automatica 2018 – Humans in the smart factory



The boundaries between man and machine become more fluid, and their interaction is becoming increasingly more intelligent. Be it digital assistance systems such as augmented reality, gesture control, wearables or cobots, the sensitive industrial robots that can collaborate safely and without a protective space with coworkers - at automatica, the exhibitors show how the workplace of the future looks.

Patrick Schwarzkopf, managing director of VDMA Robotics + Automation:
On the one hand, it is about robotics itself, but also about machine learning, sensor technology, autonomous systems, in other words from different areas, from software, sensors, artificial Intelligence. There are many new technologies that one must now bring together with classical robotics, there are a lot of creative minds who have lots of ideas and are advancing robotics.

Intelligent, gripping systems are now indispensable in human robot collaboration. With sensitive robotic hands that are controlled only by gestures, in the future, workers do not have to use programming or complicated software. As with his smartphone, the person in the smart factory acts purely intuitively.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Glück Chief Innovation 0fficer, SCHUNK:
Humans and robots work best together when people can make clear what they want. If you no longer have to program the robot, instead you show it what to do with gestures, if you teach it. And this is best done when you clearly show it what you want and the robot takes over these processes, using gesture recognition to imitate humans.

German bionic has set itself the goal to make the workplace more attractive, more ergonomic and, above all, less of a hassle. The high-tech company from Bavaria is the first manufacturer in Germany to develop the novel robot which one wears directly on the body.

Laura Schmitz, Business Specialist, GBS German Bionic Systems:
We want to bring humans back to the center of Industry 4.0. This means that people themselves must be supported, wherever full automation is not economically viable and cannot be carried out. We want to support people so they can continue to work healthily.

Robot and cobot in one - Yaskawa goes for a dual system. In industrial mode, the robot operates completely autonomously and without loss of efficiency in production. Changing over to the collaborative mode takes place seamlessly, thanks to the safety mat.

Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation
In the next few years, we will see that man and machine are getting closer, and that these protective fences, this separation between human work and machine work, come together more. That the processes are being redefined, reinvented, that man and machine are collaborating more intelligently. That can already be seen today, and that will prevail over the next 5 years.
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