We want you to close your eyes and imagine a world without work fear: A world where humans can work with robots without any hesitation and restriction. Such a society is now possible with collaborative robots or should be saying “Cobots.”
Collaborative robot definition:
Also known as a cobot, is a smart robot that is capable of complete multiple tasks so it can help human beings.
These robots have been around since the 1990s, but their recent upgrade in artificial intelligence, smart sensing, and automation technology has raised their demand and profile in the modern technological society.
The debate around collaborative robots:
The intense debate around robots is not going away any time soon. The work collaborative robots’ market can either be blessing in disguise by increasing the productivity levels, or it will destroy the global workforce removing many skilled labourers.
The idea of taxing robots suggested by Bill Gates to compensate tax revenue lost by adding cobots in place humans should come in to play. European Union legislator backed Microsoft in this suggestion.
In many ways, the concern is right, but we can’t deny the freedom from the health and safety burden provided by these smart, collaborative safety robots.
What are the four collaborative features for robots according to ISO 10218 part 1 & 2
- The safety monitored stop
- The speed and separation monitoring
- The hand guiding
- The power and force limiting
- The safety monitored stop:
There is a pre-determined safety zone where cobot is working on its massive part, where human works on the lighter part on the other side.
If a human enters that safety zone, a robot will stop all movement altogether.
- Stoppage of all movements when the safety zone is violated.
- They were used from heavy and dangerous cooperative operations.
- It uses regular industrial robots but detects human movement near its safety vicinity.
- The speed and separation monitoring:
The work of the robot is monitored by a vision system that tracks the closeness of the worker.
If the worker walks into the safety zone that is predesigned, the robot will slow its speed, and if the worker comes too close, cobot will stop all its movements.
It is advance automation that improves efficiency, output, and safety of humans.
- Need a laser system to detect worker’s movements
- Used for operations that require frequent human presence.
- Normal industrial robots can do this job.
- The hand guiding:
This type of application is applicable for path teaching. So, if you teach paths swiftly for pick and drop work, you must use this application.
Typical industrial robots are used in this process.
- Used for path teaching, and hand guiding.
- Need a particular end of the arm device to check the applied force.
- The power and force limiting:
This type of collaborative robot is the most worker-friendly. It can efficiently work alongside people without adding many safety features.
They are programmed to stop when they detect additional heavy load or force. They are well known for their safety features in case of an accident.
Future of collaborative robots:
One exciting feature that might be a part of cobots in the future is voice command for relentless collaboration with workers.
Maybe an advanced laser/vison system that recognizes different stages of work that a human worker is completing. This will allow the robot to maintain a certain speed, and the force required at that time.
Rather than task-oriented, maybe an intelligent cobot is in the making that can perform several tasks, even ones that are not programmed into it. Of course, such capable software must be human friendly.
With robust growth in the collaborative robot trends, new technological innovations are on the horizon.
Using collaborative robots in the industrial area may eliminate many skilled laborers from the work site, but if proper negotiations are made in favor of those workers, a healthy and safe work environment can be created.
Many injuries, even death is recorded around the world in the working area due to lack of health and safety applications, by installing cobots in those areas will save many human lives, and it will robustly increase the production.
The future is strong and smart for humankind; we really shouldn’t listen to conspiracy theories about “Artificial intelligence taking Over the world”. If we program human-friendly software, and task-oriented codes into these collaborative robots, our future will be safe, not compromised.