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Four potential futuristic attributes of collaborative robots

Collaborative robots will continue to evolve and future research may allow them to become more interactive and adaptable to human behavior.

By Robotic Industries Association (RIA) November 11, 2018
Courtesy: Bob Vavra, CFE Media

Collaborative robots have become a regular part of applications with high part mixes at low volumes. These tasks require high degrees of flexibility and safety. When they were first introduced, collaborative robots were a major innovation in robotic technology. While they’ve become commonplace today, they aren’t done evolving. Collaborative robots will acquire new capabilities as manufacturers and researchers look to make them more productive.

Four potential attributes for collaborative robots

  1. Adaptability to human behavior

In order for more efficient collaboration in the future, collaborative robots could be designed to recognize and adapt to the behavior of humans. This could manifest into seamless, real-time programming through mimicry, which would rid the need for downtime or programming knowledge.

  1. Interactivity

Efficient collaboration on complex tasks will require communication between a collaborative robot and a human worker. Future robots might be able to understand voice commands or hand gestures. This could help avoid unnecessary downtime for programming in the middle of time-consuming tasks.

  1. Unrestricted movement

Collaborative robots of the future may be able to adeptly sense and react to the environment around them. While many robots do this in a primitive way now, in the future these robots may never make the same movement twice in order to complete their assigned tasks.

  1. True collaboration

Today’s collaborative robots are actually fairly independent. In the future, collaborative robots that can sense human behavior may be able to understand the larger project and adjust their own behavior to keep things moving smoothly. This would be far closer to a truly collaborative relationship between humans and robots.

This article originally appeared on the Robotics Online BlogRobotic Industries Association (RIA) is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

Robotic Industries Association (RIA)