PROGRAMMING CHALLENGES IN INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS
It is estimated that there are about 1.6 million industrial robots deployed across the globe and that is a sizeable number to ignore in industrial automation. Logistics as an industry has been attempting to leverage robots for a long time and autonomous logistics (including drone based deliveries) is an interesting and large topic involving unmanned ground, aerial and surface vehicles. Usage of autonomous ground vehicles in postal industry was experimented over a decade ago. Dock management, de-vanning, vanning, Inbound inspection, sortation, put-away, transport operations, picking, packing are some of the key areas to leverage industrial robots. Cellular Transport Systems provide an edge over static conveyers for large scale sortation for both express logistics and 3PL operations. I’d try and limit this point of view to typical warehouse operations.
When it comes to warehousing operations, application of industrial robots and advanced technologies provide paradigm shift in efficiency, productivity and in minimizing errors. Leveraging 3D sensors and robotic manipulators for contour check to optimize space for vanning, in-bound material inspection and other such uses offer enormous opportunities for logistics industry.
However, there is not much progress and acceptance of common scripting or programming language in robotics space and there are several proprietary software based on the vendor like Rapid (ABB), Karel (Fanuc), AS (Kawasaki) etc., However given the high need of parallelism and event processing capabilities is a good business case for budding technopreneurs.