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Collaborative robot: the next "outlet" of intelligent manufacturing

update:2020-10-21
abstract:Collaborative robot: the next "outlet" of intelligent manufacturingNow what appears on the market ar...

Collaborative robot: the next "outlet" of intelligent manufacturing
Now what appears on the market are collaborative robots that are still in their infancy. They are mainly used to perform repetitive prescribed actions. However, in the future, collaborative robots will surely be updated, becoming more efficient, more accurate, and smarter, and will work more closely with humans.

For robots to cooperate more closely with humans, the safety of humans must first be guaranteed. Although the development of collaborative robots is still in its infancy, it has taken the lead in strengthening its active safety.

One of the pioneers in the research and development of collaborative robots, the UR series of collaborative robots produced by Universal Robots, Denmark are equipped with torque sensors. If this type of robot encounters a resistance that exceeds a set value (such as 50-150 Newtons, the resistance value can be adjusted) It will automatically stop running, which ensures that the robot will not accidentally injure humans and other facilities during the movement.

In addition, collaborative robots are much smaller than traditional industrial robots, and their mass is generally between tens of kilograms to tens of kilograms. Not only does it consume less power, but many also use an endoskeleton design method with soft materials wrapped outside. This design not only is not easy to cause harm to people, but also allows collaborative robots to complete some lightweight tasks with people, such as gripping some relatively fragile parts.

In the future, collaborative robots should develop in the direction of easier operation, higher intelligence, and higher precision. Collaborative robots need more perception, cognition and execution capabilities than general robots to complete some complex tasks that require flexibility. In addition, collaborative robots also need to have the ability to communicate effectively with humans. All these require future collaborative robots to make further breakthroughs in key technical fields such as human-computer interaction, flexible mechatronics, cloud robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Human-computer interaction is one of the key technologies for manipulating robots. Since collaborative robots directly interact with humans and realize information transfer between humans and robots, it is very important to understand each other’s intentions in a timely and accurate manner. Currently, collaborative robots have applied more advanced human-computer interaction technology.

For example, some collaborative robots can be taught by workers. Workers demonstrate by manually moving the robotic arm of the robot without reprogramming, so that the collaborative robot can understand and make corresponding actions. In the future, in order to make collaborative robots easier to control, human-machine interface technology needs to be further developed, and its main development directions include visual and voice interaction, force and tactile interaction.

The flexible mechatronics technology further guarantees the safety of the robot. Safer motors and actuators are important technological innovations, including flexible mechatronics manipulators and other actuators.

These flexible actuators can adjust their behavior according to the magnitude of the reaction force when they are in contact with the external environment, that is, "know the severity", and adjust their strength according to different tasks, thus ensuring the safety of operation, especially when working with people Safety at work. In the future, the large-scale adoption of collaborative robots puts forward higher requirements on flexible mechatronics technology.

Cloud robotics technology can not only further reduce the cost of robots, but also can effectively improve the intelligence and self-learning capabilities of robots. Cloud robots are the combination of cloud computing and robots. Cloud robotics of collaborative robots is an inevitable trend of future development. Just like other cloud computing terminals, the cloud robot itself does not need to store all the information or have super computing power. It can only obtain the required information by connecting to the cloud server when needed.

The powerful computing and storage capabilities of cloud computing can provide robots with a more intelligent "brain" and enhance the ability of a single robot to perform relatively complex tasks. At the same time, the application of cloud computing technology also enables robots with different abilities distributed around the world to cooperate and share information resources, making it possible to complete larger and more complex tasks.

Cloud computing technology can also expand the application field of robots, accelerate and simplify the development process of robot systems. The modularization and scalability of cloud software in the future will also make the upgrade and evolution of robots more rapid. It is conceivable that the hardware cost of a single cloud robot will be greatly reduced because it does not require a large number of storage devices and super computing power. The cost reduction of robots has far-reaching significance for the promotion and use of industrial robots and service robots in the future.

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