If the statistics on the UK’s robot population are anything to go by, there are still significant numbers of opportunities available for robots – or, as the focus seems to be at the moment, collaborative robots (cobots) – to increase productivity.Of course, there are certain applications where it makes sense for tasks to be performed manually, especially where very high levels of dexterity may be required. For more sophisticated applications, the best option is often found in a fully automated solution. Cobots are targeted at the middle ground, where they perform the repetitive or physically difficult operations, and the operator adds value with the higher-level decision-making tasks. When cobots started to become widely available, many perceived a new revolution in the world of robotics, where this technology would proliferate throughout manufacturing facilities, either working alongside humans or replacing them altogether as an affordable automation solution. The reality today is somewhat different, says Lee Kerswell...
Read the full article in the July issue of PBSI
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