DEDHAM, MA—To get the full benefit from human-robot collaboration, manufacturers must develop integrated strategies that combine data analytics, design and a new partnership ecosystem, claims a new report from ARC Advisory Group.

“Intelligent robots with integrated vision guidance and enhanced sensors are more adaptable to the production environment,” says Rajkumar Paira, senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group. “The new breed of robots are more mobile, better integrated with human activities, and can learn new skills and generate new insights on the job.

“The increase in the use of cobots also leads to increased data, and manufacturers need to put in more effort in securing and analyzing this data,” warns Paira.

“Cobots will become a key source of information on the factory floor,” explains Paira. “The collection of data, however, is just one part of the task. Manufacturers will have to implement systems to organize and analyze all this information to be able to act on it.

“Big data analysis will become a competitive differentiator,” adds Paira. “As cobots become connected to internal systems for data collection, cybersecurity risks increase. Manufacturers will be forced to address vulnerabilities in their processes and invest heavily in cybersecurity to ensure safe, reliable production.”