Collaborative robotics promises unlimited possibilities for the automation of production and assembly. Does it deliver what it promises?
The German mechanical and plant engineering industry is one of the pioneers for Industry 4.0. Traditionally, it has a strong focus on the automation of production processes and is more factory-centered. It is no coincidence that the Motek International Trade Fair is taking place in Stuttgart. Designers and users expect interdisciplinary approaches to solutions, a holistic view, so to speak.
Automation for dummies
Collaborating robots promise to open up new areas of application through improved interaction between humans and machines, and are taking the market by storm. In order for interaction to function as promised, software, the secret hero of every technological leap, is of course needed. The trend is towards ease of use. Specialists who can program robots are expensive and often their employment is not yet worthwhile.
Suppliers are quickly catching up here: Researchers at the Fraunhofer IPA, for example, have developed software that reduces programming effort to a minimum: premade program modules can be combined into complex robot applications via a graphical user interface. The parameterization of the blocks takes place via simplified operating and input aids.
With the help of such software, collaborative robotics will continue to be used in production in the future. And don't worry: there are still 10,000 people per 300 robots in German industry.
Dunja Hélène Ruetz, a technology junkie by birth, is enthusiastic about every new technology innovation. And if coding of robots is no longer rocket science in the future, she might even get one herself.