Editorial: Developers are the secret ingredient

Author: Martin Rytter

People developing things are the secret ingredient in any successful cobot deployment.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Cobots have never been easier to unbox, setup and program, but practically all cobot deployments still require something to be developed. Someone has to develop the custom gripper fingers that fit the parts just right, the integration with the CNC machine, and the robot program that reliably performs tasks in the right order.

And what about end-of-arm tooling, packaged solutions, URCaps and other off-the-shelf products? Those things need to be developed too. There are fortunately lots of great products out there, but also plenty of problems yet to be solved for the first time. Perhaps more importantly, many problems have not yet been solved in ways that are accessible to most people exploring automation. Developers remain the key to industry transformation that makes cobot deployments successful.

“But I am not a developer,” you might say. Well, developers are a diverse group. People identify themselves as machine builders, engineers or integrators. They develop hardware, software or both. Some rely on highly specialized knowledge to build advanced solutions, and others focus on easily solvable problems and simply get things built. Some developers run a CNC shop. Others work as integrators, they might be students playing with ROS, or they are part of a startup developing tomorrow’s end effectors. There are many ways to be a developer.

What is the secret to successful cobot deployments?

Developers, developers, developers.

The world needs more people developing things with cobots. That’s the reason we’re launching a Developer Network! We start by dedicating a section of our website to knowledge, support and inspiration that developers need. We want you to be part of what comes next. What topics are important to you as a developer? Do you have insights you want to share with other developers? What activities would you love to be part of? Let us know at developer@universal-robots.com.

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