The proliferation of new sensors continues to transform robots across industries and applications
Most descriptions of modern manufacturing facilities feature factory robots automating routine tasks with superlative accuracy. Unparalleled mechatronic solutions for robotic and drone applications have transformed manufacturing by producing major leaps in productivity and operational efficiency.
These early robots have grown in numbers as deployments have proven their precision and repeatability, making them ideally suited to handle unsafe, monotonous functions on manufacturing or assembly lines. First-generation robots on automotive lines are performing spot welding and painting applications. Initially very mechanical, robots now are evolving dramatically, thanks to the addition of environmentally-aware sensors that impact form factor and functionality.
Today’s robot designs focus more on functionality and ability to work safely alongside people in performing an ever-increasing array of responsibilities. The opportunity to install a variety of environmental sensors and collect vast amounts of data about what’s happening in that environment is transforming robotic applications across manufacturing and just about every industry sector, from aerospace and automotive to healthcare and retail.
For example, Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil, is rolling out hundreds of multi-purpose, autonomous robots designed to improve grocery store operations.