A new generation of low-cost robots handles short runs in tight quarters. With so much attention focused on driverless cars, package-delivering drones, and scrambling, stomping, and slithering automatons, industrial robots remain mechatronics’ blue collar guys. They work several shifts each day, no complaints, doing the same repetitive job quickly and accurately.
Universal Robots is one of several firms developing robots for this emerging market. It has more than 3,000 robots up and running, mostly in Europe. Another notable contender is Rethink Robotics, which was founded by iRobot innovator Rodney Brooks.