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Welcome to Kollmorgen's Blog in Motion.  We have been adding information and knowledge to the great web based world for many years - through white papers, technical documents, and even webinars.  Kollmorgen enjoys sharing our knowledge with you, as well as identifying other motion related tidbits through our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube feeds.  Our newest source is Blog in Motion, covering a wide range of topics, as well as some interesting contributing authors with lots of Motion experience.  If Motion Matters to you, stop by, follow, like, and sign up so you can stay tuned for what Kollmorgen has in store for you!

A collaborative robot (Cobot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. This is in contrast with other robots, designed to operate autonomously. A "cobot" is a robot that works in tandem with a human worker. The assumption is that a cobot and a human can produce an end result better and faster than either could do working alone.
Huge demand for robots, cobots, AI and Industry 4.0 is driving innovation hubs across the globe.  Whether the focus is software, industrial robots, cobots, medical robots or something else - the best way to facilitate and attract talent is to huddle around academic centers and universities.  Thus is born a Robotics Cluster, which is a group of entities that – formally or informally – locate in close geographical proximity.

We’ve all seen the movies…the one where the ‘intelligent’ robots go off-piste and bring untold chaos to the human race.  It never really turns out rosy just as the end credit start to fall. However, regardless of Hollywood’s ‘predictions’, no matter where I go or where I look (as part of my role in Kollmorgen’s Aerospace & Defence team) I am constantly tripping over a growing exposure to robotics and Intelligent robots in the Defence sector; air, land, sea and subsea.

Throughout the Iron Man series, Tony repeatedly tells the articulated cobot that he’s doing it wrong, he even goes so far to place a dunce cap on its head and put it in the corner. And this brings me to an important aspect of a cobot: teachability.

Who you are defines how you think of robotics and automation.  Software experts and IT may think of internet bots.  They might also think about the new, emerging field of Robotics Process Automation (RPA), which is software that can do mundane and administrative computer tasks.  RPA reduces repetitive tasks such as checking, verifying and transferring data.  Manufacturing facilities will think about physical robots or cobots that are also deployed to handle repetitive tasks such as loading and unloading a CNC machine or installing a computer cover.  They can also be used to automate dangerous tasks such as lifting, welding or removing paint.

The human vs. robot topic in workplaces has been in the spotlight for quite a while. Look at the comments under the YouTube video where Google introduced its AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant that could call restaurants and salons to make appointments - there is widespread concern from the audience over the risk of human workers being replaced by AI-equipped machines. But on the other hand, even Elon Musk admitted in a Tweet that “humans are underrated” at Tesla, where “excessive automation was a mistake”. Inspired by such arguments, I keep pondering over one question: what is the role of robotization, or automation in a broader sense, in today’s employment?

Frameless, or “servo motor kits”, open up numerous possibilities in designing motion elements for your machine related to performance.  A frameless motor consists of rotor and stator components which are built into a machine assembly to transmit torque to a load.  Many applications which take advantage of a frameless motor are direct driven, which eliminates bandwidth robbing compliance.  Effectively, this means you have eliminated torsional losses and any wind-up or spring losses.  
A few years ago I watched the DARPA challenge. If you’re not familiar with the challenge, the idea was to build a robot that could drive a car, climb a ladder, turn a handle, use a drill and various other activities.  In the challenge each robot was given an hour to complete the tasks.  It was a slow process. I had two reasons to watch, one, Kollmorgen has some frameless motors in the Carnegie Mellon robot and two, I’m a Virginia Tech graduate and they also provided a robot.
A collaborative robot (or Cobot) is a robot that is made to work with or interact with human co-workers. For most of us normal folks, the most well-known example is Tony Stark’s robotic arm. (For those reading who are wondering why I don’t refer to the arm as JARVIS, it’s because JARVIS is the AI and controls other things but not the robotic arm.) Tony has bit of an unhealthy relationship with the robotic arm, he insults it, puts it in a dunce cap, puts it in time out, or threatens to dismantle it. At which point the robotic arm usually hangs his robotic limb downward into sadness. But, the robotic arm is there to do work for Tony in his basement. He may have a large house, but he doesn’t want a 10-foot-tall robot behind a fence. He wants an assistant, a co-worker of sorts that can help build his Iron Man suits.
Let’s take a step back and talk about what a DC motor is.  Typically, when thinking about a DC motor, you really are talking about a DC permanent brush type motor.  Apply DC power, adjust the voltage and current levels to control it, usually with a simple amplifier, and you have a dc system solution.  Add in some type of feedback and you will have pretty good control.  There are lots and lots of robot types, but mobile robots are typically going to need to run off of a battery source, thus the need for a DC solution.

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