Modern robots work hand-in-hand with humans, flexibly performing ever-changing tasks. AI makes this possible – creating immense potential especially for the manufacturing industry, where certain processes cannot be automated fully. This is the reason why management and strategy consultants McKinsey believe artificial intelligence will drive growth in Germany’s industrial sector .
What Computer Vision Makes Possible
AI is no longer just a thing of science fiction movies. Today, technological breakthrough are made almost daily. For instance, computer vision is advancing all the time. This function enables robots to be more human and 'considerate': They can adapt their behavior because they are aware of what is happening around them. Distance sensors make this possible, combined with software that can learn to distinguish people from objects. If a human gets too close to the robot, it stops moving.
Until now, conventional industrial robots could only perform actions that were clearly defined in advance. They were fenced in to protect humans from unexpected 'close encounters'. In contrast, collaborative robots help humans – making their jobs easier. In the production facility at BMW in Spartanburg (USA), cobots work right beside the employees . They operate them directly without having to stop the robots first.