A collaborative robot, often known as a cobot, is designed to operate safely with people in a shared workspace. Unlike traditional industrial robots, which are often restricted to cages or specialised workspaces, cobots are designed to collaborate and interact directly with humans without causing harm.
When compared to standard industrial robots, cobots are often lightweight, small, and have a reduced payload capacity, making them well-suited for applications involving operations such as pick-and-place, packing, and quality control. Cobots can help improve productivity, ergonomics, and general efficiency in environments such as packhouses by working alongside people.
As we see more robots enter the workplace, many begin to question their role in society and fear being replaced by a robot. However, the complete replacement of humans is far less likely than we imagine.
In a study conducted by Harvard involving 1500 companies, researchers found that the most significant performance improvements occurred when humans and machines worked together! This is something we also noticed with our collaborative system. After putting Avarai into UK packhouses, we noticed that lines with our robots saw a 40-50 % increase in productivity compared to human-only lines. This may be due to robots taking over the boring, repetitive chores, allowing people to focus on the more interesting roles.
Robots will bring many changes in the years to come. Nevertheless, we shouldn't forget that they were created by humans, for humans. Their disruption of old routines and systems is only temporary and will provide safer, more productive working environments in industries that choose to adopt them.