Integration… It’s hard, right? You need an integrator, years of robotics experience, lots of time… Nope! These common “facts” are all fiction.
There are a lot of misconceptions about robotics.
Some of these myths are so maddeningly common and misguided that we’ve covered them many times before (e.g. robots steal jobs, robots will kill us all, etc). I won’t bore you by covering these again. They are the type of myth that the general public believes, but those of us with engineering experience know that they are not true.
However, there are some misguided “facts” which even many engineers and business owners believe. They regard robot integration.
A lot of people wrongly believe that robotics is not for them because they are misled by these integration myths.
Here are 15 of the most pervasive “facts” which stop intelligent people like you from experiencing the great benefits of robotics.
1. Integration requires an integrator
It makes sense, right? You need to hire an external robot integrator to integrate your robot.
In the past, yes, it was true. In the past, robot integration was a complex and highly-skilled job requiring years of programming experience. In some specific cases, you do still need an integrator these days. However, for many applications, you can get started with robotics with no external integrator at all. This is particularly true with collaborative robots.
2. Integration requires robotics experience
Nope! We’ve seen countless professionals who had no previous robotics experience manage to integrate robots with no problems.
Take the example of engineer Victor Canton from our case study of Continental in Spain. Even with no experience in robotics, he was able to integrate a robot for their Quality Testing task.
3. Robots are only suitable for mass production
This pervasive myth originates from an out-of-date idea of robotics. From the 1960s (when the first industrial robot was built) through to the 1990s, robots were solely the tools of mass production. They were only used by industries like automotive, where the high volume, low mix environment suited the inflexible industrial robots of the time.
These days, however, robots are just as applicable to low volume, high mix environments as they are for mass production.
4. Robots need vision sensors
People often think that robots need to have vision sensors because we humans need our eyes to see what we’re doing. However, this is not necessarily true.
Robot vision can make integration harder than it needs to be (even with easy-to-use vision sensors). Many tasks do not require vision. As a result, such tasks are very simple to integrate.
5. Integration takes a long time
Despite what many people think, there is no need for robot integration to take a long time. This misconception stems from the fact that traditional industrial robotics integration was a very complex and time-consuming affair.