Understanding the variations between robotics and automation



You will have encountered the phrases ‘robotics’ and ‘automation’ getting used interchangeably, however there are some vital variations between the phrases and what they imply. On this article we’ll take a look at these variations and discover a number of the methods by which collaborative robots have remodeled the worlds of conventional robotics and manufacturing.
What’s the distinction between robotics and automation?
In conventional phrases, automation is a really broad class that refers to the usage of software program, machines and gadgets which are designed to carry out duties normally carried out by people. For instance, enterprise course of automation is software program designed to enhance enterprise processes. In the meantime, robotic course of automation (RPA) refers to software program brokers (or software program robots) with AI and machine studying capabilities that may use pc software program like a human would. Chances are you’ll be asking “Who makes use of robotic course of automation?’ RPA is used to automate labor intensive workflow, infrastructure and again workplace processes, making them a terrific match for giant corporations with massive scale human assets, IT and finance departments. 
You may additionally be asking “Is robotic course of automation AI?” RPA affords sensible options, but it surely’s not the identical factor as synthetic intelligence. RPA is a software program robotic that mimics human actions, whereas synthetic intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence utilizing pc software program.
The time period ‘robotics’ particularly pertains to machines that may see, sense, actuate and, with various levels of autonomy, make choices. Additionally it is a broad class, encompassing drones, service robots and Mars rovers, however within the context of conventional robotics and manufacturing, the machines being referred to listed below are industrial robots. Industrial robots are bodily {hardware} and are used to examine, assemble, package deal and palletize bodily merchandise. Automation is a time period that features software program brokers with no {hardware}, and robotics is greatest understood as a sub-category of automation.
What’s automation and robotics engineering?
Automation engineering refers back to the design and improvement of software program, machines and different gadgets used for the needs of performing a activity usually carried out by people. Robotics engineering refers back to the design and improvement of robots; it incorporates software program, {hardware}, sensors and different gadgets, particularly to be used in robotics purposes, equivalent to high quality inspection, meeting and packaging.
Conventional vs collaborative robots
One other vital distinction to remember is that between conventional industrial robots and ‘collaborative robots (or ‘cobots’). Collaborative robots have remodeled conventional understandings of automation, of robotics and of the connection between human labor and robots.
A distinct segment product only a decade in the past, cobots at the moment are the quickest rising section of the worldwide industrial robotics market. A latest report from the Worldwide Federation of Robotics discovered that cobot installations grew by 11% in 2019, “in distinction to the general pattern with conventional industrial robots.” Why are cobots rising in recognition? 
Benefits of collaborative robots
Cobots differ from conventional industrial automation in a number of vital methods. Whereas conventional automation is characterised by fastened {hardware} designed to deal with one particular product half, cobots are designed to be cellular and simple to reprogram to run on completely different duties. Because of this producers utilizing cobots can deal with excessive combine/low quantity manufacturing batches with out having to make large adjustments to their automation setup. Conventional robots could carry out fantastically at a selected activity, however cobots provide nice flexibility and the potential for widespread redeployment all through your manufacturing facility. It could take weeks or months to alter conventional, static automation simply to accommodate slight product variations; a cobot will be reprogrammed to deal with new components inside hours. Equally, conventional automation tends to be developed for a single objective or software, whereas cobots can be utilized on various kinds of purposes from meeting to high quality inspection to welding.
Conventional robots are tough to program, typically requiring professional coders at nice expense. Against this, cobots are designed for ease of use. As a result of they’re simple to make use of, cobots take away a serious barrier to automation adoption amongst small-to-medium measurement companies. Conventional automation typically requires engineering and/or robotics expertise and might take weeks to finish, whereas finish customers are prepared to make use of cobots from Common Robots after taking a brief on-line coaching course by way of the Common Robots Academy. For instance, ASSA ABLOY, a New Zealand-based firm that focuses on door and window opening options, evaluated three industrial robotic arms to see how effectively they carried out lock meeting and screwing duties. Ultimately the corporate chosen a UR5 as a result of its “ease of programming was unmatched.”