credits : Akhil Handa,Aparna Anand

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