Technology

Published on February 15th, 2019 | by Ryan

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Mobile Collaborative Robots Expected to be the Next Big Thing

Collaborative robots have come of age and now the world is ready for the next big technology. Experts opine that mobile robots will make an impact on the industry. The popularity of collaborative robots has continued to grow in the last ten years.

Soon they will be as pre-dominant as industrial robots. Today, businesses regardless of their size are utilizing cobots to enhance productivity. Technology keeps on advancing and the researchers in the robotics industry are continuously looking for better strategies to help businesses grow.

According to Universal Robots, mobile robots will soon impact businesses. They will be more intelligent and collaborative unlike their predecessors the cobots.

 

 Understanding Mobile Robots

A mobile robot comprises of a cobot manipulator. and an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) protection characteristics which facilitate safe operations within the same environment as humans. The mobile robot is set up on the autonomous mobile robot, enabling it to autonomously navigate across the work floor.

Some people opine that AMRs are mobile cobots which is far from the truth since many times, AMRs come with inbuilt default security features. The collaborative manipulator gives the AMR the collaborative aspect.

Mobile Cobots, Anything New?

Collaborative robots have been in existence for more than a decade while AMRs complete with safety aspects have been in existence for a long time. Therefore, mobile robots are not new to the industry. Yet, experts say they are set to make a great impact in the industry since they are not common in industrial circumstances.

While collaborative robots are becoming common in the manufacturing space, mobile cobots are rare. However, this is likely to change in the near future. The increasing utilization of mobile robots in autonomous vehicles and the logistics industry has triggered their popularity. In the future, mobile cobots will be more popular in the manufacturing industry than cobots and AMRs.

The Pros of Mobile Cobots

While there are advantages of utilizing mobile cobots, there are some challenges as well. These will determine whether or not companies will incorporate them into their operations. Before you consider boosting the mobility of your collaborative robot, deliberate on the benefits depending on your applications. Below are some benefits in general

Mobile cobots can navigate across the work area without assistance. Many businesses would gain from this capability. Some companies have had to settle with dragging their collaborative robots from one workstation to the other for uptime maximization. Including a mobile base allows your cobot to function autonomously.

Minimizes downtime between tasks. Moving your cobot manually causes downtime. The collaborative robot remains still until someone can move it to the next workstation. With a mobile base, the downtime is reduced significantly.

Cuts down hands-on time needed for changeovers. Incorporating a mobile base means that your workforce will cut down time wasted when alternating the robot between roles. Instead, they have enough time to concentrate on more valuable tasks.

Enhanced Efficiency for Picking Tasks. Mobile cobots are popularly used for material handling and picking tasks. The robot traverses across the working space and picks products from the shelves. This eliminates approximately 50% of the time workers spent selecting orders.

Enhanced Utilization of Space. Collaborative robots take up minimal space compared to conventional industrial robots since they do not require safety fencing. Still, they need a fixed workspace. Mobile cobots, however, can be moved from one place to the other when the need arises.

Will Mobile Cobots Enter the Workspace Soon?

As technology and robotics advances, businesses are leveraging on these two factors to enhance their operations. Therefore, mobile cobots will become a common feature in the workspace in the near future.

Finally

Entrepreneurs who want to scale their businesses should start considering mobile cobots as a probable solution for their existing problems. Considering the benefits of mobile collaborative robots, many businesses are likely to adopt them especially if they can offer the solutions they are looking for.


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