09 February 2022
11. Robotics Congress 2022 – Reaching the goal faster with smart cobots
The thematic focus of the congress will be on simple programming and operation, safety & security, soft robotics and green robotics.
Top-class expert presentations will show why the future belongs to cobots and to what extent workers and robots will be a new team in the future.
The future belongs to cobots
Even if large-scale production is still a long way off, the future belongs to collaborative robots, or cobots for short. Gone are the days when robots exclusively wielded welding guns behind high protective fences. The robot of the future is designed and constructed from the outset to work together with humans. Workers and robots are the new team that can now partially automate work that could previously only be done manually.
Cobots are getting smarter all the time. Equipped with AI, machine learning and intelligent image processing, they can be quickly and easily integrated into an existing process. The user doesn’t notice the complex technology inside the cobot. Nor should he. The goal is always to relieve the user of complicated, time-consuming routines and lead him more quickly to practical use that promises added economic value.
Programming without special knowledge
Today, even beginners can set up their own automation solution. This is made possible by advanced software tools that present the user with standard tasks for robots, for example, as tiles on the screen that are simply clicked on. Programming is reduced to “drag and drop,” so to speak – except that this particular drag and drop does not involve stealing text passages from the Internet, but rather teaching the robot what it is supposed to do later in production or assembly.
Rule number one when using a cobot: The worker must not be harmed in any way. Manufacturers take this requirement very seriously and have taken appropriate technical precautions with their models: The palette is broad and ranges from light barriers and an intelligent sensor skin to software cocoons and simple padding of the machine. But the employers’ liability insurance association also ensures with strict standards that the worker is always on the safe side in human-robot collaboration. The only thing is that the standards should not be so strict that they unnecessarily complicate the economic use of cobots.
No chance for hackers
As production becomes increasingly networked, robots and cobots are naturally also a potential target for hacker attacks. What is needed are solutions that increase the IT security of robots in operational technology, or OT for short. Quite a few companies operate separate IT and OT networks, which doubles security efforts and destroys transparency. What is needed instead are solutions that guarantee sufficient protection at a reasonable cost.
Robots are constructed from solid components and are driven by metal electric motors. This makes them heavy, dangerous when used with humans, and expensive. Soft robotics fundamentally pushes the boundaries of the hardware used to build robots today. The goal of soft robotics is new drive systems that resemble muscles. Applications range from industrial process automation to medical robotics (exoskeletons) and new human-machine interfaces.
In times of climate change, energy efficiency in robotics has taken on a whole new meaning. Today, automation engineers not only focus on the cycle time and output of their plant, but also ask themselves how they can achieve their goals in the most energy-efficient way possible. What can be changed in an existing plant to reduce energy consumption? The answer lies in the individual components of the cell. With the right measuring hardware and suitable software, the energy guzzlers can be identified.
Get in touch with the future of robotics and don’t miss this event.