Optimizing Efficiency with Mobile Cobots

Adding Mobility to Collaborative Robot Arms

In recent years, the fusion of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with collaborative robotic arms (cobots) has garnered significant attention. With escalating labor costs, a heightened focus on productivity, a scarcity of skilled labor, and the exponential growth of the e-commerce sector, mobile manipulators have emerged as a popular solution. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the utilization of mobile manipulators is poised for substantial growth, promising an expanded array of applications for this combined technology. 

At its core, a mobile manipulator comprises a collaborative robot arm mounted on an autonomous mobile robot platform. While this concept appears straightforward, achieving optimal functionality necessitates the seamless integration of both hardware and software. One exemplary implementation is the Mobile Cobot. This innovative solution combines Universal Robot’s cobot with MiR’s autonomous mobile robot, enhanced by Enabled Robotics' proprietary software and hardware. Consequently, customers are presented with a unified, user-friendly interface, streamlining operational processes. 

Enhancing productivity across the value chain collaborative robots inherently collaborate with human workers, minimizing manual intervention and directly augmenting productivity. By incorporating mobility, cobots can attain a heightened level of autonomy, thereby automating a broader spectrum of tasks within material handling and production processes. Moreover, this integrated solution enables the same cobot to adapt seamlessly to diverse production scenarios, maximizing its utility and efficiency across various workflows. 


Key benefits of the Mobile Cobot

Unlocking the benefits of mobile manipulators for businesses, these robots represent a transformative tool for companies grappling with workforce shortages or seeking to optimize production costs while enhancing efficiency. 

  1. Optimized utilization of cobots: With autonomous mobility, mobile manipulators can navigate independently between different workstations, eliminating bottlenecks and facilitating uninterrupted operation, potentially operating around the clock. 

  2. Enhanced productivity: Mobility imbues cobots with greater flexibility and autonomy, resulting in efficiency gains particularly in material handling tasks, enabling human employees to focus on higher-value activities. 

  3. Accelerated automation across workflows: Integrating cobots with AMRs extends automation beyond traditional manufacturing settings, encompassing new workflows in material handling, quality control, inspection, and production processes. 

  4. Space-efficient solutions: Mobile manipulators boast a compact footprint, requiring minimal alterations to existing factory layouts. This characteristic makes them well-suited for operation in confined spaces where traditional industrial robots may not be feasible. 

  5. Heightened workplace safety: Both mobile robots and cobots prioritize safety, assuming responsibility for mundane, hazardous, or strenuous tasks, thereby fostering a safer work environment. Mobile manipulators are engineered to navigate safely alongside human workers on the shop floor, mitigating potential risks. 

By embracing mobile manipulators, businesses can realize tangible improvements in operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and workplace safety, positioning themselves for sustained success in an increasingly competitive landscape. 

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