“Bottoms Up” has a special meaning, not typically associated with robots, at Yaskawa Motoman. When you decide to whet your whistle at a tradeshow — you can mosey on over to the Yaskawa Motoman “bar” and order a beer. Their expertly designed robotic arm serves a favorite brewski from the tap. With the help of a “bottomless” cup, the robot will fill your cup from the bottom up. A magnetic closure seals the bottom of the filled cup. Then you are free to imbibe.
This bartending robotic arm is an example of a collaborative robot. More user-friendly than their predecessors, collaborative robots have no sharp edges and no pitch points. Collaborative robots (also called cobots) have sensors that prevent damaging inventory, equipment, or people. This allows human workers to work safely alongside collaborative robots.
Cobots can be placed close to one another on a manufacturing floor. Their smaller footprint enables higher production density.
Maintaining safety with traditional robots requires putting up physical barriers, like curtains or fencing, to segregate the robots from people. Many times obtaining access to an industrial robot may require opening a door or gate. These gates are often programmed to make the robot stop when the gate is opened.
Robots are good at performing both mundane repetitive tasks and complicated tasks. Transferring human “know-how” to robots requires programming. An individual with expert knowledge can transfer knowledge to a robot via programming.
Welding is one example of how a robot can execute a complex task. Yaskawa Motoman hired an experienced, expert welder. This welder understands each step and nuance in the welding process. By breaking the welding process into sequential steps, the welder was able to program a robot to weld.
Yaskawa Motoman has streamlined programming robots. Some robots respond to and record physical positioning executed by the technician programming the robot. Other robots can be programmed with tablets that allow programmers to give directions like “move towards” or “move away”. (Some robots still use legacy programming methods which require designating movement in all planes.)
Robots Go to Hollywood
Robots are fun. And futuristic. Hollywood knows this. Movie producers periodically pick up the phone and call Yaskawa Motoman and ask to borrow a robot. Among the Yaskawa Motoman robot “movie stars” is a robot that was featured in a Terminator film.
The media’s portrayal of robots impacts how people perceive robots. When providing a robot for use in a film, Yaskawa Motoman requires that the robot’s role does not cause harm to any humans. They also require that a human handler be onset to manage the safe use of the robot with the cast and crew.
Future Potential Of Manufacturing Robots
Demand for robots continues to grow. Manufacturing facilities that use robots free up employees to work on higher level tasks. Yaskawa Motoman is leveraging innovation to stay ahead of the pack. They look forward to expanding their production capabilities to meet growing demand.
*Yaskawa Motoman is a leading industrial robotics company that has installed over 400,000 Motoman industrial robots worldwide. The TMRG group recently visited Motoman’s production facility in Miamisburg, Ohio. The above post highlights some of the key learnings from that tour. TMRG thanks Motoman for their hospitality.
*Marce Epstein develops Digital Marketing Strategies and writes Thought Leadership Content for industrial companies at OhioGhostWriter.com