In 2017, the types of robots we thought could only exist in movies were being made all around us. A vast majority of them were also working in our factories alongside human workers. The surge of collaborative robots, or cobots, helped to increase efficiency while also curbing the fear that humans will become outdated.
Join us as we explore the trends that will define 2018 for robotics and manufacturing. These trends will also help your organization stay ahead of the latest developments.
3 major trends in robotics for 2018
In 2017, there was a surge in artificial intelligence technology. This was no accident. Robots are indeed becoming smarter as both safety and efficiency become a major focus. This type of technology is just one of the trends that will define 2018.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from robotics in 2018.
1. Robotics as a Service (RaaS)
Both robots and software are benefiting from a new structure that keeps everyone happy. Cloud storage is fueling this type of software, but robots are able to take advantage of this concept as well.
Instead of selling robots at an upfront cost, manufacturers are instead taking advantage of the option to pay for a service that covers costs like maintenance and management. They pay a specific amount at an ongoing rate, instead of investing in the entire robot at once.
This type of business model will grow significantly in 2019 as it offers an easy way for manufacturers to quickly jump on board the robotics train.
2. Customizable (Modular) Robots
Modular design is a lot like building with Legos. You can switch out various pieces and parts to customize or upgrade the product as a whole. This type of customization is crucial for robotics to truly adapt to manufacuring. They must be able to change their parts as tasks change.
In 2018, you’ll see more robots offering modular designs, including the option for actuators that can be quickly altered to meet the needs of any given task. While the creation of these designs is difficult, the end product is very simple to use, making it a trend to watch in 2018.
3. Artifical Intelligence and Machine Learning
We’ve heard a lot about A.I in 2017, but you should expect to hear a lot more in 2018. Both this and machine learning are the focus of research and development across the world. Robots that are empowered with this technology can improve on their own, learn new techniques, and adapt in a lot of ways.
Machine learning can also help manufacturers perform preventative maintenance, as the robot will be able to alert the proper personnel when an issue is beginning to arise. Expect to hear a lot about these two technologies in 2018.
Ultimately, the robotics industry as a whole will grow significantly in 2018. These are some of the major trends you can expect to see, but which trends are you watching out for? Let us know in the comments!