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14 (Awesome, Or Scary?) Examples Of Robots In The Workplace

What are the advantages of having bots in the workplace?

For one, you don’t have to worry about them talking behind your back. In addition, when everyone else heads to happy hour, both you and the bot will safely be able to split an after-hours six-pack without ANY disapproving glances.

It would be great to receive your opinion on some of the robots we have presented. Please select "hired" or "fired" to let us know if you think they are beneficial or not. Some of the robots might be concerning, and we welcome all of your comments on the matter.

Anyway, here are 14 “on-the-job” bots that are adding value and saving money in the workplace.

1. Boston Dynamic's "Spot" ®

Image source: Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics has revolutionized robotics with Spot, a quadrupedal robot designed to navigate challenging terrains and perform complex tasks. Spot's applications span across various sectors, including construction, agriculture, and public safety.

Spot's four hydraulic legs, equipped with sensors, enable it to maintain balance and avoid obstacles with ease. Its modular design allows for customization, with a range of payload options and interchangeable hardware. Spot's 360-degree vision system and arm attachment grant it the ability to perceive and interact with its surroundings.

In construction, Spot can conduct site inspections, monitor progress, and assess structural integrity, increasing efficiency and reducing risks. In agriculture, it can navigate uneven terrain and perform labor-intensive tasks such as crop monitoring, soil analysis, and livestock management. Spot is invaluable in public safety, as it can be deployed in hazardous situations like search and rescue missions, disaster relief efforts, and bomb disposal operations.

As Spot's technology continues to advance, its applications will only expand, playing an even more significant role in society. Incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning, Spot and similar robots can adapt to new tasks, paving the way for a future where humans and robots collaborate to address the world's most pressing challenges.

As a bonus, unlike many dogs, Spot probably won't chew up your shoes, unless you program it to do so (but we don't recommend that).

Learn more at: https://www.bostondynamics.com/products/spot


2. Robot-assisted surgery

Image source: intuitive.com

Da Vinci Surgical Systems

Because playing Operation as a kid wasn't challenging enough.

The da Vinci Surgery robot is a type of robotic-assisted surgical system that allows for minimally invasive surgery. The robot is controlled by a surgeon who sits at a console and uses joystick-like controls to manipulate the robot's arms, which are equipped with surgical instruments. The da Vinci robot also has a high-definition camera that provides a magnified, 3D view of the surgical site.

Advantages of the da Vinci Surgery robot:

  • Allows for smaller incisions, resulting in less pain and faster recovery time for patients
  • High degree of precision and dexterity, useful for complex procedures
  • Provides a magnified, 3D view of the surgical site, making it easier for the surgeon to see small structures and blood vessels
  • Can move in ways that are not possible for the human hand
  • The robot allows the surgeon to be seated in a console, which may provide some relief for surgeons during long and complex procedures.

Disadvantages of the da Vinci Surgery robot:

  • Using the robot does increase the cost of the surgery
  • Not all surgeries are suitable for robotic-assisted surgery
  • Requires specialized training for surgeons to use the system
  • Due to the robotic nature, the surgeon's sense of touch is reduced and that might be an issue for certain types of surgeries.
  • Some reports have noted complications related to the robot, although they are still relatively rare.
  • Dependence on the robot can also create risk of loss of surgical expertise in certain cases.

In summary, the da Vinci robot is a high-tech surgical tool that can help with some operations, but it still needs a skilled surgeon to operate it well.

Learn more at: https://www.intuitive.com/en-us/patients/da-vinci-robotic-surgery


3. Pizza delivery robots

Image source: dominos.com

Domino's Pizza has taken delivery to the next level with its robot pizza delivery system. The Domino's Robotic Unit, or DRU, is a self-driving vehicle that can carry up to ten pizzas and uses a combination of sensors, cameras, and GPS to navigate its way to your doorstep. It's like having R2-D2 deliver your pizza! Plus, it doesn't eat any of your pizza on the way!

Once your pizza is ready, it's placed in the DRU's compartment, and the robot is programmed with the delivery address. You'll receive a text message with a unique code that you enter into a keypad on the robot to retrieve your pizza.

First rolled out in Houston, the DRU is still in the testing phase, but it's already making waves in the pizza delivery world. Domino's is always looking for ways to make its delivery faster and more efficient, and the DRU is just one of its innovative solutions. Drones are also being tested, maybe a pizza teleportation device is next? One can only dream!

Learn more at https://selfdrivingdelivery.dominos.com/en

Domino's aren't the only company delivering pizzas by a robot, check out this short video of Magna's autonomous delivery robot in action.


4. Agricultural Robots

The agricultural industry has come a long way since the days of manual labor and traditional farming methods. Nowadays, robots are taking over the fields!

Swiss company Ecrobotix has developed a weed-whacking robot powered by the sun, and France's Naio Technologies has created a multitasking robot that can do everything from hoeing to harvesting.

Energid Technologies' citrus-picking robot is so efficient, it can pluck a piece of fruit faster than you can say "orange you glad robots are doing this job?" And Spain's Agrobot has solved the age-old problem of strawberry picking - no more need for human workers to risk life and limb on those treacherous plants.

Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil!


5. Automotive Industry Robots

Image source: Tesla
Have automotive robots put the car manufacturing industry in the “fast lane?” (groan). Shamefully, the answer must be a resounding yes. With applications that have included screw driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labeling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision, auto industry bots are at worst a value-added and a best, a virtual godsend. And where auto industry robots may end, cobots begin, encouraging mutual benefits gained between human and robot!

6. Order Picking Robots

Image source: Amazon
The “warehouse of the future” is quickly looking like the “warehouse with few humans”, but that may not be a bad thing. With advantages including increased productivity and standardization, lightweight and easily programmable equipment, and easy integration with existing software systems, order picking bots are increasingly becoming the darlin’s of the warehouse. Take the products described by MHI, an industry group that boasts that it “makes supply chains work.” Here, robots have a multitude of warehouse-based applications including automated storage and retrieval, integrated material handling, as well as effortless sortation. Paper is eliminated, accuracy is increased, and walk time reduced – a win-win-win.

7. Robotic Arms

Image source: Arduino Braccio

Need a hand? Why not just install an entire arm instead?

And find one with the sexiest name that just rolls off the tongue like a fine Italian Sangiovese: the 'Arduino Braccio Robotic Arm'.

This product is sold as a kit and requires assembly, so don’t expect your arm immediately ready to bend.

Weighing in at just under 2 pounds The Braccio is a rather versatile and flexible creature allowing for object support, for example a camera or solar panel.

Mount a phone or a tablet on it and be the talk of your video conference!

Arduino is just one several companies developing robotic arm products, there are lots of other's getting in on the game as well.

View Robotic Arms on Amazon


8. Industrial Floor Scrubbers

Image source: Walmart

We all love cleaning up around our work spaces, right? OK, next point.

The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113" water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour.

It also features a 12 gallon solution tank and a 15 gallon recovery tank. The scrubber itself has a heavy duty 30" cast aluminum squeegee assembly for removing cleaning solution.

Model 641250 weighs in at a svelte 209 pounds.

Why lift a finger when you can buy a $1500 machine that works like an octopus!


9. Welding Robots by Rice Automation

Image source: Rice Automation
Need a welding robot? The possibilities are endless! Take the group of arc-welding robots manufactured by Rice Automation in tiny Harviell, MO. How small? The last census counted just 106 citizens. Rumor has it that half that population are actually welding robots. Whatever the case, Rice offers a host of different models featuring ethernet motion control, USB controller capability, a reach of between 60-72 inches, a Megmeet /OTC power supply, and a robotic wire feeder. Where would we be without that feeder? In a heap of trouble on the work floor, that’s where! The benefits of using a welding robot are greater weld consistency and a higher quality of overall welds versus a mixture of humans performing the same task. Sounds like a win-win!

10. Air Cobot

Image source: Airbus

Air Cobot is a French-manufactured cobot (working WITH a human) able to inspect aircraft during maintenance operations.

The project began in 2013 with an emphasis on lower half aircraft inspection and has continued to “spiral” up.

Inspection takes place at both the airport and the factory. The off-road robot platform moves at about 5 mph and comes equipped with front and rear bumpers not for the purpose of crash avoidance (!) but rather to detect obstacles.

Speaking of detection, the Air Cobot boasts multiple sensors, speciality cameras and scanners, a GPS system, two onboard computers (one Linux, one Windows), and weighs in at about 500 pounds. Air safety just got an even stronger reputation!


11. Drug Compounding Robot

Image source: Denso Robotics
The days of hospital pharmacists mixing ingredients and creating new mixtures of drugs may well be a thing of the past. A partnership between German robotics giant Denso and medication management industry leader Omnicell have developed an automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) that are normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate a stronger standardization of medication creation and distribution, create higher levels of patient safety, and lowering the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.


AA says
What if due to an error is mixes the wrong medicine... It could be fatal
Apr 18, 2024 at 12:07 PM

12. BarSys Automated Cocktail Maker

Image source: BarSys
Why hire a bartender for your office party when you can purchase the BarSys Automated Cocktail Maker, guaranteed to please even your most fussy VP of Libations (sorry, I meant “operations.”). Priced at just over $1000 and boasting a memory of more than 2000 mixes, the ACM boasts a spill free design, sleek metal case design, and most importantly automatic cleaning. The machine contains the all-important (3) mixing cans, a wireless mixer, a removable spill tray and 5 bottle mounts.

13. Sage Automation Gantry Robots

Image source: Sage Automation
When it comes to smart cranes, we aren’t talking about birds that know where the fish are biting. Instead, we turn to a robot manufactured in a variety of sizes for generally the same sort of task: lifting heavy objects. Gantry Robots manufactured by Sage Automation are a case in point. The smaller Gantry Robot is the size of a small room while one of their larger creations can be as long as a football field! Applications including palletizing, material handling, pushing/pulling and loading/unloading just about anything from any place directly into YOUR space. Let the robot lift while you watch!

14. A*Star Library Bot

Image source: https://research.a-star.edu.sg

Libraries are as much “industrial” businesses as any warehouse and in fact are partially warehouses for the storage of books.

With this in mind, the A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles and saving librarians the tedious, labor intensive task of literally "reading" library shelves.

The A*Star manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

While the technology doesn’t come cheap, A*Star is encouraging librarians to dream of performing more enjoyable tasks in the future leaving the dreaded ones to something that might even perform the function with more efficiency than them!


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