MAR-APR 2018

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than they did before they went robotic. Instead of replacing workers, the cobots have helped grow these companies' businesses. We expect that, just as with Industry 1.0, Industry 2.0, and Industry 3.0, this latest wave of industrial automa- tion will result in net job growth, not loss. To be clear, there are huge swaths of product types that nobody wants per- sonalized and for which Industry 4.0 setups, with their traditional industrial robots, are perfect. Nobody wants a per- sonalized drywall anchor, engine block, or lawnmower blade. If these products can be made at a minimal cost in a lights- out factory, it benefits everyone. Industry 5.0 products, on the other hand, empower people to realize the ba- sic human urge to express themselves— even if they have to pay a premium price. Making these products requires what we call the human touch. Return of the human touch The personalized products consum- ers will demand most and pay most for are products with the distinctive mark of human care and craftsmanship. Fine watches, craft beers, designer items of ev - ery kind, and even (I saw it in the super- market recently) black salt from Iceland, hand dyed with local coal. Products like these can only be made through human involvement—human engagement. This human touch, above all, is what consumers seek to express their identity through the products they buy. These consumers accept technol- ogy—they do not mind if automation, for example, is a part of the manufactur- ing process. But they crave the personal imprint of human designers and crafts- people, who produce something special and unique through their personal effort. This is personalization. This is the feeling of luxury. This is the future. This Industry 5.0 trend is more anti- industrial than industrial. It is a return to something earlier, to a time before industrialization, when a gift, for ex - ample, was something someone you knew spent months knitting or carving or creating by hand. It was just for you, because the person who made the gift knew you personally and thus knew how to make a gift for you and no one else. But how do the human designers and craftspeople of today make products that live up to the quality standards people expect? How do they make products at a price people can afford? Collaborative robots are a big part of the answer. Enter collaborative robots Collaborative robots are exactly the tools companies need to produce the personalized products consumers de- mand today. Cobots bring the human touch to the masses. Far from fenced-off industrial robots that replace human workers with auto - mated processes, collaborative robots enhance human craftsmanship with the speed, accuracy, and precision re- quired to make modern products with a human touch. Although consum- ers might want to express themselves through market-square baskets and hand-painted flowerpots, they also want to do it with their smartphones, luxury headsets, and "personalized" car designs. Collaborative robots are essentially power tools that give craftspeople— operators—superhuman powers in terms of speed and accuracy. That is what it takes to make industrially manu - factured products with a human touch. Broader implications As briefly mentioned earlier, what I am calling Industry 5.0 is in fact not an incre- mental development from Industry 4.0. It is not just more ramped up automa- tion. It is, in an important sense, the end of automation—but an "end" that is en- abled at least in part by robotic automa- tion. That is the great irony in the latest leap forward in automation—whether or not you call it Industry 5.0. It is a return to what in many respects resembles a preindustrial form of goods production, but one that is enabled by the most ad- vanced industrial automation technolo- gies, starting with collaborative robots. Our company does not wax too phil- osophical. But I suggest that what I am referring to as Industry 5.0 addresses— at least in some small way—what Marx called alienation , the idea that, through modern industrial production, workers lose control over their lives by losing control over their work. They become automatons, who only go through the motions of human labor, without contributing to or benefiting from it in any meaningful way. By put- ting human beings back at the center of industrial production—aided by tools such as cobots—Industry 5.0 not only gives consumers the products they want today, but it gives workers jobs that are more meaningful than factory jobs have been in well over a century. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR Esben H. Østergaard, PhD (esben@univer-, is chief technology officer at Universal Robots and is responsible for the enhancement of existing UR cobots and the development of new products. Østergaard is one of the inventors of UR cobots. During his years as researcher and assistant professor in robotics and user interfaces at the University of Southern Denmark, he created the foundation for a reinvention of the industrial robot. He also worked as a research scientist at USC Robotics Labs in Southern California and at AIST in Tokyo as a visiting researcher. View the online version at FACTORY AUTOMATION INTECH MARCH/APRIL 2018 25 High mix/low volume is part of the fifth industrial revolution that brings smaller, more personalized batches of products to market, aided by cobots. Add a welding torch at the end of the arm tooling and you have a welding robot; the next day you can add a camera for quality inspec- tion or a pneumatic suction cup for pick and place on the same cobot arm.

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