Video: The Man-Machine Interface

As robotic technology continues to advance, it’s interesting to consider the relationship between man and machine in today’s industrial environment.

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Tobias Daniel, at right, introduces Comau’s Racer 999 robot in Turin, Italy, in 2015. ​

A while ago, I traveled to Turin, Italy, to visit Comau Robotics, the manufacturer of a variety of robots that is based in that city. I was there to report on the launch of what was then the company’s newest model, the Racer 999 (click here to see the robot in action). Known for its huge robots that lift entire car chassis in automotive assembly plants such as Maserati—which we were able to visit and tour—the company now offers the Racer 999, a smaller robot for applications where speed and agility are called for in tighter spaces. While there I had the pleasure of meeting Tobias Daniel, head of sales and marketing, who introduced the robot to the members of the trade press who had gathered there from around the world.

I was pleased when Mr. Daniel agreed to write our Last Word column in the November 2016 issue of the magazine. Titled “Developments in the Man-Machine Connection,” he describes the advent of collaborative robots, or “cobots,” which are designed to work alongside human beings on the production line, thanks to features such as an automatic shut-off when any foreign object draws near. We appreciate his insights and wanted to share them with you. Also, read this column on the subject by Chris Felix.

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Click on this photo to play the video. The Racer 999 in motion is flexible and fast and a fitting addition to Comau’s well-known line of high-payload robots used primarily in automotive manufacturing.