Some Insights About The Robotics Industry

Some Insights About The Robotics Industry

Mobility is a new promise in flexible robotics. While fixed robots will always have a place in production, augmenting traditional robots with mobile ones promise more flexibility to end-users in new applications. These applications could be for medical and surgical uses, personal assistance, security, warehouse and distribution applications, and ocean and space explorations as well.

Mobile Apps

Mobile robots are growing says Rush LaSelle, VP and General Manager with Adept Technology Inc. (Pleasanton, California).

Lowered costs enable deploying both large and small fleets of vehicles in warehouse distribution and line-side logistics usage.

Mobile robots could be particularly useful in painting and de-painting applications.

Medical/Surgical Applications

There is a potential use of mobile robotics in medical and other life sciences applications. Medical application is a growing field with huge untapped applications like drug delivery, or the development of mobile systems for specialized equipment.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) could play a role in assisting doctors in surgical procedures. AMR technology is applied in surgical applications. Based on inputs, the robot’s arm assists the surgeon to perform a task. Path-planned algorithms move the robot autonomously.

Danger Seeker

Mobile robots can access those areas which are dangerous to humans. Mobile robots are used to reach inaccessible areas like nuclear power plants. Mobile robotics is very useful in nuclear environments with high levels of radiation, mainly during a disaster or threat of a disaster.

Mobility=Lean

The vision of a lean manufacturing is being realized through mobile robotics. Mobile robotics connects islands of automation. Mobile robots are now used for transporting materials from donation areas and taking these raw materials to a work cell.

LaSelle thinks mobile robotics serving the ends of lean manufacturing through processing of optimal batch sizes in warehouse and palletizing applications.

Companies look for solutions to choose cases or parts within a warehouse as compared to pull a full rack. As this trend continues, expect to see more demand for systems encompassing mobility, manipulation, and vision. Given the rate of technological developments and drive for smaller batch sizes in manufacturing, you could see mobile robots becoming a staple in a large cross section of manufacturing within the next 6 to 7 years.

Autonomous Locomotion

Genuine independent mobility is necessary for robotics to add significant value to manufacturing.Mobility moves robots from being machines to production partners. The robot has to move to the work but if the robot is bolted to the floor and has no work before that robot, the robot is adding zero value to the production process. Bringing a mobile robot to where production is rather than bringing production to a fixed robot is the philosophical underpinning of mobile robotics.

Going Mobile

Like many, cutting-edge technology, mobile robotics has yet to become the norm in manufacturing. In heavy or unusual payload applications, mobile robotic platforms are becoming increasingly common along with a great deal of interest in small mobile platforms. Given the current level of technology already used in mobile platforms, these products would likely become very common within the next five to 10 years.

To achieve the goal, the robotics sector will need to continue educating end-users on the power of mobile robotics.

We conclude now.

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