Working & Growing with Cobots

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Learning Objects (6)

Direct Access Links:

What are Cobots (Forbes)
Working & Growing with Cobots (NIST)
Meet the Cobots: Humans & Robots Together on the Factory Floor (National Geographic)
Robots Uncaged (Deloitte)
Cobots Take Over Undesirable Tasks (YouTube – Darex)
Collaborative Robots (Robotic Industries Association)

Overview

Close your eyes and imagine a world without safety fences: A world in which humans work side-by-side with robots. In this world, robots directly collaborate with people, becoming a crucial part of the team. Alongside their co-workers, these collaborative robots take over tedious, repetitive tasks, lifting up heavy items, maintaining workers’ health and safety while automating entire assembly lines. A collaborative robot, or cobot, is a type of robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace.

 

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What are Cobots

In many ways, cobots are the hardware version of augmented intelligence that we talk about in the software world. Instead of replacing humans with autonomous counterparts, cobots augment and enhance human capabilities with super strength, precision, and data capabilities so that they can do more and provide more value to the organization.

 

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National Institute of Standards & Technology, U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Working & Growing with Cobots

For every busy manufacturing employee wishing they had an extra arm, collaborative robots can provide high-tech arms with cameras and motion sensors, designed with different reaches and payloads. Unlike traditional “autonomous” one-job machines, collaborative robot technology can mimic multiple hand-arm movements required for repetitive tasks such as inspecting small auto parts or wheel hub assemblies.

 

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Meet the Cobots: Humans & Robots Together on the Factory Floor

Collaborative machines that are priced as low as $24,000 have the potential to revolutionize production lines. Scientists at MIT have found that robot-human teams are about 85 percent more productive than either alone. Many workers describe their job as less manual and more focused on navigating the robots, with far more job satisfaction.

 

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Robots Uncaged

Next-generation robots, including collaborative and service robots, are projected to account for two-thirds of unit robot sales by 2025, up from 22% in 2015. Business has long seen robots as tools to improve efficiency and productivity. But now, they are being put to use in pursuit of other business benefits as well. Organizations are using them to enhance customer service, increase operational flexibility and improve product quality.

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Cobots Take Over Undesirable Tasks

Darex, an Oregon-based manufacturer of drill and knife sharpeners, runs fast-paced production lines with many repetitive and ergonomically unfriendly tasks. The company has implemented Universal Robots in screw-driving and box-erecting applications, quickly scaling the initial install into a full-blown automation line with multiple work stations programmed through the Universal Robots interface. The entire system is developed in-house.

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Collaborative Robots

Explore the current market, applications, safety, education and industry insights surrounding the use of collaborative robots from the trade association representing the industry.

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Pedagogy

Ontology Tags Economy & Markets: Manufacturing Trends – Cobots on the Factory Floor | STEM Research & Applications: (1) Computers Today & Tomorrow – Tech Literacy in the World (2) Engineering Our World – STEM at Your Job | Workforce: Reshaping the Workforce – (1) Recruitment & Sourcing (2) Skill Shift (3) Technology Impact

Search Terms Challenging Problems: Humans in the World – (1) Consumers & Industry (2) Machines in Society (3) Work & Careers | CTEs & Disciplines: (1) Manufacturing (2) STEM Research & Applications