According to ABB , this is the world’s first collaboration focusing on Cobots. Both companies already have robots in their portfolio and will continue to manufacture and market them independently. Together, they want to inform policy makers, NGOs and the public about the advantages of collaborative automation. The collaboration also includes joint approaches to security, programming and communication.
Cooperation between humans and robots has become more important because, in many industries, production has been shifting from mass production with very little variance to smaller batch sizes with greater variance. This means more interventions by workers, who cannot yet be replaced. Cobots could nevertheless play a supportive role and take care of routine tasks. ABB and Kawasaki want to concentrate above all on working with two-armed robots, as this is where they see the greatest potential.
Although robots tended to be perceived as a threat in the past, the advantages offered by Cobots are apparently becoming more widely known. Robotics Tomorrow has recently listed some of them: models that can cut, sort or package, among others things, are now becoming affordable and attractive for even small and medium-sized companies. Thanks to their versatility, the acquisition costs amortize relatively quickly.