Industrial robots in action: 6 prime examples in 2024

February 6, 2024
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What is an Industrial robot?

An Industrial robot is a robotic arm designed to perform a pre-programmed task, such as welding, painting, or pick and place

These automated machines can maneuver materials, parts, and tools, or even control specialized devices with a level of dexterity and accuracy that’s way above human capabilities.

Industrial robots first appeared on the scene in the 1960s and have since turned manufacturing on its head. All those repetitive and mundane tasks? No problem for them.

There are many types of Industrial robots including:

Nowadays, these robotic arms are a staple of modern manufacturing and assembly lines in industries like automotive, electrical, and electronics. 

The main draw? Robots work precisely, and non-stop. They don’t need breaks, time off, or get injured. 

Also, Industrial robots are fast-becoming becoming more affordable and accessible to small and mid-sized companies, with a market poised to reach over $66 billion by 2027 due to an ever-rising demand for automation.

Some well-known companies that produce Industrial robots are Standard Bots, FANUC, ABB, KUKA, Yaskawa, and Kawasaki.

Let’s take a look at how robots are giving a huge boost to several industries. 

Robots in the auto industry

The auto was an early adopter of Industrial robots and remains the largest user to this day. Assembly line tasks like welding, painting, and handling heavy materials are perfect for robots.

You've probably seen videos of giant robotic arms quickly and precisely welding vehicle frames together or delicately painting doors and body panels. 

Robotic paint applicators, known as robotic paint sprayers, give cars an even, flawless coat of color. Their programmed movements virtually guarantee a uniform paint application to the exact same areas of each and every vehicle.

In other areas, heavy-duty robots lift and move vehicle parts during assembly. They have robotics that grippers can grasp, rotate, and reposition massive pieces like engines, transmissions, and doors with speed, care, and superhuman strength.

Medicine is getting a big upgrade

Robots are transforming medicine and healthcare in amazing ways. 

Surgical robots, like the Da Vinci system, let doctors perform complex operations with precision through minuscule incisions. 

Meanwhile, Rehabilitation robots help patients regain strength and range of motion after an injury or illness. 

Robotic nurses help out human staff by delivering supplies, transporting samples to the lab, and more.

As the population ages, robots will play an increasingly important role in elder care. 

  • Robot companions give social interaction and mental stimulation for the elderly and disabled. 
  • Monitoring robots can track patients’ vital signs and alert human caregivers if anything is out of the ordinary.
  • Exoskeletons help people with limited mobility to walk and move again.

In other areas, Telepresence robots let doctors and nurses monitor patients remotely and consult with colleagues from a distance. This can provide high-end care for people who live in remote, isolated areas.

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Building better warehousing and logistics

Warehouse and Logistics robots, like Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), are making huge changes to e-commerce and shipping. 

These self-driving robots can move materials and products around large warehouses and distribution centers with practically no human intervention. 

How do they do it? AMRs use sensors and navigation software to map their environment and safely move around facilities. They lift and move heavy pallets of goods, moving them on their own- 

In warehousing, robotics are more than holding their own. They reduce the need for human pickers and packers, improve efficiency, and lower injury risk. Their continued operation also helps keep fulfillment up during periods of intense activity. 

Plus, they also allow warehouses to optimize their layouts for automation rather than human workers.

Major companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba are also making huge investments in automation.

Amazon already has over 200,000 robots operating across its fulfillment centers and plans to add many more. 

You drink, you eat it, they make it

The food and drink industry is rapidly accepting Industrial robots.

Beverage companies often use robots for packaging and palletizing final products. For instance, bottling plants use robots to grab empty bottles, fill them, apply labels and caps, and place them into cartons or onto pallets. 

Not only does this speed up production, but it also minimizes human contact with the product.

Meanwhile, in the food industry, robots are ideal for jobs like baking, frying, cooking, and packaging. 

For instance, robots can inject meats with marinades, flip burgers on a griddle, place food onto conveyor belts, and pack items into boxes. Some companies even have robots that can make customized pizzas from start to finish in under 3 minutes.

Plus, quality control robots can spot flaws that are invisible to the naked eye. 

Gains in electronics 

Robot arms that assemble electronic components are a common example of Industrial robots. 

Yes, these robots can place microchips, resistors, and other tiny parts onto circuit boards with a precision that no human would ever dream of matching. 

Today, some electronic assembly lines are almost entirely automated using these types of robots.

Consumer electronics like smartphones, tablets, and computers also rely heavily on Industrial robotics in their manufacturing

Bot arms solder components onto the printed circuit boards and motherboards, and, once the boards are assembled, the robot arms also insert the boards into the device housing and connect them to other components.

Industrial robots are also used extensively in manufacturing touch screens, computer chips, and other technology components. 

Some Industrial robots even assemble hard drives, optical drives like CD and DVD burners, and other computer storage media. The tiny components in storage drives, like read/write heads, pretty much necessitate robotic precision.

Not too dangerous for a robot

Robots are ideal for working in dangerous environments that would put humans at risk. Places that are unsafe or unpleasant for people are no match for robots. 

For instance, radioactive areas like nuclear power plants use specialized robots to handle materials, conduct inspections, and perform high-risk maintenance. The best part? Human workers don’t have to finish their workday glowing with a strange green tint. 

In underwater operations, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) explore ocean depths, make repairs, clear debris, and conduct surveillance in depths that humans just can’t handle.

Space missions send robotic spacecraft and rovers to explore the solar system. Interplanetary probes and Mars rovers traverse harsh, unforgiving terrain that humans could not survive.

Back on earth, mining companies utilize robots for hazardous jobs like drilling, blasting, and transporting materials. The idea is for robots to keep miners out of dangerous, cramped spaces and away from perilous heavy equipment. 

Finally, toxic waste sites contain lethal chemicals and pollutants, making them unsuitable for people to access. Specialized robots can operate in these toxic environments, handling the cleanup and removal of hazardous waste materials safely – which prevents workers from growing a third arm.

Summing up

These are just some of the most common ways Industrial robots are being used today. But make no mistakes: Robots are already part of our everyday lives, and their role in industries, and even our home lives, is going to continue growing year after year. 

The upside? Our lives are going to keep getting easier, more comfortable, and more productive. 

Next steps

Looking to kick up your productivity into high gear? RO1, the top-of-the-line Collaborative Industrial robot by Standard Bots is your ultimate choice, whether you're a fledgling startup or an established industrial titan.

  • Doesn’t break the bank. RO1 is #1 in its class, delivering exceptional value at a price tag that's half that of its competitors.
  • Speed and strength. Despite its capacity of 18 kg, RO1 wins the arm-wrestling match against its rivals in speed and precision, ensuring outstanding efficiency.
  • Safety first. RO1 is meticulously engineered with built-in safety sensors and collision detection, guaranteeing safe and reliable operations on your shop floor.

Hit up our solutions team today to arrange a complimentary 30-day onsite trial and receive expert guidance on seamlessly integrating your new RO1.

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