Industrial Robotics: Latest Trends and Innovations

Industrial Robotics: Latest Trends and Innovations

Laura Davis, Manufacturing Technology Insights | Monday, July 26, 2021

Over the last few decades, robots have evolved from prohibitively expensive machines with limited capabilities to affordable devices capable of performing various tasks.

FREMONT, CA: Due to rapid advancements in robotics technology, the manufacturing sector has seen an increase in incorporating robotics engineering and technology into its production processes. Industrial robots are self-contained, programmable, and versatile manipulator machines. Industrial robots are frequently used for welding, painting, ironing, assembling, pick and place, palletizing, product inspection, and testing, all of which require a high level of endurance, speed, and precision. Industrial robots perform repetitive tasks and eliminate the need for human labor.

Below are some of the latest trends in industrial robotics.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology adoption

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), also known as Industry 4.0, transforms how businesses, particularly industrial firms, operate. The IIoT is a term that refers to the massive number of machines, devices, and other items that a company now uses that are connected to the internet. Numerous applications exist for the vast technology, which has various implications for the industrial robotics sector. Surprisingly, smart sensors and actuators will increasingly be used by robots at the edge of production. IIoT takes advantage of data through advanced use cases that leverage the power of real-time analytics and smart machines. One feature that distinguishes IIoT applications from other trends in industrial robotics is their ability to communicate critical information that can be used to make accurate and timely business decisions.

Cobots, or Collaborative Robots

Collaborative robots, colloquially referred to as cobots, are robotic automation designed to work safely alongside human workers in a shared, collaborative workspace. A collaborative robot is in charge of repetitive and menial tasks that would otherwise exhaust humans. Additionally, it protects industry workers by keeping them out of hazardous and critical jobs. The capabilities of collaborative robots are primarily different in industrial radar than in other sectors. Industrial collaborative robots are equipped with sophisticated sensors and software to detect and adapt to human intrusions in their workspace.

Sensory enhancements for robots

One of the primary characteristics industrial robotics is looking for is a robot capable of interacting with its environment. Researchers and scientists have incorporated advanced sensing and grasping tools into industrial robots to bring this long-held fantasy to fruition. When combined with powerful processing capabilities, tools such as force control and advanced 2-D and 3-D vision enable a robot to develop autonomy and decide what to do when confronted with the inevitable problems that arise during regular operation.

Digitalization of robots

Industrial robots that can communicate with one another without human assistance are increasingly viewed as a means of expediting manufacturing. Industrial robots are critical components of industry 4.0's digital and networked production. A group of researchers from VDMA and the Open Platform Communications Foundation (OPC) collaborated on developing the 'OPC Robotics Companion Specification.' This mechanism establishes a connection between industrial robots and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

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