In 2008 Rethink Robotics introduced Baxter and the concept of a collaborative robot was born. Since then a lot has happened:
- Products evolved
- Customers (large and small) have bought a lot of robots
- There’s been failed deployments
- There’s been successful deployments
- There’s been a lot of research and media released
- There’s been acquisitions, rounds of funding, in some cases IPO’s
So it’s 2017, where are we now? Many large manufacturers are having trouble hiring people. Executives are afraid to take the leap and automate an entire line with a piece of fixed automation that cost 1+ million dollars.
This is where today’s collaborative robots come in. Large companies are starting small with an easy, repeatable application for a cobot. They are then working with companies like us to ensure the deployment is successful, within some cases – additional fixturing. From there, the customers internal engineering team understand and fully utilize all functionality related to the cobot.
To point to the title – why cobots over fixed traditional automation, here’s a couple reasons:
- Cobots are flexible, they don’t stay in one place, they can be moved around
- They are cost-effective, and in the right application you can see a payback in 6 months
- They are safe, and require a minimal amount of risk assessment and fixturing
- They are scalable, once an application is identified and it exists in multiple locations leadership teams can scale quickly generally resulting in multi-million dollar cost saving projects
For more information on how our customers and others are using robotics and automation in general.
Here is one of my favorite success stories:
To learn more or schedule a demo please contact me directly.