Negosentro | The past ten to fifteen years have seen collaborative robots revolutionize the manufacturing and industrial environment—so much so that one would be hard pressed to find a manufacturing environment without at least one robot arm.
With the increase in popularity, cobots have made their way into other environments; most notably healthcare, retail, food production, and distribution operations.
The adoption of robots into non-traditional industries has given rise to professional service robots. These are robots that are used outside the manufacturing industry but within a professional setting.
How do professional service robots compare to industrial robots?
Similar to industrial robots, professional service robots perform repetitive, dangerous and strenuous work in environments where automation is more beneficial compared to manual labor.
With regards to differences, unlike industrial robots that only work in structured frameworks; professional service robots contain some form of mobility and autonomy that allows them to work in unstructured environments.
Additionally, while industrial robots have very specific functionalities that allow them to excel in the manufacturing environment; professional service robots differ greatly when it comes to form and function.
Finally, professional service robots are suitable to a myriad of industries from health to agriculture to fulfillment centers.
The state of professional service robots in the industry
According to the 2017 IFR report, professional service robots are the fastest growing segment of the robotics industry. The report goes on to state that professional service robots’ sales increased by 85% between 2016 and 2017.
Moreover, the report estimates that the entire professional service robots industry will be worth $37 billion come 2021 thanks to a 21% annual growth rate.
The benefits of professional service robots
The benefits of professional service robots greatly mirror those of industrial robots. That is because for most businesses, regardless of application or industry, the reasons for automation are largely the same.
Adopting professional service robots plays a great role in enhancing safety in the work environment. Instead of replacing the human workers, the robots take over all the dangerous and repetitive tasks while humans shift their focus to cognitive-oriented tasks.
A good example to consider is a Universal Robots industrial robot arm used for demolition. The demolition robot ensures that the workers will stay away from any structural and nuclear dangers during an ongoing demolition process.
Alternatively, a professional service robot can be used in the defense industry to guarantee that soldiers are not in harm’s way during combat. In a nutshell, professional service robots can venture where human workers cannot due to safety concerns.
Similar to any robotic automation, a professional service robot increases productivity. How so? Once fully integrated into the production process, robots collect massive amounts of data which when fully analyzed allow for optimization of operations. In turn, that increases production and by extension productivity.
Consider an agricultural professional service robot. The robot can monitor, collect and transmit vital visual data on the overall health of crops or livestock. Such kind of data would be hard or rather impossible to collect when using manual labor.
A business tends to achieve efficiency when operations costs are minimal, and the uptime levels are flawless or ideal. A professional service robot achieves this in two ways.
One, a robot is nearly error-free. As a result, increasing operation costs arising from errors are eliminated. Second, a robot does not get tired, and its level of operation does not diminish. Consequently, it can work for as long as you need it to work while still producing high-quality, and consistent products.
For example, an industrial cleaning robot can clean for as long as you need it to clean without needing any downtime.
More examples of professional service robots
Aside from the robots mentioned in the examples above, below are more examples of professional service robots.
- Inspection robots
- Defense robots
- Construction robots
- Agricultural robots
- Customer service robots
- Field robots
- Exoskeleton robots
- Humanoid robots
- Medical robots
- Logistics robots
Professional service robots are still new in the market, but as technology evolves and innovation continues, chances are high the world will see a lot more of professional service robots soon.