Collaborative robots, or cobots, have been growing in popularity among manufacturing and industrial companies looking to improve quality, reduce tedium for workers, and gain efficiencies. According to Design News, “collaborative robots are expected to maintain a double-digit growth rate in terms of both revenue and shipments... Growth for all other types of industrial robots is either negative or flat.” And while all robots will likely experience growth as we move into 2021 and beyond, we expect cobots to continue their strong trend.
Collaborative robots, sometimes called cobots, have had a major impact on automation in the past several years. Unlike the large, often dangerous machines dedicated to a single factory task, collaborative robots are generally lightweight, compact, and easy to program for a variety of jobs.
This year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show, September 10-15 in Chicago, was the largest yet, with 2,563 exhibiting companies and 129,415 people registered. We enjoyed this fun opportunity to talk with exhibitors, watch demonstrations, and learn about trends to watch in manufacturing and automation.
When you think of robots, you might picture a vaguely human-like machine marching around in a futuristic setting or perhaps you think of a massive arm swirling around objects on an assembly line. A new generation of robots has come on the scene and is growing in numbers and capabilities. First developed by General Motors in the mid-1990’s, collaborative robots, also called