The pandemic has taught us many things like social distancing, working and studying from home, using new apps to stay connected with family and friends and more. Another big change has been seen in medium and small factories that are adopting technologies at a faster pace to operate during the pandemic and also increase efficiencies. They are learning the use of collaborative robots or cobots.
The world’s first cobot was installed in December 2008 at Linatex, a Danish supplier for industrial applications. Two years later, Bajaj Auto inducted the country’s first cobot. Several auto manufacturers followed suit like Ashok Leyland, which used these smart automation and robotics and got huge benefits from it. With the help of robotics one can paint big vehicles and do welding work. Cobots are the fastest growing technologies in the industrial automation space. (Pic: Universal Robots).
Industrial robots are bulky and require installations. Cobots can be deployed quickly and take up very little space. One doesn’t need to be a tech expert to run these machines, a little bit of basic training and understanding is enough to operate them. Cobots are now being used in fulfilment centres of e-commerce enterprises and assembly lines of auto and electronics majors. (Pic: Ashok Leyland factory).
The adoption of cobots is yet to gain momentum in India. The International Federation of Robotics states that the average number of robots per 10,000 employees is about 99. While countries like China have around 140 robots, nations such as South Korea boasts of numbers around 800. India’s numbers stand at about four robots, 25 times behind the global average. This shows that there is a huge untapped potential for the technology in the country.