- on Education & Information
- Published in issue 4/2000 on page 0
Robots in the automobile industry
multifunctional manipulators for tedious work
Most robots in the world are used in manufacturing operations: assembly and inspection, processing, and materials handling. Their use in assembly and inspection is accelerating in line with the increasing cost of manual labour. Robots are the culmination of the automated production line. The first industrial robot was installed (and its programmable manipulator patented) about 40 years ago in the USA. Basically, a robot is controlled by a computer and carries out the received instructions by teleoperators (mechanical manipulators).For as long as man has had to work, he has sought to unload some of the burden of labour to mechanical devices. It was not until the Industrial Revolution, however, that largescale mechanization could take place. Once division of labour, that is the restriction of the activity of each labourer to one specific, repetitive task, had been adopted, it was a relatively simple step to develop machines (first steam, and later electric) to carry out these tasks.