Visitors can expect to be captivated by cobots at the vast Hannover trade show. They are not pocket sized, but they don't take up much space and don't have to be kept in cages, both selling points for the new robot-human companions. They are aimed at revolutionizing industrial production.
The theme of the show is Industrie 4.0 and the connected industry.
Britain's Financial Times explains that traditionally, industrial robots have been locked behind cages, their heavy bulk and rapid movements making them unsafe for human interaction. They have required highly trained programmers to set their tasks and, once installed, were rarely moved. Cobots, the name given to collaborative robots, work with humans on the factory floor. The newspaper notes that thanks to advances in sensor and vision technology - and computing power - they will stop if anyone gets in the way. No coding is necessary as they can be programmed with a tablet or by moving their arms in the required pattern. If a cobot is needed in a different part of the factory - unlike the heavy robotic arms bolted to the floor in automotive and other factories - it can be easily moved.
The Partner Country for the 2017 show is Poland, which is reported to have embraced the innovations that characterize the industrial production revolution. The top-level Polish representative opening the show with Chancellor Angela Merkel hasn't been named. She opened the show with United States President Barack Obama, the first sitting president to attend, in 2016, and with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. Each year, the Deutsche Messe board selects one country to showcase during the week-long event.
Hannover Messe incorporates eight trade fairs, drawing 6,500 exhibiting businesses from 65 countries and more than 220,000 trade visitors.
Date written/update: 2016-12-07