Over the last decade, collaborative robot technology has really gained traction in the automation market. Collaborative robots (cobots) can safely operate in close proximity to skilled human operators and are very easy to deploy and use, explains Joe Campbell of Universal Robots. Cobot programming is very simple in contrast to traditional robots so technicians can learn the fundamentals within a few hours through UR’s online academy. This accessibility conveys an added benefit—it helps combat the perception that manufacturing is dull, dirty, and dangerous, a misconception that steers younger technicians away from the field. And for incumbent workers, deploying cobots may mean moving a technician into a higher-value assignment.
So, what are the skills and knowledge that Campbell finds cobot technicians need? Campbell believes that:
You need a logical thinker, somebody who can solve problems and communicate well. But it’s more about those skills, in my opinion, than it is about hard programming knowledge and advanced mathematics. The whole industry, and Universal in particular, are building tools that really deliver that high technology part of the equation.