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The needs of manufacturers are shifting, as factories must be more nimble and flexible than ever before to meet the needs of their customers.

New parts, processes and production lines need to be implemented quickly and efficiently in order to serve fluctuating customer demands, which are increasingly focused around personalization and customized products. Traditional industrial robots are poorly suited for 90% of manufacturing applications that require a more flexible solution.

A new wave of collaborative robots, led by Rethink Robotics' Baxter and Sawyer, is enabling additional possibilities for manufacturers through software advances, and filling this automation gap.

Baxter and Sawyer are able to adapt to real-world variability, change applications quickly and perform tasks like humans do. The result: Manufacturers around the globe and across industries get the fast-to-deploy, easy-to-use and versatile automation solution they need to increase flexibility, lower costs and accelerate innovation.

At HANNOVER MESSE 2016, Sawyer will be making its inaugural appearance at a European trade show. Sawyer’s unique features include compliant motion control, embedded vision with a built-in Cognex camera and Rethink’s patented Robot Positioning System – enabling the robot to precisely and reliably feel its way into fixtures, and adjust to variability in the work cell like people do.

Many manufacturers have been unable to effectively deploy traditional robots in the factory because of extensive programming time and costs. This new generation of robots doesn’t require technical programming, as the robots are trained by demonstration, meaning that virtually anyone can train robots to complete tasks simply by showing them what to do. In contrast to traditional industrial robots that take hundreds of hours to program, and require a highly paid engineer or consultant with programming expertise, Baxter and Sawyer can be trained to perform a task in a matter of minutes. With a true train-by-demonstration method, employees with little to no technical background can deploy and redeploy automation quickly and effectively, therefore saving time and money.

Rethink's robots are now deployed in a wide variety of industries, including plastics, contract manufacturing, electronics, automotive, metal fabrication, consumer goods and research and education. The robots are not limited to those spaces; they are adaptable to virtually any environment, and can be used for tasks that cross numerous industries, including packaging, line loading and unloading, kitting, machine tending, circuit board testing and material handling.

As demonstrated by recent expansion into Germany, China, Japan and Mexico, the appetite for Rethink’s smart, collaborative robots is huge and growing rapidly.

Vicitors could learn about new possibilities for product transformation processes and how Rethink's customers are reaching a new level of productivity and efficiency. HANNOVER MESSE-Exhibitor Rethink Robotics on the show floor.