Robotics 101: An Overview of Robots in Industry for Beginners

Robots have advanced dramatically over the past few decades since their initial use in the automotive industry. Over the years, they’ve come to be a reliable way to automate difficult, dirty and dangerous tasks that require excessive physical exertion for human workers or even put them in harm’s way. 

Today’s robots are flexible and profitable, able to automate a wide range of tasks in an even wider range of industries inside and outside of the factory setting. To understand today’s robots, it’s important to understand how they’ve evolved. 

Challenges that Modern Robots Have Overcome

Robots today are much different than they were even just ten years ago. As they’ve evolved, robots have incorporated built-in safety features to minimize workplace incidents and even work directly alongside human workers. With a diverse range of end-effectors and robot designs, they’ve also been able to greatly expand their potential uses compared to earlier robots. 

Robots are now easier to program than ever before, with some robots not even needing programming knowledge, whereas traditional robots required unique expertise for programming. On top of this, robots are now connected to internal MES and ERP systems to provide performance feedback and advanced production analytics. Most impressively, as all these new features have been added to modern robots, their initial costs have been steadily decreasing, making them a viable solution for just about any industrial operation. 

How are Robots Used?

Today’s robots, whether they’re industrial robots, collaborative robots, or professional service robots, are used in a wide range of industries. These may include:

  • Automotive
  • Assembly
  • Welding
  • Painting
  • Electronics
  • Medical device
  • Packaging
  • Material handling
  • Nuclear
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Mining
  • Agriculture
  • Service
  • Food
  • Security
  • Semiconductor

These are some of the primary industries and applications that leverage modern robots, but this is a far from exhaustive list. 

Today’s robots have evolved dramatically over the years, featuring a range of intelligent, safe and even mobile technologies that expand their capabilities. Robots were once limited to performing one simple task over and over again. Now, robots can perform a variety of tasks in a wide range of settings, ultimately boosting their profitability.