Here’s what we know is happening in plants around the globe: collaborative robots are enabling manufacturers to automate many of the tasks on the factory floor that previously weren’t considered to be prime candidates for robotic automation. While that in itself is a huge leap forward, cobots can also be used to control various aspects of the work cell, which in turn will have a positive impact on the performance of the factory as a whole.
“We have the robot orchestrating the behavior with the conveyor, so that if the robot is learning that what’s going on downstream is now resulting in ‘maybe I shouldn’t be building quite as many parts’ then it can slow down itself and the operation of the conveyor, so that everything is slowing down to accommodate what’s going on downstream. So we’re going to move to an environment which is less about trying to plan all of that stuff up front and more about leveraging data and insight, and using that to drive the behaviors of the robot so the factory is operating in a much more efficient way.” -Jim Lawton, Rethink Robotics’ Chief Product and Marketing Officer
Hear what else Jim has to say about collaborative robots and their capabilities in the video above. And check out the rest of the Rethink blog for other video segments from his appearance at Supply Chain Insights Global Summit, including “How are collaborative robots trained?” and “What happens to people when collaborative robots are deployed?“
About the Author
I'm Jeff Green, senior content and social media strategist at Rethink Robotics. When I'm not socializing Sawyer and Baxter, our smart, collaborative robots, I'm usually caught up in the home tornado, also known as my three kids. Love them, my wife, old-school Chinese food, movies, and of course game-changing technology.