Advances in Robotics

Robotics companies are starting to develop equipment that appeals directly to the familiar technology used by millennials. Learn about the long-term impacts these recent robotics developments will have on the future of automation.

Explaining The Development of Robots

What was once science fiction is now a reality. Various manufacturing industries are now utilizing robots in their production factories. This industrial robotics revolution has led to increased job openings in the robotics engineering field. According to a Career Explorer study, the robotics engineering industry will grow by an estimated 8,500 jobs by 2026.

How will the next generation of robotics engineers be trained? Millennials grew up with technology in their hands; a Pew Research study found that over 90% of millennials have a smartphone, and over half own a tablet. These trends have started to influence recent robotics developments, as touchscreens, joysticks, and controllers have started to be implemented into artificial intelligence technology. Here, we’ll look at two examples that show how robots have changed to appeal to younger generations.

Yaskawa Smart Pendant

Learning how to see the world from the robot’s point of view is one of the most difficult challenges when learning how to work with robot technology. Yaskawa Motoman Robotics helped mitigate those challenges and ushered in new advances in robotics when they introduced the Smart Pendant in 2018. A touch screen–inspired pendant that mirrors a tablet, Yaskawa’s innovative Smart Pendant is built with Smart Frame technology. It utilizes an inertial motion unit that automatically determines the user’s orientation relative to the robot. Yaskawa’s patented technology simplifies robot programming by eliminating conventional coordinate frames (X, Y, Z) and utilizing human directional references (left, right, up, down). The Smart Pendant also has a smoother learning curve than older robotic technology. Previously, a four-day, on-location training course was required to work on Yaskawa robots. Now, only four hours of online classes are needed.

The Smart Pendant offers several features to simplify programming efforts, including:

  • Descriptive commands that reduce the need to remember abbreviations
  • A favorites bar that captures commonly used commands for easy use
  • Job editing that features touch-to-edit functionality
  • Detailed how-to instructions that eliminate the need for any hard copy manuals
  • The Yaskawa Smart Pendant is ideal for robot users who are just starting to learn robotic automation.

Sisu SRC Controller

While Yaskawa appeals to millennials’ history with tablets, Sisu’s SRC controller taps into their experiences with video games. It combines a tablet, joystick, and controller to create a user-friendly interface module. Moving the robot is as simple as pointing with the joystick and moving your hand. Sisu’s SRC controller is capable of memorizing specific motions in a simple three-step process:

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Step 1: Move and Repeat

Guide the robot with the motion of your hand, add the point, and move to the next position. You can add steps at any part of the process.

Step 2: Test

Test your program at a safe speed by using the handheld controller. Sisu’s SRC technology allows you to make any necessary tweaks while testing.

Step 3: Walk Away

The program is automatically downloaded to the controller. Push the green button, and the robot will perform the memorized task.

Sisu designed its SRC controller to allow anyone to program a robot. It’s so simple that most people write their programs within the first hour of training.

How Will Robotics Recent Developments Impact the Future of Automation?

The more robot programming manufacturers adopt familiar technology, the more likely it is that the price of robotic automation will decrease. Adapting robotic process automation has a variety of benefits, including:

  • Improved control
  • Better product deliver
  • Cost-savings
  • Increased safety and productivity

The development of robots continues to influence manufacturing, and Oxygen Service Companies can provide the automation systems that will keep your company ahead of the curve. We partner with well-known manufacturers who offer the highest quality of supplies on the market. We’re an employee-owned company known to go above and beyond for client satisfaction. Contact Oxygen Service today to see how we can automate your manufacturing process.