News briefs for the week check out what’s taking place with cobots on the International Robot Exhibition 2023 in Tokyo, referred to as merely IREX. The convergence of cobots with genAI is constant briskly. Many cobots, the vital ones (over 30 specialised cobot producers are sporting practically 125 cobot fashions) are actually racing to accumulate genAI capabilities. IREX was an ideal occasion to showcase the perfect and to see what has occurred to this point.
Cobots showcase “new-age” tech at IREX
The lately concluded IREX International Robot Exhibition 2023 (Tokyo) 29 November to 2 December 2023, with over 600 exhibitors and 120,000 guests—reportedly bigger than each Munich’s AUTOMATICA and Detroit’s Automate—proved to be an ideal world showcase for cobots’ new-age applied sciences.
Evolved or new-age cobots had been on show from Techman, Dobot, Elite, UR, AUBO, and extra.
Announced simply previous to the doorways opening was a first-ever advertising and marketing and gross sales effort directed solely at SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) by the Robot Industrial Basic Technology Collaborative Innovation Partnership or ROBOCIP. ROBOCIP, a gaggle together with main Japanese robotics and automation firms, “announced that it is creating a first-ever joint database to facilitate the introduction of robots and cobots to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”
Japan wants new enterprise in a rush! Japanese robotic makers are feeling aggressive warmth from throughout the Sea of Japan. “The global market share of Japanese robot manufacturers has declined from 70 percent at its peak to about 40 percent due to the rise of Chinese competitors.”
Then too, possibly the lately introduced initiative additionally directed at SMEs by the Softbank/ Symbotic Green Box three way partnership was the impetus for ROBOCIP. Green Box will deal with the greater than $500 billion annual “warehouse-as-a-service market,” particularly concentrating on the broader buyer universe of SMEs.
Also, with the huge China Industry Robot Exhibition (CIRE) upcoming in Tianjin from 6 to 9 March 2024, ROBOCIP had the 4 days of IREX to make a case for itself within the media with each potential patrons and sellers of Japanese robots and cobots.
With Japan’s largest robotic vendor, FANUC, taking its first monetary decline in 4 years, FANUC’s internet revenue for the July to September interval fell 20 % to round $222 million.
“The slowdown in China’s economy is cutting into the profits of Japanese companies like FANUC. Among 17 Japanese companies with significant sales in China, 12 saw net profit decline in the July to September quarter.”
In the U.S., the “slow US economy and high-interest rates are being blamed for a 37 percent drop in the number of industrial robots ordered in North America from April to July 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.”
A current Stanford University report exhibiting that 77 % of all robotic and cobot gross sales go to only 5 states (all within the automaker belt) have seemingly tanked together with gradual auto gross sales. With the low-hanging fruit from automaker gross sales drying up, some robotic and cobot distributors are lastly trying to SMEs to fill their order books.
With Japan’s 3.58 million SMEs making up 99.7 % of Japan’s firms, ROBOCIP will make a concerted effort to draw them to robot-driven automation, which is way wanted reviews a current authorities white paper. Among Japan’s hundreds of thousands of SMEs low productiveness hampers the financial progress of the nation, cites the paper.
An identical examine directed on the U.S. and carried out by MIT’s Susanne Berger discovered an analogous low productiveness price amongst SMEs in U.S. manufacturing.
In each Japan and the U.S. the treatment for SME low productiveness was apparent: automation. For Japan, the introduction of ROBOCIP is thus very well timed.
Notable cobots at IREX
The winds of genAI (generative synthetic intelligence) are racing by way of the robotics business, and each tradeshow appears to bear witness to the ocean change going down in robots and cobots. The new tech is not only fancy equipment for robots and cobots, they’re must-haves to compete, to be extra productive, and to succeed at digital automation.
Tokyo’s IREX was an ideal alternative for distributors to placed on show how they’ve converged their robotic and cobot traces with new-age know-how. Techman (Taiwan), Dobot (China), Elite (China), Universal Robot (Denmark), AUBO (China), and extra confirmed up. All of which inserts completely with the IREX present theme: “Sustainable Society Brought by Robotics”.
Techman, is an apt instance of how the cobot business has been trending because the creation of the genAI period. Going ahead, a cobot can’t be only a easy cobot any longer. Much extra is predicted of them, which is a well timed evolution of cobot capabilities anyway.
Techman, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s Quanta, adopted others in getting beefier with a 25kg payload and 1,902 mm attain, but additionally brainier, with its TM AI Cobot S Series throughout industrial purposes (discover the AI within the product identify). Techman has teamed up with NVIDIA’s Isaac Sim to simulate, take a look at and optimize its cobots as digital twins whereas utilizing NVIDIA AI and GPUs for coaching. Plus, utilizing NVIDIA’s Metropolis imaginative and prescient AI framework, Techman is now enabled for AOI (automated optical inspection). Even on guardian Quanta’s personal electronics meeting traces, Techman with AOI is ideal for optimizing inspection workflows. Inspecting merchandise starting from auto components to circuit boards, the Techman’s imaginative and prescient AI can rapidly establish defects.
So, whether or not intently inspecting electronics, tending a CNC machine, selecting from blended items to kind and pack, or palletizing something from 3kg to 25kg, new-age cobots are versatile and sensible sufficient to do nearly any job. Expectations for cobots are sky excessive, and if they can not carry out, they’re gone! Cobots can’t simply lounge round any longer unchanged. Today they’re on a high-tech treadmill that’s ramping up the convenience and pace of getting issues completed in a rush.
See NVIDIA video beneath for a superb have a look at new-age cobots at work.
As a part of the pattern to get extra brawn into its cobots Dobot showcased its newly-launched CRA sequence, which contains 7 robotic fashions with payloads from 3 kg to twenty kg and dealing radii from 620 mm to 1,700 mm. As an instance, Dobot had its new CR20A palletizing resolution with 20 kg payload and 1700 mm attain on show.
On the brainier aspect of issues was AMMR (Autonomous Mobile Manipulator Robot), “capable of unrestricted mobility and integrating SLAM, laser navigation, and human-machine interaction for transportation and pick-and-place, featuring precision navigation, proactive safety measures, and easy-to-use software for safe collaborations.” Dobot mentioned that the CRA sequence redefines cobots and opens up new paths within the areas of professional quality sorting, packaging, and welding in industries equivalent to automotive, family home equipment, logistics, and metalworking.”
As the Boston Consulting Group has forecast, from right here to 2030, robots and cobots shall be outlined by mobility and intelligence…and form the long run.
China’s cobot JAKA was in residence with a show of versatility. JAKA had 20 of its cobots internet hosting at 20 vendor producer cubicles. The 20 pink and silver cobots had been troublesome to overlook within the sea of robots on the present flooring.
AUBO, one other Chinese cobot vendor, toted alongside its IP68 cobot exhibiting its submersed capabilities. Repeatedly dunking its head underwater on the AUBO sales space, the IP68 rated cobot can stay submerged for as much as half-hour in 1.5 meters of water. Seemingly, there’s a way forward for underwater work forward. Even extra of a future for work in rivers and harbors if AUBO can lengthen its capabilities.
Cobot gross sales chief, Universal Robots (UR), arguably the cobot that began all the cobot business, didn’t miss IREX. UR’s contribution to the four-day get together was its brawny boys, the 20kg and 30kg machines, persevering with the current pattern to essentially huge cobots.
Only cobots brawnier than UR’s are FANUC’s newly revamped CR-35iB with a payload of 35kg or 50kg.
With IREX placing on its mega tradeshow each two years, we’ll have to attend for 2025 to see if a 100kg cobot has joined the cobot crowd. At 100kg can it nonetheless be referred to as a cobot?