Just a few decades ago, industrial robots were the focus of science fiction, but today they are a reality. As time goes on, they will become smarter, more capable, and able to handle advanced tasks. Companies are embracing robotics in their manufacturing plants, and the future is looking very bright.
Join us as we look at how industrial robots could evolve and better serve the needs of the growing manufacturing industry around the world.
Impressive welding application at automatica 2018
The Focus of The Future: How Robots Will Evolve
The current focus of the industry tends to be on giving robots vision. Specifically, the rise of machine vision technology. This, combined with the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT), gives machines the ability to process images and understand what they are “seeing.”
As this technology continues to proliferate, the next step is giving robots the ability to apply these things to learn on their own. For example, a robot can currently be programmed to pick up and place items, but in the future, it will combine machine vision with machine learning to figure out its own programming through trial and error.
Another major trend that will continue into the future, are collaborative robots. This reflects the focus of the industry towards creating robots that are simpler, easier to program, and able to integrate into current processes.
To make these robots safe, there’s a large market for safety sensors that ensure humans can work alongside the robots without any significant risks. Machine vision will contribute to this as well, offering robots the ability to “see” when someone is in their workspace.
All of these things contribute to robots that can be placed anywhere on the manufacturing floor. The future will continue to enhance technology like 3D embedded vision, multispectral, and hyperspectral imaging. This, combined with artificial intelligence and deep learning, will empower industrial robots to improve themselves and keep pace with the human workers around them.
We’re already seeing companies like Fanuc working on robots that can teach themselves, so this aspect of the future is already becoming a reality. All of this will also be fueled by massive growth in the industry as whole.
The industrial robot industry is expected to grow 175% over the next nine years, which will result in more competition and innovation, which will drive these modern technologies forward. Collaborative robots will continue to become safer and their costs will go down as the industry expands and offers more options.
While robots are largely involved in automotive manufacturing, as they become smaller and more accurate, it’s predicted that robots will also enter the electronics manufacturing sector to assist with building complex things like smartphones or microchips.
By 2025, it’s expected that the demand for electronics manufacturing robots will match the automotive industry. We’re already seeing growth across all robotics industries. How do you expect the future to evolve as robots continue to grow and enhance their abilities? Let us know in the comments!