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Leveraging Service Robots and Industrial Robots for Industry 4.0

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

Robots have extended their personality to make their way out of factories to bring a digital transformation!

Robots or mechanical support systems are programmed to undertake manual rule-based and routine tasks. Safety, speed, productivity contribute to its key USPs. Based on the end usage, robots are classified into service and industrial robots, both contributing to steadfast development.

Decoding Industrial Robots

Industrial robots find their application into manufacturing, they are automated, programmable and capable of movement on three or more axes. There are six main types of industrial robot configurations. Each of these types offers a different joint configuration referred to as axes.

• Articulated – Articulated industrial robot design features rotary joints which can range from simple two joint structures to 10 or more joints. An articulated robot’s arm is connected to the base with a twisting joint. Each joint is called an axis which provides an additional degree of freedom, or range of motion. Industrial robots commonly have four or six axes.

• Cartesian – These robots are also called rectilinear or gantry robots. Cartesian robots have three linear joints that use the Cartesian coordinate system (X, Y, and Z), besides having an attached wrist to allow for rotational movement.

• Cylindrical – This robot has at least one rotary joint at the base and at least one prismatic joint to connect the links. Cylindrical robots operate within a cylindrical-shaped work envelope.

• Polar – They are also called spherical robots; in this configuration the arm is connected to the base with a twisting joint and a combination, of two rotary joints and one linear joint.

• SCARA – SCARA are commonly used in assembly applications, this selectively compliant arm for robotic assembly is primarily cylindrical in design. It features two parallel joints that provide compliance in one selected plane.

• Delta – They are spider-like robots which are built from jointed parallelograms connected to a common base. Delta robots are used in the food, pharmaceutical, and electronic industries, curtest their capability of delicate and precise movements.

The Growth of Industrial Robots

Industrial robots are deployed in rule-based tasks which require high endurance, speed, and precision. They find their applications in pick and place, palletizing, product inspection, testing, welding, painting, ironing and assembly lines. The most famous brands for industrial automation robots are Brands- Fanuc, Motoman, ABB, Kuka, Denso, Adept, Comau and Kawasaki. Analytics Insights estimates that the growth of industrial robots will witness an upward increase, finding their application into Automotive, Food & Beverage, Electronics, and Metal and Machinery. The automotive domain is poised to capture the highest market revenue generation from US$17.1 billion to US$26.3 billion at a CAGR of 10.6%.

The Rise of Service Robots

Service Robots are ideal for performing useful tasks for humans. As the name suggests, they are autonomous or semi-autonomous robots intended to interact with people and are typically deployed in retail, hospitality, healthcare, warehouse, space and defence, agricultural applications, and demolition to automate dangerous or laborious tasks.

Analytics Insights estimates that by 2021, the professional service robotic market revenues are predicted to reach US$14.5 billion. Enterprises are looking ahead to leverage the benefits of these wonder machines to automate safety, efficiency and productivity processes. Safety is an important consideration for service robots for handling dangerous jobs where human workers would be in danger. Enterprises rely heavily on service robots to improve efficiency working as inspection robots and cleaning robots credited for their low downtimes and improved cost of labour.

Nestlé relies on its humanoid robot, called Pepper, in numerous Japanese department stores to sell coffee makers. Pepper understands about 80% of the human conversations and uses the information it learns to help customers. Customers can go to a Robofusion kiosk and order ice cream. After customers choose what they want using a touchscreen, robotic dispensers serve the frozen treat with toppings without any human supervision.

Companies like Cobalt and Knightscope are leasing out security robots. They can travel around corporate offices and are equipped with heat sensors, facial detection and employee badge scanners. These service robots move autonomously, watching for signs of trouble, like an unauthorized person entering the building.

In the future, as the demand increases, both industrial and service robots will become more incorporated into every facet of enterprises and the service industry to bring about a new era in automation, are you and your enterprise ready for this change?