Mercedes Tries Humanoid Robots

Humanoid robots have been the big news in robotics recently. Sometimes they’re presented as a way to make robots cuter — Tesla’s Optima is supposed to be a “buddy,” after all — but sometimes they’re described as fitting into human-oriented spaces better.

That’s the approach Mercedes is taking. They’re bringing humanoid robots into their factories to take on repetitive, dull tasks, and planning to be able to use them for many different kinds of work. Since they’re about the same size and shape as a person, they figure, they can integrate them into their workplace without having to change the footprint in their factories.

Hungary’s labor shortage

Mercedes will be trying out Apollo robots in its plants in Hungary, where there are serious labor shortages. By emphasizing tough physical jobs, the auto maker seems to be bypassing the discussion of lost jobs among human workers.

The luxury car builders want “to free up our highly skilled team members on the line to build the world’s most desirable cars,” according to a spokesperson. Mercedes appears to be working to avoid the suggestion that people will lose their jobs.

“Mercedes plans to use robotics and Apollo for automating some low skill, physically challenging, manual labor,” say the CEO of the robotics company that makes Apollo.

Automation among the autos

Automobile manufacturers have been in the forefront of automation for decades, but the new humanoid robots are different from the standard auto-making robots.

Auto makers normally use giant robotic arms to lift parts and place them. The humanoid robots are a completely different experience.

When you use Rexroth motion control to work with your robots, you can feel confident calling us for any service and support needs. We are Rexroth specialists, and we can facilitate factory repair and reman to keep your facilities working smoothly.

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