What will collaborative robots bring to the enterprise table?
The cries of robots "taking over" or "stealing our jobs" have been plenty, but frankly, if you can't beat bots, join them.
Collaborative robots, or cobots, are coming for enterprise tech. However, this is not to replace the human workforce; instead, the purpose of cobots is to work alongside us. Obviously, they won't be discussing last night's ludicrous football display in the kitchen, nor joining in the Friday happy hour (not yet, anyway). Instead, however, today and tomorrow's concoctions of artificial intelligence and deep learning are conditioning bots to understand and help carry out our work.
For many companies, their goal is to deliver high-quality products, and quickly. At the same time, employee satisfaction is high on the list of priorities. Therefore, exhausting your staff to bash out your products is not an option. Cobots, however, may be the answer to balancing the two.
Technology today has bred an entirely new form of robot that is not limited to manual tasks. Having said that, cobots are perfectly capable of performing the repetitive tasks that need automating. Their main selling point, however, is their ability to carry out more intricate tasks that we face on a daily basis. In turn, humans can work smarter and more efficiently. What's more, cobots are certain to offer huge time savings, helping you hit shelves quicker.
Cutting back costs and more
The benefits of cobots don't stop there. What makes them such a viable option for companies is that they aren't obscenely costly. Predictions indicate that, by 2020, cobots will cost as little as $20,000. Not only is the upfront cost considerably low, but labour costs can be reduced in the long run too.
Better still, they're easy to program. In some cases, it's just a matter of turning it on and away you go. Thus, not only is it hassle-free, but quick to set up too. A word of caution, though: organisations need an up-to-date IT infrastructure in place to deploy cobots. Furthermore, you may need to invest in modern enterprise resource planning software for more fluid data sharing from the cobots and to coordinate workflows.
Also, cobots are flexible in that you can repurpose them around the workplace. Their mobility and intelligence mean they can be used for different applications. If you're going to be moving them around the place, it may relieve you to know that they are also very safe. Sensory advancements in technology mean they know when to stop or reverse so as to not crash into anyone.
Demonstrably, cobots have a lot to offer in the enterprise space. Cobots will not replace the workforce; instead, humans will find more efficient ways to work and organisations will have happier teams.
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