April 24, 2014
IT'S THE COLLABORATIVE HUMANS YOU DON'T NEED:
Increasingly, Robots of All Sizes Are Human Workmates : Even conventional industrial robots are becoming safer to work around, making them more likely to collaborate with humans. (Will Knight on April 23, 2014, MIT Technology Review)
Industrial robots often sit behind metal fences, their mechanical arms a blur of terrific speed and precision; to prevent serious injury to humans (or worse), these robots are normally shut down when anyone enters their workspace.In recent years, however, the fences have started to disappear as a gentler breed of robot has entered the workplace and new features have made even conventional industrial robots safer to be around. This shift is altering the dynamics of labor in many factories and workshops, allowing humans and robots to work together in efficient new ways.Human-robot collaboration is "gaining an enormous amount of momentum," says Henrik Christensen, executive director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech. "In the past, robots have penetrated 10 percent of the industry. There's still 90 percent of the industry, and that's where you need collaborative robots."
Posted by Orrin Judd at April 24, 2014 7:09 PM