Collaborative robots called ‘cobots’ are growing in popularity in manufacturing companies over traditional robots used on production lines. The main differences between them is that cobots are smaller and more versatile, they can be taught new tasks in hours instead of weeks, they are less expensive – average price is $24,000 compared with $50,000 to $75,000, and they are not within a physical safety cage or invisible kill-switch safety zone, but are free to roam within a given area.
Their movement and appearance are becoming more characteristically human to instill trust from humans as they work together. Monitors represent faces with almost cartoon like eyes and facial expressions, and they turn towards an object as their arm approaches it to carry out a certain task. Arm movement speed & range copy the more restricted movements of humans to not shock or cause fear in humans, but to gain trust. The Audi and Ford factories use collaborative robots and the factory workers have dressed them up a little and given them nick names ! The relationship between man and machine seems to be getting closer !
Jim Lawton chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics, predicts they will also be able to share information with each other across the cloud network to help them learn from each other and improve, and that very soon they will be in every manufacturing environment in the world and eventually in our homes.
It’s amazing how some elements or themes of yesteryear science fiction films start to appear in present day society.
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some more alternative exam answers … !