Ford just finished trails on a group of collaborative robot hands called “Co-bots” at their factory in Germany to lend a hand to the workers and speed things up in the factory.
The new Co-bots are meant to complement the modern day factories by adding an autonomous link between human and machine, capable of sensing human presence and adding an AI element to a purely mechanical process. The Co-bots are around 1 meter tall and can assist any worker with a number of tasks that require heavy lifting and object placement, they can even make you coffee and bring it to you.
The hands are also smart as they can learn new tasks on the go and adjust to human interaction – during the tests, the Co-bots were able to lift heavy shock abosrbers and place them in the correct position on a new Ford Fiesta. Although the idea of Co-bots is pretty cool, Ford did not say anything about putting them into use at any of its factories as they are still in trial to iron out all the fine details.