This Company Hired Its First Robo-Worker for $30,000

July 17, 2017 -

By David Whitford

Creating Revolutions, which is based in Miami, makes a spill-proof tabletop pager for the hospitality industry, but the product was plagued by a double-digit failure rate due to human assembly errors, says chief innovation officer Einar Rosenberg. So he brought in a Universal Robots model UR3 collaborative robot (cobot for short) that’s designed to work alongside humans, not replace them. He used it for three crucial, very precise tasks, such as applying a spot of sealant inside the device’s aluminum housing. The failure rate dropped to less than 1 percent. The cobot “saved us from going under,” Rosenberg says.

Cobots are the fastest-growing segment in the automation universe. Two players dominate: Universal Robots, based in Odense, Denmark, and Boston’s Rethink Robotics, whose co-founder, MIT’s Rodney Brooks, is a co-founder of iRobot, maker of the Roomba vacuum cleaner. Cobots generally don’t need complicated coding, and they’re cheap (less than $50,000 all in).

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