So what are they – robots? There are several classifications of industrial robots: by the type of control, by the degree of mobility, by the field of application and the specifics of the operations industrial robots perform.
In simple terms, a robot (from the Czech robota, forced labor) is a cybernetic system that can perform operations related to the physical and mental activity of a person. The robot includes a programmable control system that controls the mechanical structure. And also connects the robot with the external environment equipment and user.
By type of control:
Guided robots: Requires an operator to control their every move. Due to the narrowness of the areas of application, they are not very common. And not exactly robots.
Automata and semi-autonomous robots: they act strictly according to a given program, often do not have sensors, and are not able to correct their actions, they cannot do without the participation of a worker.
Autonomous: they can perform a programmed cycle of actions without human intervention, according to predetermined algorithms and adjusting their actions as needed. Such robots are able to completely cover the field of activity on their section of the conveyor, without the involvement of a living labor force.
By function and scope:
Robots are divided by purpose and functions performed, here are just a few of them: industrial robots are universal, welding, machine-building, cutting, picking, assembly, packaging, warehouse, painting.
This is not a complete list: the number of all possible options is constantly growing and it is impossible to list everything within the framework of one article. We can only say with confidence that there is hardly a field of human activity where robots could not make human labor more creative, taking all the monotonous and dangerous part of the work on themselves.
Other classification methods
Each encyclopedia, each reference book and each manufacturer has its own classification and typology of robots. Which is not surprising – it is often determined by purely specific needs. And the particular approach of the person who composes it.
According to forecasts of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Oxford University, by 2030 more than 30% of jobs will be occupied by robots, the World Economic Forum in its report “The Future of Jobs” says that by 2020 robots will occupy more than five million jobs. Artificial intelligence (AI), big data, blockchain, 3D printing and other modern technologies not only help us solve problems, they create completely new highly qualified professions in the field of science, force people to change jobs and master new competencies.
The penetration of robots into all spheres of life is inevitable, and the process of automation will affect both physical and intellectual labor. Technology today has increased the need for highly skilled professions in data science and others who can now use information to grow or improve company strategy. People in this situation will master the role of a manager with the same artificial intelligence and create new jobs … for robots.
In what spheres of life have robots long and firmly established themselves? It seems that some industries are more suited to adopting advanced robots. Or perhaps more willingly adopting robots into their manufacturing processes. In the rolling segment, robots are very easy to use.
- Packaging World – Robotic Loader Offers Mobility and Inspection. A two-robot loading bay on Blueprint Automation uses visual inspection to pick and move goods 120 cycles per minute.
- Yasakawa – Our robotic packaging systems handle a wide variety of food, beverage and consumer products. Take, pack, deliver.
- Robotics Tomorrow – In a packaging plant, robots place huge stacks of boxes on a conveyor belt, group and stack them on pallets. Many major manufacturers have found robots to improve efficiency in manufacturing and reduce health and safety risks. Several of the big manufacturers, including Graphic Packaging, WestRock (formerly MeadWestvaco), Master Packaging, and Malnove, have adopted robotics, but there are many companies that are skeptical about the use of robots.
Significant growth for robotics will come from 90% of the market that is not yet automated. These are small and medium-sized enterprises around the world, the largest sector of the production base.
Joe Gemma, President and CEO of KUKA Robotics Corporation in Shelby Township, Michigan, is the new President of the International Federation of Robotics. Demands for increased productivity, tighter error margins, custom mass production. And shorter product cycles are driving an increase in the use of robotics around the world, he said. “Traditionally, robots do everything or nothing,” explains Gemma. They did all the work, because you did not have the opportunity to send a man into space. Or they didn’t do anything because a human had to do it. Today, this is a big difference from interacting robots. Part of the process is performed by robots, and part of the process is performed by humans. Now the robot can be close to the person and carry out. For example, the final assembly, after which the person checks. ”
In conclusion, we can say that robots are more and more used in manufacturing. And applications become more complex as technology advances. The Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence will foster the development of robots that will work alongside humans. Companies large and small in the rolling segment will use these changes to reduce costs and improve efficiency. However, those who can work together with robots and smart machines will succeed.
A brief history of robotization
Over the past 100 years, robots have not only evolved. But they have also become a part of our daily life. The word “robot” came into use after the play by Karl Czapek about artificial people saw the light of day. And this is very symbolic since the “roaring” twenties are a period of economic growth. And new discoveries in science and technology.
Over the next decades, outstanding discoveries have occurred in a wide variety of disciplines. For example cybernetics, mechatronics, computer science, electronics, mechanics, and it is on them that robotics relies on. By about the 30s of the XX century, the first androids appeared that could move and pronounce the simplest phrases.
The first programmable manipulator mechanisms were designed in the 1930s in the United States. The impetus was the work of Henry Ford to create an automated production line. At the turn of the 1930s and 1940s, automatic lines for the processing of bearing parts appeared in the USSR. And at the end of the 1940s, a complex production of pistons for tractor engines was created for the first time in the world with the automation of all processes. From loading raw materials to packaging finished products.