What is Robotics?
You have likely heard of robotics, an integrated system of multidisciplinary fields, mainly mechanical, mechatronics, controls, electrical, and software assembled with the goal of helping humans with tasks. Most robots can’t work alongside humans and instead function on their own autonomously. This is because many robots have high voltage, use lasers, or operate at high speeds, causing significant risk if working near humans.
What is Cobotics?
On the other hand, cobots is a name for a collaborative robot. These are robots that pass specific safety requirements and can work alongside humans. As said in Forbes:
“The future of work is not about humans being replaced by robots. Rather, it is about us learning to work alongside smart, automated technology that will augment our capabilities while allowing us to focus on skills that are uniquely human.”
Cobots do not pose the same risk of electrocuting or of colliding with people as regular robots do. Cobots can do tasks with humans such as picking items in a warehouse, sorting products in an assembly line, placing boxes on palettes, gluing and sealing, soldering, and welding.
The implementation of cobots in workspaces such as warehouses or manufacturing facilities has not only improved the profitability and efficiency of the businesses that use them but has also improved the health of workers who would otherwise be doing repetitive laborious tasks. Instead of continuously lifting, for example, humans can work with these user-friendly cobots to complete the tasks as operators.
What is a Welding Cobot?
Novarc Technologies designs and builds the world’s first welding cobot, called the Spool Welding Robot (SWR). This cobot uses artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to automate the toughest welding jobs. Some of these jobs include small pressure vessels, pipes, and other types of roll welding in industries such as shipbuilding, construction, mechanical engineering, industrial contracting, and oil and gas. The SWR is safe to work alongside a human operator, allowing him/her to monitor the weld and make adjustments if necessary. The benefit of automating welding is that it removes the welder from heat, carcinogenic fumes, UV light, and exposure to the arc.
The SWR is a tool for welders to improve their workflow so that they can focus on the specialized welding jobs and leave the repetitive welding tasks to the cobot. This technology not only improves their daily work life but will also prolong the welder’s career longevity by removing the strenuous labor of their job.