Cobots and the Human Workforce:  Can they Coexist?

Posted by Todd Stukenberg

Feb 8, 2019 6:37:47 PM

As the topics of Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Machine Learning and Robots/Cobots gain more and more attention, so does the concern about how these technologies will affect the human workforce.  While speculation is wide and deep about potential negative impacts, there are some facts that really must be understood for a full perspective on this technological evolution.

robotic shipments-1First, as the graphic depicts, robots and cobots (the human friendly, collaborative cousin of the industrial robot) are not only here to stay, but they are thriving and deployments growing worldwide.  This is particularly impactful in the manufacturing-centric economy of China (as can be seen above), but it is also growing in Europe (where cobot technology is advancing and expanding through significant investments into cobot development businesses) and is taking hold as US manufacturing returns.  This must be accepted and understood.

Second, why is this happening?  Is it simply to replace human workers with machines that never require breaks, sick time or a regular salary?  Not necessarily.  It's occurring because the advanced sophistication of modern "bots" allow them to perform repetitive tasks that can be boring, inefficient and in some cases, dangerous for humans.  It also frees up valuable human resources to perform more value-rich, cognitive-driven activities that result in a better work experience for the human worker and a better result for the business.

Third, it is also being realized that cobots working in conjunction with humans make BOTH more productive in side-by-side collaborative work.  In fact, a recent study determined that human-cobot partner "teams" resulted in an 85% reduction of idle time in work tasks.  This type of efficiency gain will drive for improved outcomes and an expansion of the possibilities of these new work groups.

Cleary, technology is changing the way we all work.  However, it appears that advances in automation, robotics and cobotics are making changes for the better for their human counterparts as well.  To learn more about the possibilities for your business with cobots, contact Fusion Cobotics for a review of the various ways that we use cobots everyday!   866-952-9020 Fusion Cobotics

Topics: manufacturing in china, cnc machining, culture, machine shop, Cobots, automation

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