The April technology evening was held as usual at the Durban Country Club. The subject of ‘Taking the next step in automation using collaborative robots’ elicited great attendance and interest, and presenter Frederik Langenhoven of Cobots did not disappoint with his interactive and interesting presentation.
Frederik Langenhoven (left) thanked by Hennie Prinsloo.
Frederik pointed out that there is a new breed of robot in town. Collaborative robots, or cobots, have emerged as practical devices in the last decade. A cobot is a robot that is intended physically to interact with humans in a shared workspace, so the special pens and protective light curtains around the robot operating area are gone. The cobot is designed to work alongside a human operator, typically lifting the heavier items involved in electronic device assembly operations. It has smooth surfaces with no sharp edges, and protected joints, so a human working alongside cannot trap their fingers, plus it stops at the slightest external touch. Additionally, the cobot is flexible, it can be trained (taught) by the assembly operator by guiding its arms and grippers to show it what to do.
In summary, Frederik told the enthralled audience that:
• Collaborative robots are tools to support people, not take away their jobs.
• Collaborative robots can be used all over industry, not only in big organisations, but also in small to medium size enterprises.
• Suitable for use in many industries like automotive, metal, medical, plastics and food and beverage.
The branch thanks Cobots for the kind sponsorship and Frederik for the presentation.
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