Official word has come in from Arturo Baroncelli, President of the IFR: 2013 saw a record breaking number of robots go into service. 2014 is expected to break that record.
There are several good reasons for this.
For one thing, consumer product lifecycles are shorter and there’s more customization and personalization. That means that automation requires a higher level of flexibility and adaptability — which can mean new robots replacing older, less agile ones.
For another, there is increasing concern with energy efficiency. While we think the greenest approach is that exemplified by the New Belgium Brewery — keeping legacy products when they perform well and adding new ones when that’s needed — improved energy efficiency is clearly a good thing. Automation itself often allows for a greener factory, so bringing in robots can reduce the carbon footprint.
Finally, robots can work in conditions that are dangerous or unhealthy for human beings. As consumers become more aware of the dangers of factories, including those in Third World countries, the greater safety of letting robots do some jobs becomes ever more clear.
Some great moments in robot history:
1495: Leonardo Da Vinci designs the first recorded humanoid robot.
1801: Joseph Jacquard builds his automated loom, programmed with punchcards.
1822: Charles Babbage demonstrates the first recognizable computer and plans to work on a punch card model.
1899: Nikolai Tesla shows off the first remote-control device, a boat.
1921: The word “robot” is first used, in a play in which the robots take over the world and kill the people. This image sticks in people’s minds.
1926: Maria in “Metropolis” is the first movie robot.
1942: Isaac Asimov delineates the Laws of Robotics.
1948: The first working robots are built.
1950: Alan Turing proposes the Turing Test as a means of distinguishing between robots and human-like intelligence.
1961: General Motors installs the first industrial robot, an arm.
1970: Stanford develops the first modern robot.
1977: Star Wars comes out in theaters.
After this point, robots developed at the same hectic pace as the rest of our technology. If you’re still using Indramat servo motors, we can provide you all the support you need.