Founder, Universal Robots.
From Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0. There’s long been a global movement to create smart, automated production setups and make things communicate digitally – all jingoistically summed up as “Industry 4.0”. But at Universal Robots, we reckon a new robotics development is even more interesting: We call this “Industry 5.0”...
There’s long been a global movement to create smart, automated production setups and make things communicate digitally – all jingoistically summed up as “Industry 4.0”.
But at Universal Robots, we reckon a new robotics development is even more interesting: We call this “Industry 5.0”, simply to highlight the difference.
Whereas Industry 4.0 setups are largely about the consistency of quality, consistency of flow and data collection – replacing functions in which lesser-skilled people had to carry out repetitive, burdensome tasks – Industry 5.0 is about highly skilled people and robots working side by side to create individualized products, services, and experiences.
Industry 5.0 is basically about robot capabilities and human skills converging to get the best of both. It’s a state of development in which manufacturers pair the unique, cognitive skills of a craftsperson or other skilled human with a robot’s ability to deal with requirements for heavy lifting, consistent quality, and round-the-clock exactitude.
Industry 5.0 involves the transformation of modern manufacturing as well as a wide range of other processes – commercial and non-commercial – to enable man and machine to work side by side – collaboratively. Using collaborative robots (cobots).
This redeployment of human creativity into setups where skilled workers collaborate with robots is necessary because market requirements and consumer expectations are moving away from mass production, and end-user customers are demanding much more personalization and customization in the products they buy.
Robots are excellent at manufacturing standardized products using standardized processes that help ensure high speed and high production volume.
But adding a “special something” to each and every product is a challenge where robots require guidance and assistance, driving the need to bring the human touch back into a wide range of manufacturing, preparation, and finishing processes.
Collaborative robots are where Universal Robots is doing exactly this, and really breaking new ground by enabling humans and robots to work side by side – literally – in the same workspace, be it fast food joint, hospital ward, specialist workshop or creative den.
Because cobots are versatile, easily programmable, and safe, expensive, space-guzzling safety caging can almost always be done away with. Robotic capabilities can then move out of closed factories and limited-access spaces, to work side-by-side with us humans. Robotic capabilities become a personal tool that members of any workforce can use to apply their distinctive creative skills more effectively, to provide greater human value.
This then leaves human employees free to apply their intangible skills and difficult-to-program creativity to more complex projects – or to notch up a considerable boost in productivity for their existing craft or skill.
At Universal Robots, the Industry 5.0 moniker is simply a question of cobots and skilled humans working closely together in myriads of different ways – many as yet unthought-of and unexplored – to create maximum human value by getting the best of both worlds and both types of capabilities.
Industry 5.0 – and the cobots at its heart – is about combining people’s creativity and craftsmanship with the speed, productivity and consistency of robots, and exploring how to make the very best of the many possible overlaps to mould hitherto unseen commercial and societal capabilities. From more people-centric, individually customized products to craftsmanship and specialist skills made much more widely available.
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Founder, Universal Robots.