Collaborative Robots (Cobots) : Today’s Manufacturing Reality and Tomorrow’s New Normal

The rise of Industry 4.0

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. As the world is well into the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), it is important to realise its potential to raise the current socio-economic levels.

Unlike the previous Industrial revolutions, Industry 4.0 is evolving at an exponential rate rather than a linear pace. I believe, as citizens, investors and consumers, we are all responsible for guiding this revolution. It is only wise to grasp this opportunity and direct it towards a future reflecting our common values and objectives.

Cobots in the age of Industry 4.0

Collaborative Robots

Robots were originally introduced in the third Industrial revolution to perform tasks often referred to as the four “D’s” : Dirty, Dangerous, Dear(or expensive) and Dull. In my opinion, with Robotic Automation playing a key role in shaping the revolution, it is crucial to avoid complete “robotization” of industries and humanity.

Collaborative Robots”, abbreviated as “cobots” are meant to operate in conjunction with, and in close proximity, to humans to perform their tasks. Breaking the decade long system of confining the industrial robots to fixed locations, Cobots have emerged to become a leading-edge technology.

Contrary to the common belief that all robots will replace the human workforce, collaborative robots provide more value to the organisation by augmenting and enhancing human capabilities as they are designed to work alongside humans. They’re developed to provide precision, improved data capabilities and efficiency.


Why are cobots experiencing exponential market growth?

The goal of Industry 4.0-enabled robotics is zero downtime and maximum efficiency. As we observe the spike in the supply- chain industry with quick/one-day delivery options leading to fast movement of goods, it is essential to minimise the downtime and maximise productivity which now directly associates with the company’s competitive advantage.

You don’t have to look far to understand the impact of cobot automation. Amazon is close to entirely automating its order fulfillment process to achieve the same-day delivery by harnessing the unique skills of the human labor as well as the robots. In fact Amazon had to tweak their already built facilities to accommodate the automation infrastructure which of course proved to be worthwhile.

Manufacturers are now adopting the cobot technology to harness Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence and other Industry 4.0 technologies. The major factors that make cobots very adaptable by manufacturers are:

1.) Minimal to no complex programming required at the user’s end
2.) Easy and quick installation onsite
3.) Reduced integration cost and time
4.) No external safety infrastructure required
5.) Designed for quicker Return on Investment

According to the Fortune Business Insights’ report, “The global collaborative market size was USD 725.8 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 11,684.7 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 42.0% during the forecast period”

The collaborative robots market is quickly growing and lucrative opportunities await those who can find success in this dynamic industry.

Trying my best to isolate the elucidation of rising cobot market trend from the impact of Covid-19 outbreak , the emphasis is placed on the fact that with the onset of Industry 4.0, cobot automation has created a significant footprint in the manufacturing and logistics industry and is here to stay. It is quite evident that the pandemic has been a major driving factor for the Robotic automation industry which I might elaborate on in the articles to follow. Thank you for reading.

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