On the impact of the popularity of industrial robo

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The Ministry of industry and information technology news: China's robot technology roadmap and the 13th five year plan for the robot industry strive to form a relatively complete industrial robot industry system by 2020, with a high-end market share of more than 45%

qudaokui, chairman of China robot industry alliance, believes that with the gradual disappearance of the demographic dividend, China has become the world's largest industrial robot market. At present, there are more than 30 robot factories under construction in China, and the next 10 years will be the golden development period for domestic robots

with the development of industrial robots and the improvement of robot intelligence, industrial robots have been applied in many fields. At present, the use of industrial robots in China is mainly concentrated in the automotive industry, electronic and electrical industry, arc welding robots, spot welding robots, handling robots and so on, which are widely used in production

the application of industrial robots has improved the production efficiency, production cost and product quality of industrial products, and also promoted the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry to a certain extent. At the same time, with the disappearance of China's demographic dividend, China's economic development has entered a "new normal", and the emergence of such phenomena as the shift of manufacturing industry from "low-end manufacturing" to "high-end manufacturing" has also increased the use of industrial robots

the advantages of industrial robots compared with human beings need not be repeated, because these points are often enjoyed by any automation equipment, such as stable quality, no resignation, and no concern for dangerous, dirty and boring work

this article mainly talks about the current advantages and disadvantages of industrial robots from the technical point of view

1. Versatility

industrial robots are programmable and support multi degree of freedom motion, so their applications are flexible. Although not as good as human beings, industrial robots are much more flexible than many special machines commonly used in industrial automation (e.g. electromechanical integration solutions specially designed for a class of industrial applications or customized by a customer). When the industrial application changes little, the robot can be reprogrammed to meet the new needs without making a lot of investment in hardware

but correspondingly, its relative deficiency will be efficiency. After all, the special plane is customized for an application. Therefore, it has achieved efficiency optimization at the expense of generality. It can achieve a very good performance in terms of output, an index that customers are very concerned about

2. Mechanical and electrical performance

industrial robots can generally reach a motion accuracy of less than 0.1mm (referring to the accuracy of repeated motion to the point), grasp objects weighing up to one ton, and stretch up to threeorfour meters. Although such performance may not easily fulfill some "Crazy" processing requirements on apple, it is sufficient for most industrial applications to successfully complete the task. With the gradual improvement of the performance of the robot, some previously impossible tasks have become feasible (such as laser welding or cutting, which used to require special high-precision equipment to guide the direction of the laser, but with the improvement of the precision of the robot, it can now be replaced by the accurate movement of the robot itself)

however, compared with traditional high-end equipment, such as high-precision CNC machine tools, laser calibration equipment, or equipment in special environments (high temperature or ultra-low temperature), industrial robots are still out of reach

3. Man machine cooperation

the traditional industrial robot works in a cage because it is really dangerous (imagine a guy holding dozens or hundreds of kilograms swinging at a speed of four meters per second, and no one wants to get close). The main reason is that ordinary robots, based on the consideration of cost and technology, do not integrate additional sensors to sense external special situations (such as a sudden touch), and they will only "foolishly" follow the program compiled by humans day after day, unless there is an external signal telling them to stop. So the common solution is to equip the robot with a cage. When the cage door is opened, the robot will automatically pause when it receives a signal. Considering the safety, it naturally brings a lot of additional costs to the robot integration. The cage may not be expensive, but after all, we should carefully consider the production line layout, increase the production line area, change the man-machine cooperation mode, etc., so as to affect the production efficiency

therefore, industrial robots that have attracted much attention recently are "proud" to be able to work safely with people, such as Baxter of rethink robotics, PR series of universal robots, and robot people of semi-concept and semi-finished products of many traditional industrial robot giants (abb, KUKA, Yaskawa, etc.). From the perspective of industrial demand, it is indeed time to start to meet the man-machine safety cooperation after the traditional industrial robots have solved the automation requirements such as precision, speed and weight

4. Ease of use

the essence of the work of traditional robots is to continuously walk one path point after another, and at the same time receive or set up peripheral i/o signals (old cooperation with other settings such as fixtures, conveyor lines, etc.). The process that guides the robot to do so is robot programming. Almost every leading company has its own programming language and environment, which requires robot operators to participate in training. Mr. remisalomon also emphasizes training. This cost began to show up when the scope of application of robots was expanded

these manufacturers have good reasons to maintain their own programming environment. First, industrial robots began to be developed on a large scale 40 years ago. At that time, there were no mainstream advanced programming concepts such as object-oriented, which are now widely known and widely recognized. Second, their own technologies will inevitably be different from competitors in the embryonic stage. It is understandable to maintain a programming method. Third, their major customers are often traditional industrial major customers, For example, large automobile manufacturers, these customers are seeking stability. Naturally, they don't want your robot to catch up with the upsurge and change the programming method in a few years. As a result, they have to throw away decades of experience and spend a lot of money on training and learning again

of course, in the industry, we have long considered whether programming can be intuitive and simple. However, in traditional manufacturers, there has been no commercial and practical progress except conceptual display time and time (such as the use of exoskeletons, 3D images, virtual reality, iPhone, etc.), so that we all feel sick when we hear the keywords "simple programming" again

fortunately, there are still some latecomers who dare to challenge, make achievements from scratch and become recognized selling points. Yes, rethink robotics and universal robots! This also vividly demonstrates why disruptive technologies often do not succeed in leading enterprises in the innovator's Dilemma (although they have sufficient resources), but are always carried forward by later challengers. Because every time a leader goes further in disruptive technology, he is often one step away from his iron rice bowl, with great internal and external resistance

in any case, the ease of use of robots has begun to be valued. How to make people play with robots as quickly as playing with iPhones without any (or too much) training has become the direction of major manufacturers' investment

5. Cost

the cost of the robot ranges from tens of thousands of RMB to millions of RMB in large scale according to the digital model published by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency. The cost is naturally lower than that of high-end professional manufacturing equipment, but it may also be higher than the automation scheme put together by small domestic integrators. However, from the popularity of robots in western industry and domestic manufacturing industry in recent years, it shows that the economic advantage of robot automation has generally reached a critical point, surpassing other alternatives (manual or special aircraft). It seems that the cost is still worth it

in fact, we should follow the old path of traditional robots, which mainly tests its tensile strength. There is little room to reduce the hardware cost. Industrial robot is basically an open-loop motion mechanism, which relies on the high-precision cooperation between motor and gearbox. Most of the key components of leading manufacturers are purchased from several Japanese manufacturers (this is also a robot made by domestic companies themselves. It will not be much cheaper to buy the same components, because Japanese manufacturers will not give much discount for your quantity). Unless Chinese parts manufacturers can calm down and try to catch up with Japanese technology, so as to break the monopoly for many years with price advantage, the development of domestic robot manufacturers can be truly promoted

another is to find another way to pursue other technologies and markets. For example, rethink robotics even considered using plastic gear boxes to reduce costs, and compensated for the loss of motion accuracy through vision, just as human eyes assisted the delicate operation of hands. After all, Baxter robot can not reach the sky in one step. Therefore, Baxter robot can not compare with traditional robots in accuracy and speed, but it is enough in the application of material grasping and placing that it can handle. Maybe it is completely different from the traditional chemical rockets. With rethink's efforts, it will make up for the poor hardware through the intelligent software to compete with the traditional industrial robots (that is, it will really subvert these traditional big manufacturers)

6. Intelligence

the reason why intelligent is the last point is that compared with the current mainstream demand for robots (i.e. strong, fast and accurate), it is not the most urgent for the time being. This also reflects the advantages and disadvantages of traditional industrial robots (they are hardworking, good at quality and quantity, and good at "working") and (they are "stupid" and old enough to be taught)

however, it does not mean that intelligence is not important. On the contrary, enterprises have begun to invest in technology. For example, how to make the robot better understand the command intention of people, understand and plan tasks relatively autonomously, without having to be told how to go point by point; How to make the robot automatically adapt to changes in the peripheral environment (the darkening of the light affects the image recognition, and the damage of items on the conveyor belt needs special treatment); How to judge the assembly quality of parts through tactile, visual and auditory perception, etc

Americans are doing well in this respect (of course, they are also avoiding the real and beating the weak, because the technology and market of traditional industrial robot hardware have been basically dominated by Japanese and European enterprises). ROS industrial and retail robotics are making leading attempts

7. Training institutions

industrial robots conform to the development of the times and have broad prospects for the industry. However, the imbalance between supply and demand of talents in this field is becoming increasingly prominent. On the one hand, robot manufacturers, system integrators and automobile processing and manufacturing industries are thirsty for talents; on the other hand, the supply of talents is insufficient, which is difficult to meet the employment needs of enterprises

the main reason is that compared with the explosive development trend of the domestic robot industry in recent years, the curriculum of training institutions such as universities and vocational schools still lags behind. Although some robot manufacturers provide relevant training, there are shortcomings such as too targeted brands, insufficient promotion, insufficient supporting facilities and limited training points, which make it difficult to achieve a systematic teaching process, It can not meet the needs of scholars all over the country, resulting in many people who are willing to join the robot industry have no way to study

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