Robotics used in car productions


What are robots?
A robot is a mechanical or virtual, artificial agent. It is usually an electromechanical system, which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. The word robot can refer to both physical robots and virtual software agents.

What it does?
They are machines that replicate human and animal behavior.
To move the robot, the computer switches on all the necessary motors and valves. Most robots are reprogrammable -- to change the robot's behavior, you simply write a new program to its computer.
Not all robots have sensory systems, and few have the ability to see, hear, smell or taste. The most common robotic sense is the sense of movement -- the robot's ability to monitor its own motion. A standard design uses slotted wheels attached to the robot's joints. An LED on one side of the wheel shines a beam of light through the slots to a light sensor on the other side of the wheel. When the robot moves a particular joint, the slotted wheel turns. The slots break the light beam as the wheel spins. The light sensor reads the pattern of the flashing light and transmits the data to the computer. The computer can tell exactly how far the joint has swiveled based on this pattern.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/robot2.htm

What has it replaced?
Robots have replaced humans and machines for certain tasks in the car production line.

Advantages

· Increased productivity
· Improved and consistent output quality (which can also minimize the need for subsequent operations) reduced demand for skilled operators who are hard to find
· Greater reliability and ease of use
· Ideal for working in difficult environments or on unpleasant tasks
· The ability to work tirelessly on long shifts.
http://www.autotech-robotics.com/service.htm

Disadvantages
However, most robot systems fail to exploit one of a robot's main features - flexibility. The flexibility of many of Autotech's systems introduces an extra dimension to the manufacturing process which increases output - the ability to change the product mix without stopping the robot from manufacturing.

Systems can also be configured for unmanned operation. Autotech's 'Just-In-Time' production capability means lower stock and work in progress levels and less space required for storage. Multiple processing on one system can also save considerable materials handling time and effort.

http://www.autotech-robotics.com/service.htm

Issues
Reliability
Reliability is an issue because when it comes to robots being using car productions for various reasons some robotic systems may not be as reliable as other ones. They may have faults in them that makes then unreliable. What also is noticed as well is whether or not these robots can do the job as well as the humans in the assembly line while the cars are being made. Manufacturers also have to see that these robots know what they are doing and are consistent with their work. They cannot afford to make a mistake while the car is being assembled so manufacturers have to be 100% sure that the robots being used are reliable and the process will be done correctly like it would be if humans did it. The good thing however is that they can work all the time without taking breaks unlike humans. The drawback is that if they breakdown the whole production line stops and the company loses out on profits as they cannot make cars anymore.

Where it’s heading?
http://www.korea.net/News/News/NewsView.asp?serial_no=20070203002

You tube videos
Manufacturing Robots Automated Assembly
http://youtube.com/watch?v=BKnXWMPbCyc
BMW Assembly Plant footage
http://youtube.com/watch?v=-_SxW_7v9is&feature=related
Slapping A Car together
http://youtube.com/watch?v=3CzuQ3DtsPc&feature=related
2007 Volkswagen, VW EOS Plant Tour, Portugal.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=qVm7_AqshaQ
Futuristic Product Line
http://youtube.com/watch?v=_YFXiqaogcY
Robot Line of Assembly Car
http://youtube.com/watch?v=6UkotsqPTi0