Imagine a collaborative robot that knows where it is and what needs to be done. A cobot capable of inspecting whether a part in your manufacturing process is complete and capable of jumping automatically to another task if it is not. A cobot that even reacts independently if an error occurs on one of your machines. Does this sound like a very futuristic scenario for you? For years now, the concept of making machines more connected has been the core issue of Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing. Tend is taking a unique approach to helping companies not just chase those ideals, but realize them with their AI-based cloud robotics platform, “in.control™”.
SMART MANUFACTURING MADE SIMPLE
For instance, a 3D printer may indicate through its touchscreen that it’s done. You can teach the robot which part of the screen to read, and then follow up with actions such as unloading the printer and selecting a new job.
Besides having the robots interact with the machines visually, as a human would, all the configuration data and instructions are stored in a cloud, turning the robot into an AI-powered machine that can send, store and receive the data. Thus the software is also able to provide real-time production analytics for the end-users, so they can monitor and control the performance of their production line from their mobile device.
Cloud Robotics for Machine Tending with collaborative robots.
UNIVERSAL ROBOTS PROVES USEFUL FOR EARLY ADOPTERS
The cobots have not just proven useful in the testing space. Many of the company’s early clients have already connected their UR robots to the Tend in. control system, with great results. ”We’ve received tremendous feedback so far,” adds Eric. “We actually heard from one customer using Tend in. control on the UR5 that they already needed a new screen tester attachment, because they were using it around the clock and wore out the original end effector. It was a great problem to have.”
HELP EXECUTING THE PRINCIPALS OF INDUSTRY 4.0
And this is the key aspect: The system allows the cobot to work with other machines in a very human way – in a visual way. By taking this approach, Tend closes a gap in Smart Manufacturing. “Machines were not necessarily designed to interact with each other, and that’s one reason why it’s such a big challenge right now to execute the principals of Industry 4.0. We leveraged the one common way that machines were designed to interact with humans, and that’s visually – so we found a way to allow the robots to do that as well.”
Universal Robots prove useful for early adopters.
Smart Manufacturing made simple with collaborative robots from Universal Robots.
Taking the plunge to Cloud Robotics with Universal Robots+
TAKING THE PLUNGE TO CLOUD ROBOTICS WITH UNIVERSAL ROBOTS+
“We just started the process of becoming part of the Universal Robots+ showroom, which is a great opportunity for us to gain additional exposure with UR’s customer base,” says the Tend CMO. “Working directly with Universal Robots is a huge advantage, as it allows us to determine what kind of things customers are trying to do with their cobots and how we can best support them with our products,” he added.
Tend’s in.control™ the software platform is already available on the market and being used in several applications, although the major launch is still to come: During the Automate show in Chicago (April 3 – 6), Tend will present the solution to a broader public for the first time. At booth 2802, they will be displaying a UR5 with an attached vision camera, simulating a machine tending task by reading a touchscreen display and responding according to the text prompt on the screen.
Learn more about how to get started with Cobots - download our free ebook!