As an industrial robot manufacturer, you’re facing a bright future. The global market is forecast to grow to $97.41 billion
by 2026 from about $36 billion today. Your clients are driving that growth with their demand for greater automation and continuous production that can allow them to operate more profitably and efficiently — robots don’t need to break for lunch or a shift change and they can even work without the lights on. Manufacturers of all sizes, even small to medium-sized operations, are evaluating robots with innovative capabilities that allow them to “see,” “hear,” and “think,” offering efficient, cost-effective options to perform some jobs that up until now, only humans could do.
Building the Perfect Robot
To capitalize on the growing opportunity in robotics, however, you need to find ways to deliver on your clients’ demands in ways that make sense; ROI has to occur within a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, an industrial robot can’t function as a standalone solution. It needs to work and share data with the other parts of their IT/OT environment — now and when change occurs in the future. In-demand industrial robots are:
- Interoperable: Robotic components, regardless of manufacturer, should communicate. It will become more common for manufacturers to use multiple robots for different purposes throughout an operation. They all need to be able to share data.
- Flexible: Your design should allow for automatic discovery between data publishers and subscribers to deploy and move applications anywhere without changing code.
- Plug-and-play: Your robotics design should make it possible to reuse software components in completely different deployments and extend systems with new functionality.
- Modular: Using standardized APIs, your clients can switch, replace, and upgrade components from different vendors.
- Scalable: A reliable multicast mechanism can allow for point-to-multipoint communication, enabling the system to add new components.
In addition, industrial robot design must maximize quality of service (QoS) by reducing data loss and latency. Interactions should also be time-decoupled to avoid workflow interruptions and reduce complexity, and your robot’s design should be fault-tolerant, allowing each application to make decisions on its own with no dependency on other components or the need for a centralized management system.
Designing robots for manufacturers that want to improve their competitive position with greater efficiency, speed, quality, and service levels aren’t just looking for robots that can communicate. These “Industry 4.0” operations need robots with the ability to communicate in real time
. Systems that employ artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge can define the norm for operating activity based on data from robots — as well as sensors, protocols and machinery — and then take action when they detect an anomaly. However, they need data at the moment it’s generated to function most effectively.
The Data Distribution Service (DDS)
communication protocol can give robots the ability to communicate in real time, peer-to-peer, allowing them to “come alive” in a variety of ways:
- Automated guided vehicles: DDS enables intravehicle and intervehicle communication, allowing AGVs to “talk” to each other, increasing product throughput rates and worker safety.
- Collision avoidance: Real-time communication enabled by DDS provides continual location data, allowing one robot to let another pass by, and eliminating the chances of an accident.
- Robotic arm path planning: The communication protocol provides data that your system needs to optimize arm path, so a robot can move gracefully and avoid obstacles.
- Robot object possession: DDS can overcome some of the challenges developers face with object possession by enabling a robot to communicate directly with objects or production equipment.
- Facial recognition: For robots with vision capabilities, DDS allows robots to “see” and immediately verification a person’s identity.
- Robotic self-learning: Because DDS eliminates the need for network programming for communications, data automatically flows to AI applications at the edge, allowing robots to learn from the data they receive — even unstructured data.
Infusing Life into Your Business
Building robots that align with industry trends may also have benefits for your business. Using interoperable robotic components and designing robots with modular, plug-and-play architecture will reduce development and labor costs, as well as design failures and time to market. You will also have an easier path to innovation and new products. These advantages can add up to greater competitiveness for your company, including the ability to pursue larger contracts.
Developing robots with interoperability, modular design, and real-time communication is not only a way to deliver what your clients are looking for and help them meet their business objectives more easily, it can also be an onramp to greater success for your company.
Curious to learn more? You can meet Rover the Robot at the Edge IoT Smart Pallet Experience
in Pack Expo Las Vegas 2019
September 23rd-25th! Get hands-on with our leading robotics technology and see for yourself how we make robots come alive. Attend for free on us
, with access to the entire expo
learn more about ADLINK’s DDS offerings here.