Emilio Sánchez, researcher in Robotics and Mechatronics at CEIT-IK4, gave a presentation on the topic at a recent "Innobasque's Tuesday sessions" hosted by the Basque Innovation Agency
The Basque Country has the capabilities, the scientific and technological resources, and the R&D and innovation results that support advanced manufacturing, making the region one that has a great impact on a diverse range of sectors.
Collaborative robotics, the specialisation of Emilio Sánchez, researcher in the Department of Applied Mechanics, is one of the pillars of the new industrial era. The use of cobots, or collaborative robots, increases competitiveness by up to 30% and reduces labour costs by about 18%, depending on the country and sector.
According to Sánchez, “in order to adapt to this change in industry, in which information and communications technology now plays a key role, engineers need to develop new competences and be able to learn more quickly.”
Engineers are tackling the growing challenges of the new industrial revolution—known as Industry 4.0 or intelligent manufacturing—with innovative products, processes and services. In intelligent manufacturing, people, machines and materials communicate with each other in real time via embedded software systems connected to the Internet.
The most recent Innobasque Tuesday meeting, which was organised by the Basque Innovation Agency, Innobasque, in collaboration with the Basque Association of Telecommunications Engineers, was dedicated to “Innovation and Engineering” and demonstrated that the Basque Country is in an excellent position to tackle future opportunities to increase its competitiveness. Advanced manufacturing is one of the three lines of intelligent specialisation being pursued in the recently approved Euskadi 2020 Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation.
Dr. Sánchez's Robotics and Mechatronics team has designed a prototype of a robot that helps surgeons perform spine surgery, which until now has been done manually.
In collaborative robotic systems like the one built by Dr. Sánchez and his team, the professional executes a task in cooperation with the robot, allowing the skill and the precision of the robot to be combined with the experience and the judgment of the professional. According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, collaborative robotics will increase the competitiveness of businesses by up to 30% and reduce labour costs by up to 18%, depending on the country and sector.
The successful monthly meeting, which brings players in innovation together in an open forum to exchange information, aims to focus the attention of people, organisations and the press on the Basque Country.