Today, robots have become fundamental pieces of the technological revolution in various sectors. From automating repetitive tasks to collaborating with humans and efficient logistics, robots have transformed the way we produce and operate. There are several types of robots, each designed to fulfill specific purposes. In this blog, we will teach you the different types of robots, focusing on Industrial Robots, Collaborative Robots, AGVs and possible improvements driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Industrial robots are perhaps the most recognizable and common in modern industry. They are designed to perform heavy, repetitive tasks in industrial environments. Its main purpose is to increase efficiency and precision in production. These robots are programmed to carry out tasks such as welding, assembly, painting, material handling and many others, all autonomously and with a high execution speed.
Industrial robots typically have articulated arms that allow them a wide range of motion, and they may be equipped with specialized tools depending on the task to be performed. The flexibility and versatility of these robots have been key to improving production efficiency and product quality. Additionally, they reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous environments and repetitive work, thereby improving workplace safety.
Collaborative robots, also known as cobots, are designed to work collaboratively with humans in shared environments. Unlike traditional industrial robots that operate in isolated, controlled areas, collaborative robots are designed to be safe and work alongside people without causing harm. These robots can adjust their behavior and response speed to the presence and movement of nearby people, making them ideal for tasks that require close interaction and coordination between humans and robots. Cobots can assist with tasks that require strength or precision, allowing workers to focus on more complex tasks that require human skills, such as decision-making and creativity.
Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
Automatic Guided Vehicles, or AGVs, are mobile robots designed to move autonomously within a predefined environment, such as warehouses, factories or logistics centers. These robots are equipped with navigation systems and sensors that allow them to avoid obstacles, follow and optimize programmed routes. AGVs are mainly used to transport materials and products from one place to another efficiently and safely.
Its adoption has improved inventory management and optimized logistics processes in warehouses, contributing to reducing costs, downtime, minimizing human errors and increasing productivity. In addition, they allow efficient inventory management, which translates into more agile and profitable production. But we not only find AGVs in factories and warehouses, their versatility has made them a valuable tool in various sectors.
In the agricultural field, AGVs are being applied to automate tasks such as crop harvesting, product transportation, and inventory management. Furthermore, in the healthcare sector, AGVs are used for the efficient distribution and delivery of medical supplies and equipment in hospitals, contributing to more efficient logistics management and faster and more effective patient care. By designing a custom AGV, the process automation options in different sectors are practically endless.
Potential improvements for robots
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can significantly boost the performance and capabilities of robots in industry. Some improvements include:
Incorporating more sophisticated sensors would allow robots to adapt to variable environments and avoid obstacles more effectively.
The integration of Artificial Intelligence can allow robots, through their experience, to learn and adapt their movements and decisions in real time as they collect more data, improving production efficiency and flexibility.
Advanced Computer Vision
Artificial Intelligence can improve robots’ vision systems, allowing them to recognize objects, locations and conditions more accurately and quickly. This type of tools is especially useful for carrying out product inspections or detecting defects. Vision is often complemented by machine learning algorithms to teach robots to recognize and categorize new types of defects.
Artificial Intelligence algorithms can be used to optimize AGV routes, reducing travel times and improving efficiency in materials management.
The union of AGVs with collaborative robots makes it possible to further optimize industrial processes. The AGV, with its autonomous transportation capability, can move the cobot across the surface. On the other hand, the collaborative robot can assist in various tasks, from assembly to packaging, enhancing flexibility and improving collaboration in the work environment. At ATRIA we develop different projects that incorporate a combination of robots, such as, for example, ROBOTRIM III, which consists of the design and manufacture of a robot for automatic vineyard pruning. In this case, the robot was designed with the objective of advancing between the vines, with a camera using Computer Vision it is indicated the optimal point at which to cut the branches and, using a shear located at the end of the robotic arm, it proceeds to court.
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- Collaborative robotics in dangerous environments
- Why custom AGVs.
- Design and development of custom AGVs and AMRs.
- Robotics and automation in packaging