Robotics and the Future of Production and Work
Updated: Mar 11
Companies around the world are increasing their use of robots. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global average for industrial robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers grew from 66 to 85 in 2019.
Robotics and the Future of Production and Work, robots are key tools for boosting productivity. Even robots are expected to think out-of-the-box rather than follow orders. The rise of machine vision technology juxtaposed with the progress in the IoT domain has given machines the ability to process instructions and images on their own and think about the next steps in the sequence of activities from a logical perspective. This technology enables the robots to “see” and, as they mature, the robots will augment their ability to apply logic to things, and learn on their own.
One of the earliest uses of robotics in construction has been demolition. Considering the number of construction projects currently in place, speeding up the demolition process can provide a large saving of time and money. Breaking down walls, crushing concrete, and gathering all debris is the first step in many construction processes, and robotics is making these processes much more efficient.
Based on the blend of technologies, collaborative robots (cobots) are coming into play. They are meant to work both on their own and alongside human employees. They are integrated with multiple sensors so that they turn on the brakes and stop all processes when a worker enters the workspace of a machine.
This is necessary for safety. With these developments, robots could be placed anywhere on the manufacturing floor and perform any task. With technology advancements such as embedded 3-D vision, multispectral and hyperspectral imaging combined with AI, machine learning, and deep learning, industrial robots will be empowered to improve themselves. These do not shut down, they only stop for a while, which saves much production time. Collaborative robots are gaining popularity as they are most efficient t some operations for a short period of time.
With most robotic systems completely automated, manufacturing parts and materials will be much more consistent, with higher quality. By removing human error and inconsistency, these machines can take advantage of speed, efficiency, and repeatability to ensure better overall quality.
One of the biggest and most important movements in construction is lean construction. This contemporary ideology aims to increase efficiency and productivity, often centered on the elimination of waste. Robotic technology however can help reduce the amount of waste created because of its ability to ensure accuracy and precision. An investment in this technology, like 3D printers for example, maybe a daunting task for many businesses. In the long run, however, reduced waste and standardized materials will positively impact profitability.
It goes without saying that industries should embrace robotics and automation to remain competitive. Then, it is required to calculate the expected costs and develop a comprehensive strategy. Robots are transforming all aspects of the manufacturing and construction industry by not going beyond moving materials. Robots powered by AI and machine learning perform a variety of manufacturing tasks and production settings. They can be deployed to do mundane and repetitive tasks and duties that are dangerous or unsuitable for humans.