“Col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bots are In­dus­try 4.0 com­pli­ant and safe to work along­side hu­mans”

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Bio Content - Dr Man­beena Chawala man­beena.chawla@mmac­tiv.com

Univer­sal Ro­bots, a Dan­ish com­pany, head­quar­tered in Odense, is one of the pioneers in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of ad­vanced, user­friendly and light in­dus­trial, Col­lab­o­ra­tive Ro­botic arms (Cobot). These Col­lab­o­ra­tive Ro­bots safely work along­side hu­mans, and more as a “worker’s as­sis­tant” or “third arm” or “help­ing hand” or “por­ta­ble tool” which tra­di­tional in­dus­trial ro­bots can­not be used as.

The com­pany has a net­work of 200 dis­trib­u­tors in 50 coun­tries. The com­pany is ded­i­cated to bring in safe, flex­i­ble and easy to use 6 axis in­dus­trial ro­botic arms to busi­ness of ev­ery size, all over the world. Univer­sal Ro­bots de­velop in­dus­trial col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bot arms that au­to­mate and stream­line repet­i­tive in­dus­trial pro­cesses. This ap­proach en­ables pro­duc­tion de­part­ments to as­sign their staff mem­bers more en­joy­able tasks – cre­at­ing jobs that pro­vide them with new chal­lenges that add value to the com­pany.

Col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bots (cobots) help in cre­at­ing, not los­ing jobs. In­stead of re­plac­ing hu­man and caus­ing job loss, col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bots helps com­pa­nies in ex­pand­ing oper­a­tions, thereby cre­at­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties. Cobots help com­pa­nies to ex­pand mul­ti­fold, thus cre­at­ing jobs and many more op­por­tu­ni­ties at su­per­vi­sion roles. Univer­sal Ro­bots man­u­fac­ture 3 ro­botic arms namely UR3, UR5 and UR10 which have a pay­load ca­pac­ity of 3kgs, 5kgs and 10kgs re­spec­tively. With the goal of mak­ing ro­bot tech­nol­ogy ac­ces­si­ble for small and medium sized en­ter­prises, the ro­bots are de­signed to be used by all lev­els of pro­duc­tion staff. Their ma­jor mar­kets are Au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try fol­lowed by FMCG, Elec­tron­ics, Ed­u­ca­tion and R&D Cen­tres. Since the first ro­bot was launched in 2008, the com­pany has ex­pe­ri­enced con­sid­er­able growth with the user-friendly ro­bots now sold in more than 50 coun­tries world­wide. In In­dia Univer­sal Ro­bots has 12 dis­trib­u­tors (Pan In­dia). In an in­ter­ac­tion with BioSpec­trum, Pradeep David, Gen­eral Man­ager, Univer­sal Ro­bots – South Asia shared his views about the mar­ket po­ten­tial for Cobot and how Cobot is ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges be­fore many in­dus­tries.

Edited ex­cerpts:

What di­verse sec­tors are be­ing catered to through cobots, in the health­care in­dus­try?

Au­to­ma­tion of health­care sec­tor has the po­ten­tial to do so much good: to bring med­i­cal care to re­gions where even to­day there is none to be found; to lighten the load of med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als; to help peo­ple walk again. To reap the ben­e­fits and avoid the po­ten­tial dan­gers of such a tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion we need to keep in­formed about the strides that sci­ence makes so that we can bet­ter pre­pare and adapt to the notso-dis­tant fu­ture where ro­bots play a cru­cial role and work closely with us.

With re­cent tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, ro­bots are ven­tur­ing into the health­care in­dus­try with care­ful man­ual su­per­vi­sion. Ro­botic med­i­cal as­sis­tants mon­i­tor pa­tient vi­tal sta­tis­tics and alert nurses when there is a need for hu­man pres­ence, al­low­ing a nurse to mon­i­tor mul­ti­ple pa­tients si­mul­ta­ne­ously. These as­sis­tants also au­to­mat­i­cally en­ter in­for­ma­tion into the pa­tient electronic health record. Ro­botic carts may be seen mov­ing through hos­pi­tal cor­ri­dors car­ry­ing sup­plies. Ro­bots have also started as­sist­ing sur­geons, which al­low the sur­geons greater pre­ci­sion and a higher suc­cess rate with their oper­a­tions.

These ro­bots also un­der­take sim­ple tasks like draw­ing blood, check pa­tients’ vi­tal signs and con­di­tions, and take care of the pa­tients’ hy­giene if needed. Ro­bots also pre­pare and dis­pense med­i­ca­tions in phar­ma­co­log­i­cal labs. There are also “gears and wires” ro­botic as­sis­tants that help para­plegics move and ad­min­is­ter phys­i­cal ther­apy.

Phys­io­ther­apy treat­ments are widely ap­plied to help re­store move­ment and func­tions to in­di­vid­u­als who have been af­fected by in­jury, ill­ness or dis­abil­ity. Tra­di­tion­ally, many phys­io­ther­apy treat­ments have

been per­formed man­u­ally by phys­io­ther­a­pists who re­peat the treat­ments reg­u­larly - usu­ally on a daily ba­sis - for a pre­scribed num­ber of weeks to mo­bi­lize joints and soft tis­sues.

How cobots are lend­ing a help­ing hand to the health­care in­dus­try in ad­dress­ing the cur­rent chal­lenges?

Cobots can per­form var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions like draw­ing blood, mon­i­tor pa­tient vi­tals and checks pa­tient hy­giene. Ro­bots have also started as­sist­ing sur­geons, which al­low the sur­geons greater pre­ci­sion and a higher suc­cess rate with their oper­a­tions. The easy pro­gram­ming, in­stal­la­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tive na­ture of the in­dus­trial ro­bot arms al­low sur­geons, nurses, the­ater staff, and ro­bots to work side-by-side and care for pa­tients. Col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bots have also been as­sist­ing health pro­fes­sion­als with re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of bed-rid­den pa­tients in Den­mark; that pro­vides pa­tients with the best pos­si­ble care to help them re­cover quickly.

With this tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion, are there any po­ten­tial dan­gers in­volved along with ben­e­fits? How do you intend to ad­dress those?

The col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bots are In­dus­try 4.0 com­pli­ant and which pro­motes Hu­man – Ro­bot col­lab­o­ra­tion and are ISO/TS 15066 patent cer­ti­fied thus, safe to work along­side hu­mans in the work­place. The patented safety sys­tem of UR ro­bots fea­tures eight ad­justable safety func­tions; Joint po­si­tions and speeds, TCP po­si­tions, tool ori­en­ta­tion, speed and force, as well as the mo­men­tum and power of the ro­bot. This elim­i­nates

any po­ten­tial risks the work­force might have to face.

How is your com­pany plan­ning to con­trib­ute to­wards the MSME sec­tor in In­dia?

The MSME sec­tor has al­ways been the fo­cus area for Univer­sal Ro­bots. Due to var­i­ous ben­e­fits, col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bots make the suit­able au­to­ma­tion so­lu­tion for In­dian SMEs. The in­clu­sion of lat­est tech­nol­ogy to their man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses equal­izes the field and makes it pos­si­ble for small en­ter­prises to com­pete on a global plat­form. The small foot­print, easy pro­gram­ming, short com­mis­sion­ing time al­lows SMEs to have the flex­i­bil­ity of au­tomat­ing dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tion lines at dif­fer­ent times/sea­sons for small batch/sea­sonal pro­duc­tions.

What mar­ket po­ten­tial do you fore­see for cobots in In­dia, as com­pared to the tra­di­tional ro­bot­ics mar­ket?

The SMEs of In­dia are its back­bone and our tar­get mar­ket. The main aim is to pro­mote the cobot tech­nol­ogy and spread aware­ness among the small and medium man­u­fac­tur­ers of the mar­ket. This tech­nol­ogy is ef­fi­cient and af­ford­able with no AMC, which will help the SMEs to com­plete on a global plat­form by in­creas­ing their pro­duc­tiv­ity and out­put. The In­dian mar­ket is grad­u­ally ma­tur­ing and we can see a rapidly chang­ing and an ac­cept­ing mind­set from the man­u­fac­tur­ers. We have dou­bled our busi­ness in In­dia in the past two years and we are hop­ing to con­tinue the trend.

WITH RE­CENT TECH­NO­LOG­I­CAL DE­VEL­OP­MENTS, RO­BOTS ARE VEN­TUR­ING INTO THE HEALTH­CARE IN­DUS­TRY WITH CARE­FUL MAN­UAL SU­PER­VI­SION. RO­BOTIC MED­I­CAL AS­SIS­TANTS MON­I­TOR PA­TIENT VI­TAL STA­TIS­TICS AND ALERT NURSES WHEN THERE IS A NEED FOR HU­MAN PRES­ENCE, AL­LOW­ING A NURSE TO MON­I­TOR MUL­TI­PLE PA­TIENTS SI­MUL­TA­NE­OUSLY. THESE AS­SIS­TANTS ALSO AU­TO­MAT­I­CALLY EN­TER IN­FOR­MA­TION INTO THE PA­TIENT ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD. RO­BOTIC CARTS MAY BE SEEN MOV­ING THROUGH HOS­PI­TAL COR­RI­DORS CAR­RY­ING SUP­PLIES. RO­BOTS HAVE ALSO STARTED AS­SIST­ING SUR­GEONS, WHICH AL­LOW THE SUR­GEONS GREATER PRE­CI­SION AND A HIGHER SUC­CESS RATE WITH THEIR OPER­A­TIONS. THESE RO­BOTS ALSO UN­DER­TAKE SIM­PLE TASKS LIKE DRAW­ING BLOOD, CHECK PA­TIENTS’ VI­TAL SIGNS AND CON­DI­TIONS, AND TAKE CARE OF THE PA­TIENTS’ HY­GIENE IF NEEDED. RO­BOTS ALSO PRE­PARE AND DIS­PENSE MED­I­CA­TIONS IN PHAR­MA­CO­LOG­I­CAL LABS. THERE ARE ALSO “GEARS AND WIRES” RO­BOTIC AS­SIS­TANTS THAT HELP PARA­PLEGICS MOVE AND AD­MIN­IS­TER PHYS­I­CAL THER­APY.

Pradeep David,

Gen­eral Man­ager, South Asia, Univer­sal Ro­bots

Pradeep David, Gen­eral Man­ager, South Asia, Univer­sal Ro­bots

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