Home Business Insights & Advice A history on manufacturing robots

A history on manufacturing robots

by John Saunders
23rd Nov 20 1:36 pm

Robots have long been the emphasis of science fiction and literature, but it wasn’t until current decades that they became a feasible part of our workforce. The manufacturing industry has long been one of the quickest and most significant adopters of industrial robotic technology, and that continues to this day.

Robots are used in nearly every sector of manufacturing in one way or another, and it remains one of the most highly mechanical areas in the world. Being an integral part of today’s manufacturing industry, robots have taken over many of the sensitive production tasks that demand ultimate precision and repeatability.

For instance, the automotive industry utilizes manufacturing robots a lot because the workload involved is very high. This enables companies to cut costs and produce quality parts.

This discussion will in detail, talk about the early day robots and the modern-day robots, all while touching on their applications in the industry.

The origin of manufacturing robots

The development of Numerically Controlled (NC) apparatuses and the rising popularity of the computer both assisted in bringing about the first industrial robots. Griffith P. Taylor created the earliest known manufacturing robot that fits into the ISO classification, in 1937.

This first Robot could pile wooden blocks in patterns and be programmed by the paper tape. George Devol placed the first manufacturing robot patent in 1954. His Robot was able to move objects from one point to another within a range of 12 feet or less. He started a company called Unimation in 1956 to build the Robot and devised the term “Universal Automation.

This new technology opened up the prospect for manufacturers to use robots in assembly and welding responsibilities. He later sold his plans to Unimation, which then advanced them alongside General Motors.

The modern age of manufacturing robots

From 1980 onwards the number of robots rose exponentially. Takeo Kanade invented the first robotic arm with motors fitted directly in the joint in 1981. It was much quicker and more precise than its forerunners.

Yaskawa introduced the Motorman ERC control system in 1988. This had the power to control up to 12 axes, which was the peak number possible at the time. Later the first model of a smart robot was introduced in 1992.

Over time robots developed, but wholesome change came in 2008 when the first collaborative Robot was introduced. The Robot was placed on the floor, and instead of hiring a programmer, they were able to program the Robot through a touchscreen tool. From here onwards, it was clear that these were the future of manufacturing.

So, what do these machines bring to the table?

Assembly line

Assembly line mechanical arms are used for lean, industrial procedures and have engorged production capabilities in the manufacturing environment. These robots relieve the workforce from strenuous and monotonous assembly line tasks and are also able to advance swiftness and consistency.

End-of-arm tooling can be tailor-made for each apparatus to serve manufacturing necessities. Other substitutes such as robotic vision can be incorporated to improve the accuracy and efficiency of sorting identifiers.

Material handling

Material handling robots can automate the most dangerous, strenuous, and monotonous tasks in a production line. In the production line, material handling robots improve the efficiency of the production line as well as the delivery of quality goods on time; this guarantees customer satisfaction.


Robotic welding can be illustrated as the use of mechanized programmable tools that definitively mechanize a welding procedure by handling the part and executing the weld. Robotic welding is a relatively new trend in manufacturing. Robotic welding was initially used for spot welding in the vehicle industry.


To sum it all up, the manufacturing or industrial Robot rather has come a long way since the earlier days to what it is now, as we have discussed above. However, their usage has not changed; it has only evolved and will continue to do so till the end of time.

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