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Ford Uses Co-Bots to Build Fiestas in Germany

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Collaborative Robots: Co-bots

Mankind has grappled with the seemingly inevitable fate of being subjugated by robot overlords for decades, and if Ford’s most recent advances in robots do not appeal to your fears of a future under the clawed foot of a T-800, then you may very well be blind to the robo uprising until it is far too late.

Ford revealed today that it is utilizing collaborative robots—cleverly dubbed co-bots—at its assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, for the task of helping human workers fit shock absorbers onto new Fiestas. Sure, they’ll work with us now, but sooner or later, they are going to want us to work for them. Wake up, sheeple.

Video: Co-Bots Help Ford Workers Build Fiestas

More from Ford: 2016 Ford F-150 gets Top Safety Pick from IIHS

The three-foot-high robots are found at two stations, where they are used to lift and position the shock absorber into the wheel arch. The co-bots also sport sensors that automatically stop operations if a limb or digit is detected in the path of the job, cutting down the likelihood of accidents.

The co-bots were originally developed over two years ago in collaboration with Germany’s KUKA Roboter GmbH.

“Robots are helping make tasks easier, safer and quicker, complementing our employees with abilities that open up unlimited worlds of production and design for new Ford models,” said Karl Anton, director, vehicle operations, Ford of Europe.

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“We are proud to show the capabilities of our new generation of sensitive robots that are supporting and collaborating with Ford workers by carrying out ergonomically difficult and technically challenging tasks,” said Klaus Link, key account manager, Ford, KUKA Roboter GmbH. “As part of our close partnership with Ford and based on the feedback from employees, we are looking forward to further challenges.”

The co-bot trial is a part of Ford’s involvement in Industry 4.0, the so-called fourth industrial revolution focused on automation and data exchange among other components.

More Ford Innovation: 2017 F-150 gets most powerful V6 engine in the industry