New robotic siblings are just an example of a new type of automation in manufacturing.  Should your company be contributing to it as well as using it?

Lots of manufacturers know Baxter. Some may even have given him a job doing all manner of menial tasks, around the clock and without pay. That’s because Baxter is the trainable manufacturing robot that brought a new generation of affordable automation to manufacturers in many industrial sectors. However, Baxter’s time in the spotlight may have ended as his younger, and more dynamic brother Sawyer has just recently been introduced. Is this sibling team about to capture the attention of the manufacturing world?

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Designed With Assembly In Mind
Sawyer looks a lot like his brother Baxter, which isn’t that surprising as both robots have been built by robotics developer Rethink Robotics.  And while both Baxter and Sawyer bear similar expressions on their programmable screen, are built around a series of elastic actuators, and are meant to integrate easily into a number of assembly line scenarios, Sawyer is a bit more compact and has one less arm than his brother. His single limb has been designed with more complicated assembly of electronic products in mind.

How Manufacturing Happens And Where It Happens
Reportedly, Rethink Robots is focusing on how electronics manufacturing, specifically in Asia, could be furthered with the integration of a robot like Sawyer. Does that mean Sawyer will strengthen Asian dominated electronics production, or could Sawyer and other forms of automation make it possible to completely shift or redistribute manufacturing and assembly hubs? This is especially important to consider if Sawyer is eliminating the need for low skilled hiring and is instead creating new opportunities for programmers and robotics operators.


Using Automation And Helping It Grow
There are a number of new technologies that are contributing to scaled-down, ultra efficient manufacturing. Tasks that required many workers in a factory setting can be completed in smaller and more dedicated locations by just a few people. Baxter, Sawyer, and Universal Robots’ tabletop robot arms, are among the most well known today, and this market is quite likely to grow. Manufacturers should look to how they can make use of automation, but also how they can serve a world that will be using robots for all manner of tasks and purposes.

Are you considering your priorities and products and asking how they can help build the technology that will shape and build our future? It may be what keeps you relevant in the rapid pace of manufacturing technology.

Share your thoughts on Sawyer and this new era of automated manufacturing in the comments.

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1 thought on “How Do You Build A Robot That Can Build The Future?”

  1. These robots are truly amazing. The assembly line has long been considered one of the greatest innovations of the 20th century. It has shaped the industrial world so strongly that businesses that did not adopt the practice soon became extinct, and it was one of the key factors that helped integrate the automobile into American society. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, manufactured goods were usually made by hand with individual workers taking expertise in one portion of a product. Each expert would create his own part of the item with simple tools. After each component was crafted they would be brought together to complete the final product. How times have changed.

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