We visited the mtc in March for their "Intelligent Automation Dissemination" day. Whilst this is not central to retail technology, it was a very interesting eye-opener for us and may lead to further coverage of the wider robotics sector.
The mtc is spread over two buildings in Coventry, the heartland of some of the key manufacturers in the UK. FANUC and Rolls Royce are only two of the neighbours and were represented among the delegates.
We were invited to visit the mtc's experimental areas but, no photos were allowed. If you want to know more about the mtc and their experiments please contact them directly.
Robotics & the human touch
Changing and challenging the idea that robots replace humans is a difficult message to convey. The Cobot industry suffers from such misconception to a certain extent. However, many of the companies that have adopted Cobots have seen an increased work satisfaction as robots do the boring jobs, moving an item from a-b.
Business owners are also pleased as staff are happier and the organisation has space for further growth.
In the image above a car manufacturer attempted to humanise Cobots by adding hands as end effectors with thumbs up, etc.
"If it works, why should we change it?"
UK businesses have one of the lowest penetration of robotics in Europe. Some observers indicate the reason for this may be a culture of "if it works, why change".
With Brexit looming over the UK and a growing demand for labour there may be businesses which have to invest in robotics or go bust. However, as many of these companies might not have an invest-to-succeed culture, this may simply lead to a lot of zombie companies.
Images: Author's own