Robots are now more and more accessible : not only home robots (like vacuum cleaners), but also industrial-like robots. They become affordable and easier to use.
Niryo One is a 6 axis robotic arm, just like the ones you find in industry… But the price is not really the same !
So… if you handle a small company, what can you do with an accessible robot ?
Learn professional skills
How can you learn how to land a big plane ? Well first, you can start with a simulation software, and then learn on a smaller plane. That’s the exact same things for robots.
If you need to learn how to control an industrial robot, you won’t often have the possibility to buy one, as it is really expensive. So you can learn with simulation softwares. The problem here, is that a robot is a physical system. Learning on a software can prepare you, but you will still need to experiment on the real robot to get to know the real problems and how to solve them. The same applies when you try to land a plane : even if you can land 100% safe on your software, the first time you really go on the plane you’ll see that everything is different. You will meet new constraints that you never thought about before.
Here comes accessible robots. With a ~ 1000$ robot, you can learn, both with a software and a real physical system. As Niryo One is physically close to industrial robots, you can learn a lot about kinematic principles, position control with a camera, torque resistance, … It is also powered by ROS, which is more and more used in research and cobots. Learning with an accessible robot like Niryo One is thus a great way to prepare yourself to work on bigger systems, as the code base is very similar, and open source.
Show off your product in events
You are selling a watch, a small object, and you want to grab people’s attention in the next event you are going to ? How to be different from all the other companies ? With a real robot moving to show your product or demonstrate how you handle your production line, people and future customers will have more interest in getting to know you better.
Moreover, small robots like Niryo One are safe, and do not require a security fence, like most industrial robots do. You can then relax and fill your area with small robots to let people getting interest in your company !
Automate basic tasks
Sometimes you need to automate a task on your computer. Almost every time you can find a software or a cloud service which will solve your problem, and not cost you an arm. Now imagine that you need to automate a small physical task taking you a lot of time, time you don’t have since you need to develop your small business.
Let’s say your task is a pick and place task, something like “move this small item into this box, close the box and repeat”. You can buy an industrial robot, which will cost you minimum 10,000$ , and thus will may be not worth the price. Or, you can just get an accessible robot, like Niryo One. This robot will not be as precise as an industrial one, but will meet most of your basic requirements.
The best thing with low-cost robot, is that you can make 2 or 3 robots working together, it will still cost you less than one industrial robot. All the robots can be connected and wait for each other to do specific tasks involving complex movements. For example, one robot can pick an object and give it to another one, or it can hold the object to do another action (painting, drawing, …)
Here are 3 ways you can use an accessible robot in a small company.
If you have another idea, feel free to leave a comment below !