Robotics in Business Automation: Lights-Out Manufacturing

Robotics in Business Automation: Lights-Out Manufacturing

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, November 30, 2018

Business AutomationRobots are upgraded regularly; the most precise robots that are used today have a repeatability of +/-0.02mm. Evolution of highly automated processes has been years in the manufacturing sectors. Robots have become the symbolic representation of lights-out manufacturing (completely automated and no human intervention). The Fanuc plant in Japan is well known for lights-out manufacturing where robots manufacture robots without human intervention. Though real light-out factories are rare, the use of collaborative use of the robot is increasing rapidly.

So far, only self-driving cars were emerging business robotics market. Apart from this, there are many other potential uses of robotics in other businesses and organizations. Some devices that are flying and capturing the video, so-called drones, are also considered as robots. Recently, a company named xCraft worked on developing more autonomous drones that are used in emergencies or conditions. These drones are designed in such a way that they get GPS coordinates from the emergency call center. These drones fly to the accident spot, record the video, and fly back to the pavilion for charging. There is a need for learning about robotics within technology and businesses about the applicability of robots in wider markets. Robotics have entered into the bread manufacturing sector, in which robots (breadbot) bake bread without taking help from a human and these robots are directly installed in the grocery stores. Wilkinson Baking Company manufactures such robots today.

Robotics, being a multi-disciplinary domain is evolving with new developments in newer areas. Bio-inspired cognition research has crossed beyond coping locomotion strategies from nature. The other relevant challenge is the realization of novel brain computer interfaces which provides a resource of communication between robots and humans. It is anticipated that integrating areas such as multi-robot coordination and AI with electronics, the robots will be more intelligent and robust and extend their applications beyond human imaginations. Robot performances in terms of accuracy, precision, reliability, and repeatability will further enhance the range of applications into civil and defense sectors.

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