Robots and the future

At a recent Motoman Technical Forum in the firm’s West Carrollton, OH, offices, Motoman president Craig Jennings was enthusiastic about the potential for robotic applications in the packaging sector.

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Jennings also shared these thoughts:

• As the number of robots sold annually increases, revenue doesn’t increase proportionately because the cost of robots is coming down.

• Germany has as many robots as all of North America

• Robots are expanding to relatively new markets—pharmaceutical, life sciences, medical instruments, plastics. Helping to cause this expansion is the continuing growth of computer proficiency/familiarity.

• Soon to reach, or in some cases just now reaching, the marketplace are dual-arm robots and 13-axis robots. Also on the horizon are microactuators that permit robots to execute actions requiring increasingly fine motor skills. “Currently they’re too expensive,” Jennings told his audience. “But they’re coming.”

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