The greatest selling point for cobots is that they are designed to work alongside human beings. Collaborative robots have made it possible for small and medium-sized business to automate their operations. As a result, SMEs are able to compete at a better level with the big companies.
Cobots are not only used in manufacturing. Many non-manufacturing industries have embraced collaborative robots in the workplace and are reaping the benefits.
Why Cobots Work Well with Humans
Collaborative robots are designed to easily fit into the workplace. They come complete with safety features and sensors which alert them when a human in is close by. Immediately they sense motion or an object, they slow down operations or come to a complete stop.
This way they avoid colliding with and ultimately causing injuries to their human counterparts. Cobots are also designed to take up tasks that require precision. In addition, they take over applications that do not give room to error.
Therefore, they can work well in places such as kitchens or clubs. In fact, cobots have been successfully incorporated in the service industry.
Here are a few non-manufacturing applications for collaborative robots.
1. Picking Plants
Collaborative robots can be found in greenhouses among the workers helping to pick plants. Cobots help greenhouse workers in a couple of ways:
- They take over repetitive tasks
- They mitigate the problem of shortage of seasonal workers
Repetitive tasks in the greenhouse can be quite taxing and stress-inducing. With automation, some of the stress is lifted and workers can move on to less stressful tasks.
2. Your Cobot Captain
An industrial robotic arm may be a bit much in the cockpit. A collaborative robot fits right in. Automation in an aircraft helps in bringing down crew requirements. It is also expected to ensure that pilots perform at their best to prevent boredom and fatigue.
Nobody wants a tired pilot. Frequent flyers may feel a whole lot better knowing that the pilots have automated help.
3. Robots in the Kitchen
If you have seen robots serve in restaurants on TV and wondered if that is a possibility, well, it may soon be. A cobot uses various end-of-arm tools to work effectively in restaurants. You will find them flipping burgers or working the grill.
Naturally, they must meet the food-safety recommendations. Cobots are able to work non-stop in the commercial kitchen. Furthermore, they are programmed to work alongside the chefs, sous chefs and other kitchen staff perfectly.
A burger flipped by a robot would be done precisely with no room for error. Maybe the days of sloppily prepared burgers are gone.
4. The Cobot Bartender
Collaborative robots have been observed mixing drinks. It is easy to imagine how precise a robot would be with the measurements. The next time you go to the bar, your margarita may be delivered to you by a robot.
Some cruise ships such as the Royal Caribbean Cruise have successfully incorporated robots as bartenders. Also, a number of hotels across the globe have robots serving their patrons.
Robots are also working as baristas. Maybe the next time you visit your local Starbucks, your cappuccino will be made and delivered by a robotic arm.
5. Collaborative Robots in the Operating Theatre
Robots working in a hospital set up would have to meet the exacting standards set for health institutions. Surgeons may also have to undergo more training in order to work with them. The robots must abide by the strict regulations as well as meet high-performance expectations.
All in all, robots are able to perform precise surgery which saves the patient unnecessary blood loss. Furthermore, they are programmed to perform intricate and sensitive surgical procedures. Some surgeries such as spinal procedures require absolute accuracy to keep diminish risk to the patient.
Collaborative robots can be adapted to many more functions outside of manufacturing. They can even be utilized at home to perform various domestic tasks. Consequently, the market for cobots can only be expected to expand further as demand for them grows.