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Universal Robots: Robotic Arm Used By BMW Is Making Life Easier

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Robotics is ramping up in all fields, from manufacturing to scientific discovery and even entertainment and night life. As companies everywhere enter this industry, what kinds of characteristics determine which robots are the best for specific uses?

For many, the determining quality is ease-of-use. Robotics is growing at a fast pace and there are only so many engineers and computer scientists capable of designing and programming new technology. A machine needs to be easily programmable for accessible use.

Luckily, Universal Robots is making waves with their new UR robots. Simple to program, easy to operate and safe to use, the UR5 and UR10 robots are primarily useful for production and manufacturing. They can aid human workers with dangerous tasks, complete complex assignments, and are easily portable.

A 6-axis robot arm programmed and controlled by a 12-inch touchscreen, the UR robot can be implemented seamlessly into a manufacturing and production setting. Currently BMW is using the robot for assembly, having it work side-by-side with human employees, unlike the usual caged robots often seen in these environments. As the robot is so easy to program and control (see video below to watch social media director Matt Rappaport take a swing at programming), almost anyone can use it.

But the robot arm isn't just used for manufacturing and assembly. It can also go through the simple motions of...serving you a drink. At a bar in the Netherlands, the robot arm is used along with separately made grippers to serve alcohol to customers. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the robot replaces a cameraman, panning in and out with different lights and angles.

Its sleek aesthetic and graceful, fluid movements make it useful in a multitude of settings. Its ease of use makes it accessible for a multitude of people in a variety of fields. Hopefully we'll be seeing companies take advantage of this "every man's" robot more and more in the near future.

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