Executive Briefings

Robots Can Be Scaled to Safely, Efficiently Work Alongside Humans

Robot installations are estimated to increase an average of 12 percent per year from 2015 to 2017, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Those IFR statistics note that "human-machine collaboration will open up new applications and attract new customers."

Robots Can Be Scaled to Safely, Efficiently Work Alongside Humans

In spite of the IFR's findings, the traditional thinking in robotics is that as parts get bigger and heavier, robots must grow in size, too. But labor doesn't work that way, and neither should robots. If a part becomes too big for a human worker to lift, he might tap a jib crane to move the piece into position. Robots can work in the same way and be built on a scale to work alongside humans, using human tools to perform tasks.

There are more opportunities to automate tasks that exist within the average adult’s six-foot wingspan than the very small or very large scale. Think of assembly lines where the manufacturing of smartphones, clothing and toys is largely carried out by humans. There are steps along these lines that include dangerous parts or solvents; those could be handled instead by robots interspersed among workers.

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In spite of the IFR's findings, the traditional thinking in robotics is that as parts get bigger and heavier, robots must grow in size, too. But labor doesn't work that way, and neither should robots. If a part becomes too big for a human worker to lift, he might tap a jib crane to move the piece into position. Robots can work in the same way and be built on a scale to work alongside humans, using human tools to perform tasks.

There are more opportunities to automate tasks that exist within the average adult’s six-foot wingspan than the very small or very large scale. Think of assembly lines where the manufacturing of smartphones, clothing and toys is largely carried out by humans. There are steps along these lines that include dangerous parts or solvents; those could be handled instead by robots interspersed among workers.

Read Full Article

Robots Can Be Scaled to Safely, Efficiently Work Alongside Humans