It is no longer possible to imagine industrial production without robots. But what does the future of industrial robotics look like? The keyword for future robot generations is "cooperation" or "collaboration" and not only as human-robot but also as robot-robot collaboration.
The most common geometry of industrial robots resembles the human anatomy, with torso, upper arm, forearm and hand. However, they are always one-armed robots, which clearly limits their possible applications: While the single-arm robot can machine a workpiece, it cannot hold or even rotate it at the same time. Instead, the workpieces to be machined are clamped and fixed in specially designed fixtures; if the workpieces change, then the clamping fixtures must also be changed.
Humans are much more flexible in this respect; they can hold a workpiece with one hand and machine it with the other. Wouldn't that also be an approach for robotics? That's why we have installed a double robot system in our robotics laboratory at the TH Ingolstadt, two identical industrial robots with overlapping work areas that can be seen as the "arms" of a single, two-armed robot. One of the two robots holds, rotates and turns the workpieces to be processed, e.g. sheet metal to be welded, while the other robot processes them, e.g. by spot welding with a welding gun.
In the robotics degree programme, you will learn in our robotics laboratory how to programme such cooperating robots and synchronise their motion sequences in order to solve changing machining tasks without dedicated clamping and feeding devices. With this knowledge, you are well equipped to use robots in industrial production even more flexibly and efficiently.