Feature

The evolution of industrial robots

| Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

International Federation of Robotics: Global sales of industrial robots increased by 29 % in 2017 as compared to the previous year.
International Federation of Robotics: Global sales of industrial robots increased by 29 % in 2017 as compared to the previous year. (Source: Deposit Photos)

Industrial robots have been working within diverse industries since ages but recently it has been given an upgrade through various elements which prove beneficial to meet the growing requirements of the new age industries.

Intelligent and flexible with multiple axes, industrial robots are evolving with time. Numerous sectors have benefitted from the implementation of these robots in their production lines and this trend is still continuing. According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global sales of industrial robots increased by 29 per cent i.e. 380,550 units in 2017 as compared to the previous year of 294,300 units in 2016.

The countries that witnessed a significant increase in sales include China (58%), followed by Germany (8%) and the USA (6%). In terms of industry break down, the report elaborates that the automotive industry leads the global demand for industrial robots. Other sectors that have recorded the strongest growth in the mentioned period are the metal industry, the electrical/electronics industry and the food sector.

Trends in robotics

Cobots: Human-robot collaboration is the latest concept and can be seen live at new age factories. Collaborative robots work seamlessly with humans on the same shop floor to improve the production process and carry out monotonous and dangerous work on the shop floor. Cobots are becoming popular in the industry as they ensure greater precision, accuracy, and are also a cost-effective option.

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Cloud robotics: In this segment, robots are connected to the cloud technology where they can garner access to the data saved on the cloud and then process and share the information from other robots or machines. Cloud robotics can also be assigned tasks by humans via the network.

RaaS: Robot as a Service (RaaS) is a cloud computing unit for which demand is expected to increase this year and continue to forge ahead in the coming years. Experts forecast that the RaaS segment will comprise 30 per cent of the global robotics market by 2020. The functionality of RaaS is highly focussed, specialised and limited.

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The industry aims at working alongside with the latest and most innovative technologies in the sector to enhance its productivity and lower its production costs. Even small and medium sized companies are realising the importance of incorporating robotics into their processes for long term benefits. Hence, industry players are keen to learn about the latest developments in the industrial robotics industry and accordingly implement them into their shop floors in order to stay competitive in the industry.

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