3 Trends in Robotics That Are Changing Manufacturing

Robotics is a field that is growing and evolving at an exponential rate. Robots are becoming smarter, more skilled, and highly efficient. All of these things are being improved by three emerging trends:

1. Collaborative Robotics

Collaborative robotics first emerged onto the market in 2014. Since then, it has become a key player in the automotive and electronics industries. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of collaborative robots, are their flexibility. In modern car manufacturing, these robots work with humans to give them increased productivity in a variety of roles. They are easily built and provide safety features to protect their human counterparts.

Robotics in the automotive industry.

Robotics in the automotive industry. (Source: Robotiq.com)

2. Robotics as a Service

To make robotics and collaborative solutions more accessible, many robotics manufacturers have adopted a “service” policy that offers more accessibility to startups and cost-sensitive industries. This model has allowed robotics to penetrate the agriculture industry. Instead of selling farmers extremely expensive robotics, they instead allow the farms to use them in exchange for agreed rates. It could be $/Kg or $/acre, but it allows the robots to be rented as a service, as opposed to purchasing them outright. Savioke, Rethink Robotics, and Robosoft Services Robots are already making waves in this area.

3. China’s Robotic Revolution

Since 2013, China has been buying more industrial robots each year than any other country. By the end of 2016, China will overtake Japan as the largest operator of industrial robots. As the cost of human workers goes up, China is turning its gaze to automation and robotics. Fewer factory workers augmented by a highly trained workforce unable to find job creates a lack of balance. China’s predicament is a sign of future decisions that will need to be made in the rest of the developed countries of the world.

>>Read more by Mariane Davids, Robotiq, January 31, 2017