Collaborative robots are robots designed to work hand in hand with the human workforce. They may soon be famed for not only their ease of use and programming and safety control, but also for their ability to move around the workplace carrying loads of products. Mobile cobots are intelligent robots with mobility capabilities designed to function as work assistants to human beings at the workplace and their possible usage in the manufacturing industry is under intense search with a number of models under development.
The robotic manufacturers make use of the technology that has been used in self-driving cars to make the mobile cobots. They incorporate the flexibility, intelligence and unique design of self-driving cars into the complex robotic technology to give the once stationary cobot some mobility capabilities.
This article serves as a very reliable source of information and analytical data regarding the different crucial aspects of mobile cobots to enable you know more about these collaborative robots.
Need for mobile cobots
Movement of goods from one work station to another is a common scenario in the production centers and robots tend to help less in such activities as they are mostly stationary at one work station. Automated Guided Vehicles have the ability to move things by use of bar codes or magnetic strips to outline a defined path for the unmanned vehicles. The biggest shortcoming of this is that it’s performance and flexibility is limited.
The forklift on the other hand is prone to causing injuries to people at the workplace as well as increasing operational costs considerably. The conveyor belt has its own share of limitations too as it brings with it requirements for major structural infrastructure and regular maintenance costs. The industry was in dire need of an evolution to solve these deep limitations of the existing methods of automation and this led to the development of mobile cobots.
How will they work?
Mobile cobots are being designed to make use of laser scanning technology to analyze their surrounding and form a map that they can use to navigate autonomously. This is achieved by carrying out a manual control of the cobot as you take it around the workplace for the initial time and once it has a fully mapping of the area, it can freely navigate the place independently. The owner of the cobot can edit or update the map which was stored in the cobot after the initial tour of the place with any structural changes that may occur in the future.
The onboard sensors installed on the mobile cobots enable them to move around without the need for magnetic tapes or additional infrastructural support. The same sensors are able to effectively identify the presence of people or objects on their way and map out their location so that it can find an alternative route to avoid collisions and injuries.
Global market for mobile cobots
The limit of how far technological advancements can go is stretching beyond any human understanding and people want to be associated with the latest products released in the market. Mobile cobots are attracting the attention of many investors especially those with small and medium enterprises due to the low acquisition cost of these cobots and their relatively higher return on investment. Their adaptability to changes in tasks to be executed makes them suitable for manufacturing done in small batches.
With many companies doing structural changes to include cobots in their operations, the global market is expected to grow tremendously in the coming future. Cobots are entering the prestigious aerospace sector as well as creating markets for inventory takers, store assistants as well as warehouse and distribution center guides.
Europe has been named in several reports as the place where mobile cobots will have a huge market due to the favorable regulations regarding the use of cobots in the region. The acceptance of assets that are technologically advanced has also caused the boost in growth of the cobot market in Europe.