7 Tips and Tricks for Implementing Robots

7 Tips and Tricks for Implementing Robots

Emily Newton 29/05/2023
7 Tips and Tricks for Implementing Robots

For decades, filmmakers have made sci-fi movies fantasising about worlds with robots, such as “WALL-E,” “Bicentennial Man” and “I, Robot.”

This tech-filled future doesn’t seem far away as companies implement robotics into their daily operations. It presents challenges, but there are also numerous benefits to incorporating robots. Here’s what you need to know about implementing robotics into your workforce. 

How Has Robotics Changed the Workplace?

The idea of robots has been around for over a century, but it was used for the first time in manufacturing during the 1960s. General Motors (GM) began using Unimate, an industrial robot capable of repeating tasks. This robot specialised in hydraulic manipulation and became integral to car production in the mid-20th century. This innovation has spurred generations of technological advancements leading to modern-day processes.

Why Is Robotics Important in the Modern Era? 

Much of the world has become industrialised in the 21st century. Earth’s population reached 8 billion people in November 2022. The United Nations (UN) projects it will reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and eclipse 10 billion by the 2080s. More people means a higher demand for goods and services. Finding enough humans to complete the work is challenging, so companies have started implementing robotics to fill the gaps. 

The past few years have seen a sharp rise in robotics implementation. North American companies bought over 12,000 robots in the second quarter of 2022 — a 25% increase from the same quarter in 2021. Supply chain disruptions and rising costs have led businesses to find ways to cut costs, and implementing robotics is one of them. 

How Can You Use Robotics?

Robots are in numerous workplaces, from auto manufacturing to shipping warehouses. However, you shouldn’t expect everything to go perfectly on day one. Use these seven tips for implementing robotics in your workforce. 

1. Educate Employees 

The first step is to educate employees. Your workers are the heart of your company, so it’s integral they’re on board with the new processes. Check with them before implementing robotics in the workplace. Ensure you have support from every department, from floor workers to the IT department. Some people may fear being replaced by robots, so take the time to explain the benefits. 

2. Embrace Automation

Automation can be a scary term for some. Still, your employees should see it as a positive event for your company. Incorporating automation means you can complete jobs faster and safer. Robots often take the most complex and tedious tasks out of your workers’ days, meaning they can spend time doing more meaningful tasks instead. 

For example, a study in New Zealand found that automation in off-site construction made work easier for contractors by reducing the required labour and improving safety. Machines often work faster than humans and don’t need breaks, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. 

Automation is worth celebrating because it unlocks numerous opportunities at your workplace and others. For example, organisations use robotics to map the seafloor, create prosthetic limbs and educate children in remote learning settings. 

3. Start Small

Find areas to incorporate robotics in your workplace and start small. Changing things overnight could be counterproductive and overwhelming for employees. Find particular areas robotics would help the most in an immediate time frame. Allow workers to take their time and learn the systems because robotic process automation (RPA) can be challenging, even for seasoned veterans.

4. Think to the Future

Your workplace will improve its knowledge of robotics over time. When pondering spreading RPA to other facets, consider the future in two ways. First, think about the short term. Examine how robotics will help your workplace reduce the necessary time for projects and make daily tasks easier. Consider how RPA affects productivity and operational costs in the long term. 

The long run means thinking a year or two down the line, although it’s never too early to start thinking five to 10 years from now. Consider how your industry is gravitating and what challenges will arise. Robotic systems are expensive, so going all in for an automated workplace may require steep investments from your company. The future of robotics is bright, so there’s a good chance for a solid return on investment (ROI). 

5. Prepare for Repairs

Robots are becoming an integral part of warehouse and factory processes. However, they aren’t perfect and are subject to downtime and maintenance. They might not require as much attention as the McDonald’s ice cream machines, but you should still prepare to fix the necessary problems. 

Every workplace with robotics should develop a plan for fixing machines and put the robots on a routine maintenance schedule. Finding issues can reduce the risk of significant problems later. Sometimes, the source can be human error, but you should regularly inspect electrical and mechanical components for wear and tear.

6. Ensure a Strong Connection

Robotic systems are only as strong as your internet connection. Ensure your facility has excellent Wi-Fi so your robots can seamlessly fit in with your operations. Reliable internet is also crucial so you can remotely access and interact with these machines as needed. 

Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in the last decade, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Cybercriminals have become savvier in using viruses to infiltrate company databases. The International Criminal Police Organisation (ICPO) reports malware and ransomware attacks increased by 36% during the pandemic. 

Work with the IT department to ensure the robots are safe from outside threats because one slip-up can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom, damage, court fees and more. 

7. Recognise the Limitations

Modern workplaces are breaking barriers to what robotics can do in the workplace. However, factory and warehouse leaders must be realistic about machines and identify their limitations. For example, robots can make the workday safer for humans by doing complicated tasks, but the devices themselves pose a threat, especially the bulky ones. Many systems require a human to operate, so the threat of danger still exists. 

The physical risks are clear, so you should provide comprehensive safety measures for operating robotics. You should also remember there are things humans are better at than robots, especially when they’re highly trained and experienced in the nuances of their field. For example, machines aren’t as creative and empathetic as people are. These skills are still necessary for humans, and robots can’t replace them. Humans are also better at detecting tiny things and nuances that bots aren’t familiar with. 

Introducing the Future by Implementing Robotics

Fifty years ago, robots were primarily a fantasy you’d see on the silver screen. The advanced robotics system of the time was GM’s Unimate. Now, the future is inevitably trending toward robots. Companies worldwide have found robotics helpful for their operations, no matter their sector. Use these seven tips for incorporating them into your workplace.

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • No comments found

Share this article

Emily Newton

Science & Tech Expert

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She is a science and technology journalist with over three years covering industry trends and research. 

Cookies user prefences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics