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Three Robotics Trends For 2020

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Three Robotics Trends For 2020
Three Robotics Trends For 2020

The use of robots is already changing industry. The International Federation of Robotics IFR has summarized which trends are likely to shape the next few years.

Trend 1: Installation and programming of robots is easier

In the future, it will be much easier to program and install robots. What it looks like in practice: Digital sensors in conjunction with intelligent software enable direct teaching methods - for example in the form of "programming through demonstration". The task that the robot arm is supposed to perform is first carried out by a human being: he literally takes the robot arm by the hand and shows the desired sequence of movements. The software then converts the recorded data into the digital program of the robot arm.

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In the future, automatic learning programs will guide robots to optimize their movements using trial and error methods and to work with video demonstrations.

Trend 2: People work more closely with robots

Collaborative robotics - the cooperation between humans and robots - should become increasingly important in the future. Because of the ability to work with people, modern robot systems are able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Today, applications with a common workspace - shared workspace - are most common, in which humans and machines do the tasks one after the other step by step - i.e. sequentially.

Applications in which humans and robots work on the same part at the same time are significantly more demanding. Research and development are currently focusing on methods that enable robots to react with humans in real time at the workplace. Just as two people would work together in the factory, the robot should adapt its movements to the environment in order to ensure a really responsive collaboration. These solutions take into account, for example, recognizing the human voice or gestures.


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Trend 3: standardized interface allows industrial robots to communicate with each other

Industrial robots are the central components of digital and networked production, as used in Industry 4.0. It is all the more important that they can communicate with each other - regardless of the manufacturer. The so-called "OPC Robotics Companion Specification", which was developed by a joint working group of the VDMA and the Open Platform Communications Foundation (OPC), defines a standardized generic interface for industrial robots and enables industrial robots to be connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The digital connectivity of robots, for example with cloud technology, is also a driver for new business models: Robot leasing - called robots-as-a-service - has advantages that could be particularly attractive for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): No capital commitment, fixed running costs, automatic upgrades and no need for qualified personnel for the robots

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