Robotics

Why collaborative robots need plug-and-play peripherals

Faster startup, redeployment and return on investment (ROI) are among the key reasons for using plug-and-play peripheral effectors and sensors with collaborative robotics.
By Mark T. Hoske May 30, 2019
Setup of a Universal Robots e-Series robotic system, with easily integrated hardware and software, is often within hours instead of days for more traditional robotics. Courtesy: Universal Robots

Collaborative robots, which can be used in an industrial setting and operate collaboratively with humans with appropriate risk assessments and mitigation, can be made even simpler to deploy when coupled with plug-and-play peripheral devices. Such devices – end effectors to actuate or sensors to measure or both – can lead to productive activity more quickly when they can plug and play, according to Early Ewing, UR+ product manager – Americas, Universal Robots USA Inc.

Faster robot integration

Less configuration through easier-to-integrate robotics is useful for many reasons, including:

  1. Changes in manufacturing have driven the need for “plug and play” peripheral devices for collaborative robots. Ewing said changing market demands and changing demographics make automation more necessary and easier-to-use faster to integrate automation adds productivity more quickly.
  2. Plug-and-play devices are important for collaborative robots because they can improve customer experience and enhance return on investment (ROI) in the initial and subsequent implementations.
Early Ewing is UR+ product manager – Americas, Universal Robots USA Inc. Courtesy: Universal Robots

Early Ewing is UR+ product manager – Americas, Universal Robots USA Inc. Courtesy: Universal Robots

Collaborative robots, which are generally easier to implement than traditional robots, can be applied in diverse applications including assembly, injection molding, lab analysis, machine tending, packaging and palletizing, pick and place, quality inspection, welding, and more.

Plug-and-play peripherals, with hardware and software elements that are easier to use, can make more sense in robots operating collaboratively. In such applications, robots often can be easily relocated, have frequent human interactions, operate in a shared space, have frequent tool changes, and can add ROI more quickly.

To learn more on peripherals for collaborative robots, see the webcast on June 13 (archived afterward for 1 year), “Plug and Play Peripherals for Collaborative Robots.”

Mark T. Hoske is content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

KEYWORDS: Collaborative robots, robotics.

Robot peripheral devices can be plug and play.

Ease of use helps collaborative robots to be productive more quickly.

ROI is faster when setup and reconfiguration is easier.

Consider this

How easily can your robotic platform integrate with needed effectors and sensors?


Mark T. Hoske
Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.