The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that resilient businesses -- those that can emerge with plans for growth -- share common traits. These companies can react quickly and decisively to protect workers while keeping business running, adapting processes and product lines, with many manufacturers now increasingly using collaborative robots to make those changes efficiently and cost-effectively.
"The crisis has accelerated the need for flexible automation," says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development with Universal Robots. "We're seeing an uptick in interest for collaborative robots due to social distancing requirements, reshoring to avoid long supply chains, and the need for rapid production line change-overs. The Cobot Expo is a timely opportunity to showcase and discuss how cobots can play a pivotal role in helping manufacturers successfully navigate the pandemic."
The Cobot Expo is free to attend and is open for anyone with an interest in collaborative robotics, July 28-30, 9am-4pm EDT. Attendees are invited to visit booths that feature new insights and resources on the most common cobot applications such as machine tending, packaging and palletizing, product inspection, assembly, welding, dispensing, and finishing.
Joining this lineup is ActiNav, the world's first autonomous bin picking kit for machine tending launched by Universal Robots this spring. Each application booth will be staffed with automation experts ready to engage in 1:1 conversation with attendees.
For expo visitors wondering how to get started with collaborative robots, numerous keynotes with live QAs will offer insights on critical topics such as how to identify good projects, choosing the right cobot model and peripherals, conducting risk assessment, whether to take a DIY approach or go with an integrator, and much more.
The agenda also has presentations on cobot maintenance and programming and the many new ways cobots are quickly being deployed to address the COVID-19 crisis, including area disinfection, the manufacturing of test kits, face shields and ventilators, and in the handling of COVID-19 tests, protecting hospital staff from exposure.
The Cobot Expo is also an unrivaled opportunity to meet the many UR+ partners presenting the industry's largest and most comprehensive ecosystem of new products certified to integrate seamlessly with the UR cobots. The rapidly expanding UR+ platform now includes over 250 UR+ components and application kits with more than 400 approved commercial developer companies in the UR+ program.
The UR+ partner booths include: ATI Industrial Automation, Energid, Flexibowl, Flexxbotics, Hexagon, Mircopsi/Nvidia, New Scale Robotics, OnRobot, Piab, Robotiq, Schmalz, Schunk, SMC, Vectis, Vention, VersaBuilt, Visumatic, Wiretank, and Zimmer.
Alongside the UR+ partners will be booths hosted by Association for Advancing Automation (A3) and OEM partners showcasing products powered by UR cobots. The OEM partners include: Columbia Okura/Rocketfarm, Computech, Hirebotics, IRIS, Melton Machine, ONExia, and ProCobots/Easy Robotics.
"With tradeshows and conferences cancelled, we are experiencing phenomenal interest from all industry stakeholders in participating in the Cobot Expo," says UR's Joe Campbell. "This truly is an extraordinary opportunity for an extraordinary time."
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