December 14, 2017      

Buying and setting up a robotics system in a manufacturing facility be a difficult process that requires large investments of time and money just to get it operational. With new systems like Universal Robots‘ cobot offerings, the process of buying and setting up robots is becoming easier than ever.

At RoboBusiness 2017, Edward Chen, a technical support engineer at Universal Robots, shared how the company’s Universal Robots+ online marketplace, used in combination with its collaborative robot arms, can make the process of adopting and implementing automation easier for manufacturers across a variety of industries.

Universal Robots’ cobots support a variety of third-party hardware and software platforms that give it a significant degree of flexibility. At RoboBusiness, Universal Robots used motion-capture systems from OptiTrack, grippers from Robotiq, and Energid‘s Actin software. Chen noted that while the displays are impressive, the company’s robots are often still used for simple tasks in manufacturing, such as helping to move parts along a production line or perform basic tasks.

Perhaps the most interesting part of these robots is their ability to be completely modified at any point in the future, not just reprogrammed to perform a similar task. A gripper could be exchanged for a different manipulator, and suddenly the robot is performing an entirely different task.

This future-proofing can help companies immensely because now the process of buying and setting up these robots can be looked at as just the first part of a number of different chapters in the life of the robot. For smaller companies just getting into automation, this provides much more security than a larger robot installation whose an upfront price tag may be a hindrance to its implementation.

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