Optimizing robotics manufacturing with Single Board Computers (SBCs)

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In the rapidly evolving landscape of the robotics industry, manufacturers are confronted with many challenges that necessitate innovative solutions to propel the field forward. From antiquated manufacturing procedures to the need for more reliable power sources and seamless human-robot collaboration, the industry is ripe for transformative advancements. One such solution gaining traction is the integration of Single Board Computers (SBCs), which offer various benefits ranging from enhanced reliability to cost savings and easier implementation.

Challenges in Robotics Manufacturing

Manufacturing procedures in the robotics industry often rely on outdated technologies, resulting in rigidity and instability due to many moving parts. This poses challenges in terms of reliability and maintenance. Additionally, seamless collaboration between humans and robots requires advancements in Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and behavior recognition technologies. Environmental limitations further compound these challenges as robots struggle to adapt to new environments efficiently. Moreover, the demand for multi-functional robots necessitates advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities.

Let us delve deeper into the key hurdles that robotics manufacturers must overcome to thrive in this dynamic landscape.

1. Manufacturing Procedures

Traditional manufacturing procedures in the robotics industry often rely on antiquated technologies, leading to inherent flexibility, reliability, and maintenance limitations. The reliance on gears, motors, and actuators in large industrial and commercial robots results in rigidity and instability, increasing the likelihood of breakdowns and maintenance issues. Addressing this challenge requires a paradigm shift towards more flexible and robust manufacturing processes.

2. Human and Robot Collaboration

Achieving seamless collaboration between humans and robots is paramount for unlocking the full potential of Industry 4.0. However, designing robots that can understand human language, emotions, and behavior poses significant technical challenges. Advancements in Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and behavior recognition technologies are essential to bridge the gap between humans and robots and enable productive collaboration in diverse work environments.

3. Environmental Limitations

Their environments often limit robots, requiring significant adaptation to new settings. Even minor deviations can disrupt workflows and lead to delays in operations. Overcoming environmental limitations necessitates integrating machine learning (ML) and computer vision technologies to enable robots to map and navigate diverse environments autonomously. However, real-life scenarios remain unpredictable, highlighting the need for continuous innovation to enhance robot adaptability and resilience.

4. Multi-Functional Robots

While robots excel at performing specific tasks efficiently, their ability to multitask remains limited. Organizations increasingly demand robots capable of performing multiple functions to streamline operations and reduce costs. Achieving this requires advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms and hardware capable of supporting diverse functionalities. Robotics manufacturers must focus on developing modular and adaptable robotic systems to meet the evolving needs of various industries.

5. Creating More Reliable Power Sources

Modern robots often face challenges related to power consumption and energy efficiency. Traditional power generation and storage technologies are inefficient and may not meet the demands of advanced robotic systems. Overcoming power source limitations requires developing energy-efficient solutions to sustain robots for extended periods while minimizing power consumption. This entails research and innovation in renewable energy sources, battery technology, and power management systems tailored to the unique requirements of robotics applications.

6. Communicating in a “Robot Swarm”

Swarm robotics involves coordinating multiple robots in an environment and presents unique communication challenges. Robots must effectively sense their surroundings and communicate with other robots in the swarm to achieve collective goals. However, achieving seamless communication across large groups of autonomous robots requires affordable and efficient sensors, processors, storage devices, and hardware. Developing systematic approaches for integrating communication capabilities into feedback loops is essential for effective collaboration and coordination among robot swarms.

Addressing Challenges with SBCs

Single Board Computers (SBCs) present a promising solution to many challenges robotics manufacturers face. These compact yet powerful computing devices offer a range of advantages that streamline operations and enhance performance.

1. More Reliable Performance

The simplistic and unchangeable structure of SBCs results in fewer conflicts and performance issues, contributing to reduced downtime. Moreover, their self-contained nature and resilience to vibrations make them ideal for harsh environmental conditions, ensuring reliable operation in various settings such as industrial manufacturing devices and traffic light controllers.

2. Small and Flexible

SBCs boast a compact form factor, enabling seamless integration into devices with limited space requirements. This flexibility makes them ideal for applications where size and weight are critical considerations, such as drones. Their lower power consumption also contributes to smaller solution sizes, further enhancing their appeal in diverse settings.

3. Easily Add a “Brain” to a System

The simplicity of SBCs simplifies integrating a central processing unit into robotic systems, allowing manufacturers to focus on optimizing task performance rather than grappling with complex hardware configurations. This scalability facilitates cost-effective iterations across multiple designs, ensuring compatibility with evolving hardware requirements.

4. Cost Savings

The standardized feature set of SBCs translates into cost savings for manufacturers, as these devices cater to a broad range of applications without extensive customization. Furthermore, increased production volumes have led to economies of scale, driving down prices and making SBCs a cost-effective choice for robotics manufacturing.

5. Easier Implementation

SBCs streamline the development process by enabling code development directly on the board, thanks to their integrated microprocessor, memory, and operating system. This eliminates the need for separate embedded controllers, reducing design, prototyping, and production costs while simplifying regulatory compliance.


In conclusion, Single Board Computers (SBCs) offer a compelling solution to the robotics manufacturing industry’s myriad challenges. From enhancing reliability and performance to enabling seamless integration and cost savings, the benefits of SBCs are poised to drive significant advancements in robotics technology. By leveraging the capabilities of SBCs, manufacturers can overcome existing hurdles and unlock new opportunities for innovation in this dynamic and rapidly evolving field.