Engineers are already using inspection robots to identify hot spots on refinery exhausts, check boilers for metal loss and corrosion, and examine machinery without disassembling it. Yet, despite their sophisticated sensors and machine learning algorithms, few can do anything about a problem once they spot it. It still takes a human technician to maintain or repair a structure. This is beginning to change. A handful of inspection robots have begun to evolve into robots that can do maintenance tasks and even make the occasional repair on the spot. This special report delves deeper into how this will change the relationship between robots and workers.
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Meet Your Robotic Coworkers
Today, robots built for specific tasks are maintaining boilers and painting hard-to-reach structures. Tomorrow, will they be smart enough to hand you a socket wrench when you need one?
CARLOS M. GONZÁLEZ is special projects manager.
Mechanical Engineering. Aug 2019, 141(08): 32-37 (6 pages)
Paper No: ME-2019-AUG1 https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2019-AUG1
Published Online: August 1, 2019
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González, C. M. (August 1, 2019). "Meet Your Robotic Coworkers." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. August 2019; 141(08): 32–37. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2019-AUG1
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