Human-Robot Collaboration

| Author / Editor: Victoria Sonnenberg / Theresa Knell

The limits at the fringes of human robot collaboration

It is not easy to explore human robot collaboration further, as there are many boundaries that must not be crossed in this form of development. Human-robot collaboration can only take place within certain boundaries and standards, which are defined by the appropriate professionals in the different disciplines. Since in human robot collaboration the human being is usually always the weaker and limiting factor, the above mentioned values for pressure or pain must be considered in all developments. Although this slows down the development of human-robot collaboration, it also ensures a very high safety standard during development and thus a higher acceptance among employees.

This takes us to a difficult topic. If you want to introduce human robot collaboration in your company, for example through the use of grippers, this can only be done with the support of your employees. For many employees in production, a collaborating robot is first and foremost a competitor with a significantly higher level of performance. A collaborating robot is therefore not seen as a good thing by most employees. HRC robots and grippers should above all be considered as a means to facilitate work. The more unpleasant and uncomfortable tasks are performed by the HRC robot or the gripper, the easier it is for employees to understand the benefits of human-robot collaboration. Comprehensive information of the employees is necessary for human robot interaction to be implemented successfully.

The efficiency increases expected from human-robot collaboration

Overall, a sound and, above all, well implemented human-robot collaboration can change and restructure the entire production process in a company. A collaborating robot in different application areas can speed up parts of the production and thus enable new processes. For this reason, human-robot collaboration should only be introduced if companies are aware of the effects it will have on the entire production cycle. A collaborative robot can influence many processes in a sustainable way and above all in the long term. If it is possible to implement such a system, experts expect an increase in efficiency of at least 30 to 40 %. This increase will be achieved on the one hand through higher productivity, but also through the reduction of workforce and sick leave. However, it is not possible to quantify the exact amount of the increase in efficiency achieved by human-robot collaboration, as this can vary significantly from company to company and industry to industry.

The way ahead to industry 4.0 and the use of automation and robotics in production

By developing ever better sensors and ever better HRC robots, human-robot collaboration will improve significantly over the next few years and be applied in more and more companies. Sooner or later, however, humans will be pushed out of most production processes because grippers and robots will be able to do most of the work faster, more efficiently, and in a shorter time. It will take time for human-robot collaboration to lead to complete automation, but the trend itself is indispensable and irrefutable. Human-robot collaboration marks the beginning of a new era of production that will fundamentally change many companies.

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