From robots that work close by people, to following segments through the logistics framework, the Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping the way items are composed, and changing the role of people in assembly lines. The main advantage offered by collaborative robots, called cobots, is their capacity to work without an enclosure. The natural security highlights incorporated with the robots enables them to securely work close with human operators. What’s more, cobots are undeniably on the ascent: BIS Research reports that from 2015 to 2021, the cobot market is expected to develop to roughly $2 billion and 150,000 units.
“[Cobots] can learn by imitation. They tend to have cameras with vision recognition software. You can move the hand of the robot, you do a task and after a few minutes the robot is programmed,” says Jonathan Cohen, portfolio manager of the $90m RoboCap UCITS Fund. This compares with 50 to 200 hours to program larger industrial robots, he adds.
The next logical advance for cobots is to begin handling errands taken care of by mechanical robots. This includes heavy assembly, and more fragile assignments like welding. Welding is particularly sought after right now, with gifted labourers resigning and not being replaced.
According to Craig Tomita of Universal Robots, welding has been a desired feature for UR users for a long time. “We are getting a lot of requests for integrating Universal Robots in welding booths,” explained Tomita. “So, we saw this as a unique opportunity to develop an integrated, low-cost system for gas metal arc welding applications that no one else in the market is currently offering.”
One of the greatest cobot makers is Universal Robots of Denmark, which was obtained for $285m in 2015 by Teradyne, a US provider of robotization equipment. Using its machines incorporates placing confectionery in boxes, cleaning objects, and screwdriving, as indicated by Jürgen von Hollen, President of Universal Robots
Hollen, who was on a recent visit to the country, said according to his estimate, Asia would soon present the largest share for the company.
“The APAC region will be the fastest growing, that’s a given. China and Japan are going to be the main staple but I see India as a third element. India, if it adopts similar programmes as the Chinese and the Japanese towards promoting automation, will become larger than the rest, “Hollen said. He added that the company started its India operation in the beginning of 2016, and it has shown the highest growth among all other countries and regions.