The need for increasing manufacturing quality and speed and reduce production costs has resulted in the development of a new range of machines called industrial robots. Such robots can carry out a host of tasks with accuracy, speed, greater flexibility, and consistent quality. Consequently, they find a wide number of applications in SMEs as well as large organizations in industries such as automotive, electrical and electronics, chemical, plastic, food and beverages, metals, and others. Industrial robots are used for various purposes including handling, palletizing, cutting, finishing, spraying, welding, sealing and gluing, part loading and unloading, electronic assembly, and others. While there are many types of industrial robots existing, some of the common types include articulated (3R) robot, SCARA (selective compliance assembly robot arm) robot, cartesian (3P) robot, cylindrical (2 PR) robot, and polar or spherical robot (2RP).
The industrial robotics market is witnessing robust growth in recent years and is expected to reach $70,715 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 9.4% from 2017 to 2023 according to the research firm Allied Market Research. The growth is propelled by factors such as a surge in need for automation, rising cost of labor and dearth of skilled human workforce, growing investment in R&D activities, and availability of affordable and energy-efficient robots.
Furthermore, increase in application areas of industrial robots, the rapid expansion of industrial activities, technological advances in software and networking technology, growth in emerging economies, and the growing robotics and AI industry create lucrative opportunities for growth in the market.
Several developments took place in the space recently and one of them is the launch of a new pick and place system by RightHand Robotics, a company that provides end-to-end solutions that reduce the cost of e-commerce order-fulfillment of electronics, apparel, and more. Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), a leading manufacturer of collaborative mobile robots, introduced its autonomous mobile robot called MiR1000. Epson Robots, the leading maker of SCARA robot in the world, recently announced the expansion of its SCARA robot lineup with the launch of four new industrial robots. The UK-based manufacturer of specialized metal components Automata raised a sum of $7.4M for its industrial desktop robot.
New Robot by RightHand Robotics
At the ProMat conference held in Chicago, RightHand Robotics introduced the second generation of its picking robot called RightPick2. Featuring Intel’s depth-sensing cameras and an improved arm from Universal Robots, the system can lift loads up to 2kgs. It is fast, fluid, and can pick up various objects while capturing barcodes for order fulfillment in the process.
MiR Launches Mobile Robot
The MiR 1000 autonomous robot is designed for automatically picking up, transferring, and delivering pallets and other heavy loads up to 1,000 kgs. The robotic system is also a safe and efficient alternative to perilous and clumsy forklifts used in factories. MiR exhibited the product at the Automate 2019 show in Chicago. It comes with two flexible pallet lifts for the two popularly used pallets namely, the EU pallet and the 40-inch by 48-inch pallet. According to Thomas Visti, CEO at MiR, the MiR1000 was developed in order to cater to strong demand from customers for smaller robots and who wanted to transport heavier components like those used in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Epson Robots Expands its Robotic Range
At Automate, McCormick Convention Center, Epson Robots launched four new robots namely the LS3-B, LS6-B, LS10-B and LS20-B which are designed to offer optimum value and performance to manufacturers. The enhanced features that have been included in the robots are faster cycle times, a lower cable duct profile, ideal for hard to reach work cell layouts, built-in camera cable for easy vision system setup, new top-of-arm layout for enhanced usability, and a batteryless encoder to reduce downtime and ownership cost.
The LS10-B and LS6-B SCARA robots come with various feature updates and can be used in factories where there is a requirement of reliable performance at a budget-friendly price. Available in ISO 4 Clean versions, the robots offer vision, fieldbus interface solutions, RC+ 7.0 API software, and much more.
Automata Raises $7.4M for Industrial Robot
Automata plans to launch a desktop robotic arm called Eva and expand its current team by raising a fund of $7.4 million. The industrial robot comes in small size, is cheaper, and simple to use. The Series A funding is led by Hummingbird Ventures, with participation from firstminute Capital, Hardware Club, LocalGlobe, ABB, and Entrepreneur First.
The three important innovations added to Eva are the reconstruction of the gearbox running the machine, the software called Choreograph that controls the machine, and the building of the robot itself. The Choreograph is a cloud-based software that allows a user to log in and control and monitor their Eva robot from any web-based interface on any device. It also allows importing designs from other 3D design programs for programming Eva for a certain task. These innovations have been brought for shorter production runs and more flexible manufacturing.