Friday, April 20, 2018

Autonomous Robots - A Note for Industrial Engineers for Industrial Engineering 4.0 (IE 4.0)

Autonomous Robots and Productivity

Have you noticed these communications

Maximize productivity and accuracy

LocusBots deliver 3x to 5x more productivity. That translates to substantially more tasks with less labor in the same workspace. You see a significant reduction in your labor costs, including costs associated with “task interleaving” and overtime. It also minimizes the impact of wage and healthcare increases.

Less drudge work, more effective workers

LocusBots take away the drudgery that diminishes worker productivity to dramatically improve worker throughput and order accuracy. LocusBots work collaboratively with workers, helping them become more effective and efficient using their already established workflow and procedures.  (Accessed on 9 January 2018)

Service robots: The next big productivity platform
September 8, 2016 by Lamont Woo

Autonomous robots are already in service and more developments are occurring to increase their application in industrial and service sector activities.

Autonomous Robots - Introduction

Autonomous robots are intelligent machines capable of performing tasks in the world by themselves, without explicit human control. Examples range from autonomous helicopters to Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner.

Roboticists created new programs and sensor systems to make robots smarter and more perceptive. Today, robots can effectively navigate a variety of environments.

Simpler mobile robots use infrared or ultrasound sensors to see obstacles.  The robot sends out a sound signal or a beam of infrared light and detects the signal's reflection. The robot locates the distance to obstacles based on how long it takes the signal to bounce back. More advanced robots use stereo vision to see the world around them. Two cameras are used to  give these robots depth perception, and image-recognition software is used to classify various objects. Some robots  use microphones and smell sensors to analyze the world around them. Some autonomous robots are capable of working only in a familiar, constrained environment. An office-cleaning robot may take a fixed route in a  building to do its task. More advanced robots can analyze and adapt to unfamiliar environments.  These robots use visual sensors and based on the image take certain actions or stop completely or give way to the other objects that are coming in the same path. If an obstruction is encountered,they can change direction travel in a different path.

In the year 2018, that is the current year,  you might notice a fresh face in many office rooms: a robot.

Robots are being used in factories for number of years.  And the dirt-sucking Roomba and its peers are popular in many homes. Now, there are  robots that monitor and stock shelves in grocery stores. There are robots that are  mowing the lawns. Of course driverless cars are already on the road on trial basis. There are food delivery robots in some restaurants. Decades of advances in the robotics science, engineering and commercialization have been aided by the information technology industry developments—such as the growing library of open source software,  increasingly powerful and energy-efficient processors, and cheap sensors. So “smart” autonomous robots are getting produced at lower costs and are available at affordable prices for companies to use in their production and business activities.

Autonomous robots are increasing productivity. Guy Michaels and  Georg Graetz in research reported in 2015 found that robots are increasing productivity. Industrial engineers have to do engineering economic analysis of various robot implementation ideas or proposals and recommend using robots to increase productivity. As already noted, autonomous robot technology is a significant component of Industry 4.0 technology set.


Guy Michaels and  Georg Graetz,

Chapter of the Blog Book - Industrial Engineering 4.0 - IE in the Era of Industry 4.0 - Blog Book

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Industry 4.0 - A Note for Industrial Engineers for Industrial Engineering 4.0 (IE 4.0)

Bibliography - Autonomous Robots


Autonomous Robots Research Advances
Weihua Yang
Nova Publishers, 2008

Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots
second edition
Roland Siegwart, Illah R. Nourbakhsh, and Davide Scaramuzza


Autonomous Robots
From Biological Inspiration to Implementation and Control
By George A. Bekey, 2017

Papers and Articles

Robots Seem to Be Improving Productivity, Not Costing Jobs
Mark MuroScott Andes
H BR, JUNE 2015

Online articles


Collaborative Robots in Automotive Manufacturing PSA Group, Europe’s second-largest car manufacturer, is modernizing its European manufacturing sites with Universal Robots’ UR10 collaborative robots.
By David Greenfield , Director of Content/Editor-in-Chief, on April 12, 2018

Universal Robots Drives Cost Savings, Improved Quality and Worker Ergonomics at PSA Group, Europe’s Second-Largest Car Manufacturer
With significant results in just eight months, PSA Group will modernize all of its European manufacturing sites with its patented production system that integrates UR robots
March 21, 2018



The Impact of Robots on Productivity, Employment and Jobs
A positioning paper by the International Federation of Robotics
April 2017

Updated on 21 April 2018, 9 January 2018

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