Featured

Key Differences Between Service Robots And Industrial Robots

With advancement in technology, manufacturers of robotics are creating components that can be installed in both service robots and industrial robots. However, with all the recent advancements in the field of robotics together with the ambiguous definitions that define these two, you may find yourself wondering how one differs from the other.

What makes a service robot a service robot and how are they different from industrial robots. Despite both falling under the wide umbrella of robotics, there are key factors that differentiate the two in their markets and technologies.

Below are some major differences that can help you to demonstrate how these two machines differ. But first let us look at how they operate. While industrial robots are used in manufacturing, service robots are the opposite meaning they are everything else but manufacturing. Here are some of examples of service robots:

  • Logistic robots
  • Military robots
  • Personal robots
  • Medical robots

Application

One key difference between industrial robots and service robots is application. While you may think that service robots are only found in homes, fact is these machines can have commercial uses as well. Service robots have a plethora of commercial applications including the following:

  • Sweeping up a mess on a retail store aisle
  • Guiding a customer around a store
  • Assisting a customer at a bank to make a deposit

Therefore, the difference between these two robotic machines is that service robots perform useful tasks for humans but not in an industrial setting. While this excludes robotic machines in manufacturing facilities, it doesn’t apply to settings such as military, healthcare and logistics. Industrial robots are often suited to a particular task in a familiar setting. Because of this, a service robot can usually perform different tasks in various environment.

Market potential

According to all experts, there is a huge potential in growth of service robots while on the other hand, industrial robots have a relatively lower growth rate with fluctuations being tied to economic conditions.

Target customers

A large percentage of industrial robots are purchased by manufacturers. At facilities, some of their applications include the following:

  • Painting
  • Material handling
  • Welding
  • Pick and place
  • Assembly

Instead of replacing humans, service robots are more likely to assist human workers or perform tasks on their behalf. Therefore, the target customers for service robots are more likely to be service-oriented sectors such as hospitality, healthcare or retailers. At present, service robots are helping humans with tasks in logistics, construction, agriculture and inspection.

Money making

Having been around since the 70’s, industrial robots are still here today because they have figured how to make money. As a mature industry on the other hand, margins are tight making it hard for companies to differentiate.

There are a few successful examples of service robots. Therefore, as their industry and market continue to grow, you can expect a lot of trial and error with the service robots in the coming years.

Maturity

When compared to service robots, industrial robots are far more mature in their market. Despite being around since the 50’s, service robots are not widespread. To improve manufacturing processes and lower costs, manufacturers were quick to adopt service robots. Historically, it has been much simpler to implement industrial robots in many ways. Not only are they mounted in a specific place but also perform the same task repeatedly.

Service robots on the other hand were often more difficult to design, install and maintain because of their flexible and mobile nature. In recent years however, service robots have become more popular thanks to navigation systems that are powered by 3D vision technology as well as artificial intelligence. It is these same technologies that have made service robots safer to work in proximity to human workers.

While service robots are ‘cooler’ than their counterparts, their market won’t grow because of the cool aspect but because it solves problems. However, they often attract young talent because they are considered ‘cool’.