This tutorial Industrial Robots Vs Service Robots will tell you What is a service robot, What is Industrial Robot and What are the similarities and differences between them. Where are you most likely to find each of these robot types in real life?
The term robot is used to refer to any type of machine that can be used to perform a task on its own or with minimal human intervention. Diving into the specific applications introduces two or more robot subsets -Industrial and service robots. It’s not uncommon to find people using the two subsets interchangeably even though they are quite different.
What is Industrial Robots?
As the naming might suggest, industrial robots are strictly found in industries (mostly manufacturing and assembly) and nowhere else. They are normally used to perform a set of tasks repeatedly and efficiently without much human intervention. Big and small manufacturers have been using industrial robots for decades with tremendous success. Some common industrial robot applications include:
- Welding parts
- Pick and place
- Material handling
- Mixing and sorting
- Packaging and sealing
- Inspection, etc.
Traditional industrial robots are quite heavy, expensive and may require specialized fencing depending on their mode of operation. However, an emerging subset of industrial robotics dubbed collaborative robotics has given rise to smaller, affordable and more versatile industrial robots that can also work alongside humans.
What is Service Robots?
Service robots differ from industrial robots in their applications, mode of operation, and where they can be found. Service robots are normally used to perform menial tasks such as cleaning, patient care, farming, household chores, security, disinfection, among other tasks. Typically, a service robot is meant to assist humans in doing routine tasks on a day to day basis.
Within the service robot subset are two more subsets namely; professional service robots and personal robots that could be of interest to many people. As the name suggests, professional service robots are those used in a professional setting such as healthcare to perform menial or repetitive tasks. Personal service robots, on the other hand, are services robots used by ordinary people for non-commercial jobs such as vacuuming, pet exercising, assisted mobility, among other tasks.
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Industrial Robots Vs Service Robots
Similarities Between Service Robots and Industrial Robots
There aren’t many similarities between service robots and industrial robots except that:
- They are both manufactured according to ISO/TC 299 standards, those published by the Robotic Industries Association and other regulatory bodies. Both robot types must adhere to a set of safety standards aimed at preventing or minimizing injuries to humans in their area of operation.
- Both service and industrial robots may sometimes use the same design principles with regard to operation, construction and sensing abilities. For instance, it’s not uncommon to see both industrial and service robots using bionics- mimicking living organisms- in the way they operate or in their design.
Differences Between Industrial and Service Robots
There are numerous differences between industrial robots and service robots such as:
Industrial robots are strictly used in industrial setups for production (manufacturing, assembly, robotic machine tending, etc.). In contrast, service robots are used outside industrial setups for menial tasks.
Service robots have many applications across many sectors. In contrast, industrial robots are confined to industries and are mostly programmed to perform one function.
Service robots are mostly marketed to individuals and regular businesses. In contrast, industrial robots are primarily sold to manufacturers and assemblers.
Most service robots can work alongside or in close proximity to humans, especially in the service industry. In contrast, most industrial robots require fencing or specialized workspaces.
While costs for industrial robots have come down in recent years, most of them are still quite expensive to acquire and run. On the other hand, service robots are relatively cheap and accessible to anyone. For instance, some personal service robots, such as those used in homes to clean and vacuum, may cost a few hundred dollars. That said, new entrants in the industrial robotics space are slowly making industrial robots available for smaller businesses at a cheaper cost.
Industrial robots have been around for decades, while service robots are just now coming into the market.
A majority of service robots in use today have some form of AI built into them. In contrast, most industrial robots are not intelligent in any way, shape or form.
There is no denying the immense impact that the field of robotics, be it service or industrial, has had on modern life. Without robots, humans couldn’t meet their production goals, innovations could be slower, and product standardization could be impossible. The emergence of cheap industrial robots that can be used by SMEs is also a step in the right direction.