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The Ultimate Worker Assistant, Cobot

Food and Beverages | Friday, May 31, 2019

FREMONT, CA: What is a Cobot?

Cobot is technically called Collaborative robot and is used to assist humans in industrial settings.  Cobots help workers to manage production processes quickly and efficiently. These robots are not taking over the jobs of the workers but supporting them with automation enhancements that curb physical stress on the workers and allowing them to focus on more creative tasks at hand. 

Although Cobots make up only three percent of the robot sales at present, the International Federation predicts that the transactions may reach up to 34 percent of the robots market in the coming years. Similarly, another study on collaborative robotics sector is predicting an increase of ten-fold in five years surpassing a budget of $1 billion. 

The cobot plays the role of an assistant—a robotic arm—to the human worker, handling greater weights, working at a higher speed, and even move at angles that the human hands cannot replicate. The cobot performs tasks that are allotted to it by the managing worker, which includes specific duties that are too complicated, dangerous, or involves much precision than a worker can handle alone. The combination of humans and cobots can make efficient usage of time to get the work done.

Cobots in the Supply Chain

The consequential increase in the utilization of cobots is a result of several factors. These include:

• Easy implementation (compared to robots)

• Programming cobots is simple.

• Capacity to do said work in real-time and at scale

• Freeing up humans for more intellectual and high-value tasks

The most common use of the cobot is pick-to-cart processes. As cobots pick 200 units per hour, whereas humans could only pick up 90 units per hour, the simple movement caused the increased productivity of manufacturing processes by cobots. The process is easy for the cobots as:

• Saves relative travel time between two product zones

• Huddles up items for delivery to consecutive links

• Enables for hands-free packing as the colleague doesn’t need a scanner

With increasing advantages and reductions in packing errors, the cobot is being a compatible tool to help fight the shortage of high skilled warehouse workers. Cobots in extensive industrial facilities handles heavy parcels and reduces human travel time, all while bringing pickers to the next level.

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