Technologies guiding the future of robotics in manufacturing
Industrial robots, both stationary and mobile, have been used in manufacturing applications for decades and are most often employed based on requirements for dedicated and repetitive manufacturing operations. Industrial robot capabilities have continued to advance in areas such as payload, accuracy and speed. Looking to the near-future, the use of robots must also transition to operate in dynamic environments for high-mix low-volume production. A variety of affordable technologies are emerging and blending to bridge the gap between the traditional use of industrial robotics and the future where robots react to consumer-driven customized product demands. This paper is intended to be informational in nature and will present applied technology development to overcome some of the historical limitations in the use of automation for complex industrial tasks. Additionally, this paper will describe internal and industry sponsored research efforts that are giving robots greater intelligence, more flexibility and greater ability to work collaboratively with humans.
Includes bibliographical references