Flexible Robots and Robotic Grippers a Perfect Solution for SMEs
Posted on Mar 22, 2013 10:00 AM. 2 min read time
For a long time industrial robotics has been designed for large manufacturers who wanted to automate the highly repetitive tasks of production lines. And I would say that many still have this conception of industrial robotics. But now with new players such as Rethink Robotics and Universal Robots things have started to change. More and more, industry is moving to flexible and user-friendly solutions.
I don't know if you are old enough to remember, but there was a time when computers were not as friendly as the one that we have today. We had to enter lines of code to do anything: get into a program, see the content of a floppy disk 3.5 - or 5.25 depending on how old you are ;) -, etc. Everything had to be done by hand through coding. Today, thing are designed to be so user-friendly that my 5 year-old son is able to open a computer, start the game he wants and mash pigs by shooting birds; all this by himself without asking for my permission!
Industrial robotics are following the same path as personal computers, of becoming more and more user-friendly. End-users now have access to packaged solutions to make their life easier. By doing so, new doors are opening up to automation in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Instead of having one specialist for a given application and another for programming the robot in the field, we can now have only the application expert teaching the robot the task which needs to be done.
Through these new robots and robotic tools such as our electric grippers, the implementation of an automated solution becomes very affordable for SMEs - the cost of these new robots doesn't represent a large investment. It provides a flexible solution, easy to implement on an existing production line. It also doesn't require any in-deep knowledge of robotics and often the payback period is short.
In the following video you can see a demo from Institut Maupertuis - an R&D Research Center for industrial technologies in France. This demo is an example of what can be done in the food industry. But it could be applied to other types of industry. In the video the 2-Finger Adaptive Gripper - 85 is mounted on a robot from Universal Robots.