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The Advancement of End of Arm Tooling Technology for Modern Manufacturing Robots

There has been a dramatic evolution of robotic technology for both collaborative and industrial types of robots.  They have become more profitable, cheaper, smarter and faster than ever before, all thanks to a number of technological breakthroughs. Manufacturers across the globe are reaping the benefits of the rapid improvement in robotic technology.

Abbreviated as EOAT, end of arm tooling directly interacts with a part at the end of the robotic machine. This makes it one of the most important pieces of technology of a robot. With such steady advancements in robotic technology, as well as many others, we will try and answer the question how has EOAT changed?

The innovation of EOAT is driven by customer demand

The end users of robotics tend to face constant pressure when it comes to minimizing operating costs while they maximize productivity, thus resulting in them having to forever search for more ways to incorporate automation into their daily operations. Since robotic technology is needed in a wider range of industries and applications, high productivity is demanded in existing applications. Therefore, the need for new and more efficient types of EOAT continuous to expand.

Just like all the other forms of robotic automation technology, it is critical that EOAT keeps up with the rapid pace of innovation in order to satisfy customer demands for more productive automation systems. This has resulted in a good amount of advances in EOAT technology.

Some of the major advances in EOAT technology

There are plenty of ways that EOAT technology is advancing rapidly. The use of sensors to monitor pressure, proximity, acceleration, orientation temperature and force as well as general capabilities in tactile and vision sensing is one of the most common ways that EOATs are elevated. These sensors are capable of amassing a wealth of application data for analysis.

Advances in deep learning in artificial intelligence (AI) is the other key development in EOAT technology. However, much of it is still in the horizon. Once EOATs are able to collect the massive amounts of data mentioned above, deep learning algorithms can then help in terms of making sense of all that collected data. The purpose of this is to help EOATs navigate the semi-structured environments for greater accuracy as well as flexibility. With AI technology, there is great potential that EOAT will be able to operate in completely unstructured environments.

There are a plethora of other advances in EOAT technology. This is mostly seen in small, delicate and collaborative environments. However, the two advances that have been mentioned above are the predominant ways in which end of arm tooling technology is advancing.

EOAT and collaborative robots

Most manufacturing robots using modern EOAT technology are collaborative robots commonly known as cobots. Combining vision sensors with AI, cobots are considered to be much safer than industrial robots thus increasing employee satisfaction and decreasing productivity draining disruptions. They are also flexible in that they are capable of working 24 hours nonstop and also take a variety other different task thus helping to accelerate ROI of automation investment.

Cobots offer a myriad of benefits for end users, they include the following in particular:

  • Quick ROI making them appealing to many different manufacturers
  • Safety
  • Ease of use
  • Flexibility

The following mentioned above are the reasons why there is an influx in the market for collaborative robots. A good percentage of the most pressing problems that you and your fellow manufactures face on a daily basis can be promptly solved by the introduction of collaborative robots. The more technology improves and advances the more costs are going to decrease as collaborative robots continue to increase in adoption.

All is not a loss for human employees however, because there has been a rise in demand for specialists as the world begins to embrace both robotics and automation. While robotics can be extremely rewarding, it can also be exciting, challenging and always evolving, it takes an entire team to be successful.

Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.