Collaborative robots are supposed to be the future.
Software-based, slow, intuitive and tiny (by traditional robot standards), they offer a totally different automation experience, eliminating the need for safety barriers, cages, complicated programming, and in some cases even dedicated technicians.
They bring the human worker and the robotic tools together in the same space to enhance productivity across the floor. Or at least that's what the brochures say.
One robot-maker leading this new field – Universal Robots – has helped make that interaction with these so-called "inherently safe" machines even safer.
At IMTS 2014 in September, Universal Robots will be showing off the third generation of its UR5 and UR10 robotic arms, which are chock full of new features designed to make them safer, smarter and more efficient than ever before.
One feature of note is its context aware operations, which help modulate speed and power depending on the robots' job and environment.
More from Collaboritve Robots Get a Safety Makeover by American Machinist.