SENSORS FOR COBOTS & ROBOTICS
With the progression of Industry 4.0 technologies and trends, the use of traditional and interactive robotic, automation and control systems on the factory floor have become commonplace to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
With the progression of Industry 4.0 technologies and trends, the use of traditional and interactive robotic, automation and control systems on the factory floor have become commonplace to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. As the need for industrial robotic automation continues to advance, sensing technology will continue to be the foundation for data collection that will help transform manufacturing floors into connected, cost effective, and reliable facilities. The sensing technologies that are commonly used to facilitate this data collection include numerous force, temperature, pressure, optical and position sensors that provide highly accurate measurements for precise movement control and accurate monitoring of system components for preventative maintenance as well as access protection. Not only do sensors play a critical role in traditional industrial robotic applications but they also enable collaborative robots, or cobots, which are robots that work alongside or with humans. These cobots are intended to interact with and assist workers as opposed to being standalone automated equipment with little to no human interaction. These machines offer flexibility which helps increase return on investment (ROI) due to improved productivity and the reduced labor costs. Cobots can also handle complex or dangerous tasks that humans either cannot complete or cannot perform safely. As safety requirements for cobots have been developed and expanded, technologies to help monitor and control cobots are being integrated into these machines. These technologies include sensors which monitor a robot's surroundings to allow for robotic dexterity when the machines grasp objects or help to the robot determine it's position in the room. Sensors thereby enable humans and machines to interact more safely and with greater freedom. One example of this is a torque sensor that monitors the mechanical torque in a variety of the rotational pivot points on a cobot.
TE Connectivity (TE) sensors enable precise and reliable measurements even in the harshest industrial robotic automation environments. Whether an application includes a traditional robotic system or interactive cobots, TE sensors are a proven key component to confirm industrial operations are performing successfully at every stage of the manufacturing process. TE sensors can also be used in equipment such as light curtains, which cause machines to stop when people enter critical areas and APDs can act as artificial eyes in the company's laser scanners.