Traditional manufacturing practices are facing some big hurdles, as changing consumer expectations, specifically with regard to mass customization, have made flexible automation a hot topic for manufacturers and a problem that classical automation equipment interfaces can't easily solve. It's easy to identify cobots by their size, safety, and price, but the truly collaborative piece comes from their intuitive interfaces that make them easy to use. Many startups, such as Universal Robots and Mecademic, call this feature out specifically as an enabler of flexible automation systems. OEMs have caught onto this issue as well, and in July, ABB and Kawasaki showcased an OEM-agnostic, simplified user interface.
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