Industrial robotic technology has grown and developed in the last fifty years or more, since the first industrial robot was built. The benefits of robotic engineering are much more apparent now. Unimate, the first industrial robot, was put to work in the 1950s. Today, the industrial robotic sector in factories comprises 90% of the robots being used. Robots are used in many different applications nowadays – in laboratories, energy plants, research and exploration sites, warehouses, hospitals, and outer space.
You can classify the benefits of robotic engineering into four categories:
- Efficiency/speed/production rate
- Ability to work in unsafe environments
- Free from human limitations
A lot of industrial robots take on the form of a robotic arm. The mechanical nature and computerized control of a robotic arm enables it to carry out the same task over and over again with the same precision and accuracy as the first time. This leads to better quality for the end product. Robotic arms used in different production line tasks like assembling a product, welding, cutting and finishing, spray painting and so on, complete these tasks with excellent accuracy and precision.
Because industrial robots are mechanical in nature and have computerized controls, they work really fast and efficiently, which leads to an increase in the production rates as opposed to when a human being does the same task. Also, robots can be hung upside down from the ceiling and have no issued working in that position – leading to increased efficiency and also saving on space.
Ability to Work in Unsafe Environments
There are many tasks that a human being cannot be exposed to because it would be too dangerous to them, could expose those to harmful toxins or simply be too dirty a task for a human person to do. These tasks would be ideal for robots. A task as simple as spray painting could be taken over by a robot, as there is no danger of a robot falling ill after inhaling the paint fumes. Dangerous tasks like defusing a bomb or a dirty task like cleaning a drainage system could be areas where robots really come into use.
Free from Human Limitations
A human being can become bored of a repetitive task or feel hungry or go to sleep. Robots do not need to rest or eat or become bored, and they do not fall ill. A robot can work round the clock, with only the periodic maintenance. This in turn leads to better accuracy, quality, and precision as well as increase the rate of production.
We have looked at the benefits of robotic engineering, but at the same time no one can replace a human when it comes to creative thinking, complicated decisions or true innovation. The benefits of robots are many but it is humans who drive them.