Grant Imahara discussed the future of human-robot collaboration.

The Next Generation?

There are Baby Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X, Millennials – but what comes after that? Is it Generation Robot? Are we maybe already in the middle of it? This is the central question discussed in “Generation Robot,” an online series in which KUKA plays a role.

Grant Imahara is a curious guy. For around ten years, the well-known American explored everyday myths in the TV series “Mythbusters.” Today he works, experiments and performs tests on his own Netflix show. And he is the host of “Generation Robot.”

The second episode of the online series focuses on the question of how man and machine will work together in the future. Looking for an answer, Grant visited KUKA’s Headquarters in Augsburg, Germany, and met with our experts.

Human-robot collaboration is reality

For more than 45 years, industrial robots have been used as partners for workers in production facilities. They relieve and help them with unergonomic tasks. But as Grant learns from Dominik Boesl, Vice President Consumer Driven Robotics at KUKA, “Now we are one step further. It’s not just about letting a robot work next to a human any more. It’s about people and robots working together and collaborating – man and robot complement each other with their respective abilities. The robot serves as a kind of helping or third hand.”

A new way of collaboration

During the course of speaking with KUKA experts, Grant gains insight into how this “third hand” can be revolutionary. “Lifting heavy parts, positioning them exactly – this is easily possible with KUKA’s LBR iiwa,” Otmar Honsberg, Head of the Application Engineering team, tells him. “Humans and robots can solve highly sensitive tasks in close cooperation. Safety fences are no longer required, a new form of cooperation is developing.”

“It's about people and robots working together and collaborating”, Grant Imahara (r.) learns from Dominik Boesl.

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