With the proliferation of robots in the industrial sector, some say we’re entering a second machine age. From traditional applications such as manufacturing, to inspection of areas that are difficult, dangerous, or impossible for humans to examine and repair, robots are implementing mission-critical tasks and changing the way work is done.
"Some economists are saying that the world is entering a second machine age."
Precision, repeatability, and reliability have all been traditional hallmarks of a manufacturing robot. Today, robots are expanding beyond their traditional manufacturing line roles and working alongside humans or other robots. They're handling a wide variety of objects dynamically and even working in nontraditional manufacturing environments such as restaurants.
Moving materials in and out of warehouses is one of the fastest growing market segments for robotics. Beyond the traditional warehouse applications, new areas of growth are emerging. For example, organizations—such as retail stores and hospitals—are exploring robotics-based inventory management to reduce labor costs.
Inspections, preventative maintenance, and remote repair are exciting new areas where robots can provide information and service more effectively and safely than humans.