Smart Machines & Factories
How collaborative robots are redefining industries and businesses?
Published:  28 July, 2021

A collaborative robot or cobot is an automatic technology designed in a way that it can interact, assist, and work with and around humans. Safe collaboration with humans is the main property of these cobots that sets them apart from autonomous robots. Unlike autonomous robots, collaborative robots are capable of functioning in interactive ways with their human counterparts.

The cobots are also used in a shared work environment in a manufacturing or logistics industry. The manufacturing industry, in particular, is implementing cobots as it lessens manual labor and increases productivity.

Cobot arms, mobile platforms, yielding grippers, collision-resistance are some of the benefits which are enabling newer applications of collaborative robots. Deep learning and instillation of better sensors are also enhancing the demand of cobots for various unconventional usages.

Some of the amazing applications of collaborative robots are discussed below:

  1. Pick and Place in Manufacturing Industry

The three of the primary applications of cobots in the manufacturing industry include pick and place, quality inspection, and packaging and palletising. Pick and place jobs are the mundane repetitive tasks that does not require any thinking. Cobots with advanced vision systems are used to perform these mundane and dull works saving humans from getting injured or stressed. Cobots excel in performing these tasks with efficiency and at faster speed than their human counterparts.

Most recently, these cobots are also being used in the agriculture industry for the same purpose- pick and place. The King’s College London in its project named GROWBOT, is using a Sawyer cobot arm to pick plants for greenhouse workers. GROWBOT is projected to enable amateur users to take the help of robots for repetitive tasks, thus helping in meeting the scarcities of seasonal labor. This cobot is designed with machine learning so that it can systematize the handling of herbs, seedlings, and other plants.

  1. Slicing & Cutting in Food Industry

Collaborative robot has made its way to the food industry. The simple tasks in a food manufacturing industry is handled by a food processor, while cobots are used to handle the advanced slicing and cutting.

Automated cake decoration is another application of cobots. A robotic arm is used to pipe icing on the cake. These cobots are also used to design cakes by cutting elaborate shapes in the cakes. High-pressure water is used in this process. The robots are expanding their footprints in the food industry owing to thier cleanliness, and consistency. The robotics producers are trying their best to make smoother casings for these robots so they can be cleaned thoroughly after use.

Flippy by Miso Robotics is a robot that is used to flip burgers. Flippy uses a cobot arm with an assortment of end-of-arm tools, cloud-based observing functions, and Miso AI platform. Flippy is a smart cobot that can work collaboratively with humans in any commercial restaurant.

  1. Cobots for Surgery

Collaborative robots are also being adopted by the medical industry for different applications. Robots used in surgical processes require to meet high performance levels; they must be intricately designed and efficient.

The da Vinci System is one of the most famous cobots in the world of surgery. This advanced system is designed with high-tech cameras and robot arms to support the surgeons during their procedures. The robotic arms translate the hand movement of the surgeon into smaller and precise movements enabling smooth and less invasive operations.

Final Thoughts

A new study by Research Dive finds that the global collaborative robot (cobot) market is expected to surpass $8,840.5 million by the end of 2026, at a CAGR of 41.2%. While this growth will be mainly attributed to the manufacturing, electronic, and automotive industry, collaborative robots will make their way into other industries with their efficiency and greater productivity compared to the autonomous ones.

Author Bio:

Upama Goswami is a creative writer, editor, aspiring poet, and life-long learner of philosophy, literature, technology, and all things interesting. Her works have been published in various online publications. Upama is quite creative in her craft and can engage her audience with a compelling style of storytelling. She loves to paint, travel, exploring different niches of performing arts, watching movies, and learn new languages in her free time.


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