Industry trend Evolution of robotics

Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

Robots are steadily changing from large industrial robots to more compact and user-friendly collaborative robots in the production line. Some of the recent innovations in this segment include Universal Robots’ e-Series, ‘KR-Cobots’ by Kassow Robots and KUKA’s iisy cobot.

Universal Robots’ e-Series is equipped with intuitive programming, versatile use and an unsaturated list of addons.
Universal Robots’ e-Series is equipped with intuitive programming, versatile use and an unsaturated list of addons.
(Source: Universal Robots)

The robots are coming! And they are here to stay. The global manufacturing industry is slowly transforming from a labour dominated market to an automation driven robotics one. The reason for this change: Increased productivity, greater efficiency, shorter cycle times and utmost accuracy. The global robotics industry is still evolving and so are the features of its robots and the manner in which it interacts.

Industrial robots to cobots

Industrial robots have existed in the market since decades and are capable of carrying out tasks such as welding, painting, assembly, pick and place, packaging, labelling, product inspection and other similar functions in the production line. In recent times, the next ‘big phenomenon’ are cobots, also called collaborative robots. Cobots are user-friendly and act as great mediums to eliminate the barrier between man and machines. This means that cobots and personnel can work besides each other on the same shop floor and carry out the required tasks without worrying about any danger.

Universal Robots’ e-Series

Some of the recently introduced cobots in the market include Universal Robots’ e-Series which is equipped with intuitive programming, versatile use and an unsaturated list of addons. The quick to install cobot increases productivity of the process line irrespective of the firm’s product and company size. The e-Series is segmented into three cobots namely the UR3e, UR5e and the UR10e.

The small UR3e cobot has a payload of 3 kg and carries out high precision tasks along with light assembly tasks with ease. The cobot’s wrists also move in a360 degree rotation. Next is the medium sized UR5e which has a payload of 5 kg and suits best for automating low-weight processing tasks. Lastly, the UR10e is capable of automating tasks of up to 10 kg and can carry out functions such as packaging and palletizing.

‘KR-Cobots’ by Kassow Robots

A Danish start-up, Kassow Robots, has also launched three new ‘KR-Cobots’ including the KR 810 with a reach of 850 mm and payload of 10 kg, the KR 1205 with a reach of 1200 mm and payload of 5 kg and the KR 1805 with a reach of 1800 mm and payload of 5 kg.

Especially designed for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), the lightweight seven-axis cobots are extremely flexible and offer speeds up to 225 degrees per second. The cobots can be used for a wide range of activities including loading and unloading machinery, pick & place, palletising, small assembly tasks, testing, quality control and adhesive applications.

Iisy cobot

KUKA’s LBR iisy cobot is another recent cobot. As the name suggests, the six-axis cobot is an easy to use collaborative robot which can be used for loading or unloading machines, packaging, precise testing, reliable assembly, handling or difficult research tasks.

Used across different business verticals collaborative robots enable to enhance productivity. In spite of these benefits, industry workers are apprehensive about cobots or robots taking over their jobs. However, experts from the industry assured that this will not happen as cobots are used to only carry out the repetitive and tedious tasks thus enabling the worker to obtain better skills and carry out complex functions within the production process.

So, if you are interested in learning more about cobots and want to stay updated on the latest happenings in the robotics market do visit the AMB event in Germany which is expected to take place from September 18–22, 2018.

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