© Universial robots General | February 19, 2020
IFR releases ‘Top Trends 2020 Robotics’
The International Federation of Robots (IFR) has forecasted an uptick of 2 million industrial factory robotic units in the next two years.
In its recently published “Top Trends 2020 Robotics,” IFR is reporting that programming and installation will become simpler thanks to digital sensors and smart software that will provide direct teaching methods, a process known as “Programming by Demonstration.” In the process, a human executes the task in tandem with the robot “arm” by holding it as it guides it through the motions of what it will be expected to do on its own. The corresponding data of that guided movement is then programmed into the robot. In future, machine learning tools will further enable robots to learn by trial-and-error or by video demonstration and self-optimize their movements. Among other upcoming achievements on the horizon is the ability for robots to work in tandem with humans and adapt to a rapidly changing environment, along with a range of other collaborative applications that will be offered by robot manufacturers, including voice, gesture and recognition of human intent gleaned through human motion detected by robots. IFR General Secretary Dr. Susanne Bieller said, “Smart robotics and automation are vital to deal with new consumer trends, demand for product variety or challenges from trade barriers. New technological solutions pave the way for more flexibility in production.” Robots’ role in Industry 4.0 efforts will continue to expand, making it essential that robotic units, regardless of maker, have the ability to communicate with each other. Toward this end, the report noted, is the development of the “OPC Robotics Companion Specification” through a collaboration including the VDMA and the Open Platform Communications Foundation (OPC). The spec defines a standardized, universal interface that connects factory robots to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). A non-profit entity formed in 1987, the Frankfurt, Germany-based International Federation of Robotics represents over 50 members from more than 20 countries.