Robot Programming Standards
We are exposed to the benefits of Standards in everyday life. Consider traffic signals, how would we navigate the roads without everyone understanding the colors of a traffic light. In Robotics there is nascent effort to create a standard programming language. Currently each robot manufacturer uses a proprietary software language. Large customers often pick one manufacturer as their company standard enabling their internal engineers to gain proficiency in maintaining and reprogramming the robots for new tasks. Smaller companies typically rely on 3rd party resources such as integrators to perform the programming step. This works but can drive higher costs.
A driving force for standards comes as more and more SME companies adopt robotics. In their environment they need flexible manufacturing lines that can quickly change between products. They would benefit from a standard programming language allowing them to learn it and to select robots based on availability and less so on brand.
In my opinion this will take quite some time. Expecting all robot manufacturers to work together on this will complicate their innovations and add costs they will not willingly absorb. For now, finding a reliable integrator is the practical solution.
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