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Robotics: Automating the Mundane

By Dick Weisinger

Robots are getting increasingly sophisticated. A recent survey of robotic advancements made in 2018 by Guang-Zhong Yang and others in ScienceRobotics highlighted ten of last years innovations.

The highlights include the advanced humanoid Atlas robot from Boston Dynamics, capable of jogging and jumping and even doing back flips. And another example is the nano-scale robots created from DNA strands that can self-assemble and form different shapes that can combine and more molecules.

Thomas Visti, CEO, Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), said that “the future is collaborative and mobile. We will see human-robot collaboration continue to develop. Cobots will be used efficiently in an even higher degree in repetitive, dangerous, and precise tasks, while their human colleagues are responsible for things such as quality checks and programming… We will see mobile robots in more applications, and we will see how mobility will be combined with industrial robot arms like mobile conveyor belts are already used within many industries.”

Expect warehouses to also begin using robots in a much bigger way. Currently less than 15 percent of warehouses are automated. But the ability to deploy warehouse robots will become increasingly easier and cost effective. Warehouse automation technology is expected to top $22 billion by 2021.

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