During the global lockdown, automation and robotics have become immensely important. We know that linear actuators and special software make robots move, perform specific actions, etc. Especially valuable now are those solutions that can be managed remotely. If correct remote controls for linear actuators are chosen and installed, a factory can function with the minimum presence of people.
Robots Can Do Many Things
There have been already automated lines. Now though, this trend is becoming increasingly popular. Now, with smart control options, robots can perform many operations:
- They can pull and push objects of different size;
- Machines can perform loading and unloading procedures;
- QA processes can be entrusted to robots completely, etc.
While earlier, robots could work in isolated environments, work along with people was not wished, now, they are more integrated.
Robots Are Learning
Now, robots and people can already work in the same environment. However, in most cases, it is a consecutive collaboration. In the future, it is expected that robots will be able to work along with people on the same processes. For that though, such features shall be developed as a reaction in real-time mode, the recognition of an intent of a human worker, gesture, and voice recognition.
Thanks to AI and machine learning, robots are becoming smarter. They are able to process huge volumes of information, analyse it, and learn. Thus, they are becoming increasingly independent.
Robots are becoming smarter. Now, a new teaching method for robots was introduced. It is called Programming by Demonstration. Here, no coding is needed. A specialist guides the hand of the robot. This movement is transferred to the software, and a new algorithm is created. It is expected that further, robots will learn to improve the movements by trial-and-error. Now, however, it is impossible.
During the lockdown times, with robots, people can handle the majority of operations remotely. They need just to have access to control devices. In all the other regards, technology development allows using robots partially independently in a manufacturing facility.
Does It Mean That Robots Will Replace People?
This question is very actual now. With the growth of robotics importance, many people are worried that their places might be taken by machines. However, it is still too early to speak about any replacement.
Right now, machines are preferred under the following circumstances:
- Hazardous conditions that pose a danger to human life or health;
- Severe environmental conditions, such as extreme cold, heat, etc.;
- In the fields where top accuracy is needed;
- In the industries where it is needed to process huge information volumes to achieve the best result, and similar.
However, robots are still helpless when it comes to acting in non-standard situations, emergencies for which there is not a specific protocol of actions, to making non-standard decisions, etc. Here is where people are irreplaceable.
That’s why even in the world-leading manufacturers` facilities, people are still needed even during these complicated times. While with automation and robotics, human presence can be lowered, but it is still needed.
Hayley Mann is a technology enthusiast specializing in automation methods of ergonomics devices. Her engineering background helps her to create interesting articles on technical topics, making them understandable for all readers.