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Human robots are coming to factories: this is what they cost

The first industrial-scale production of humanoid robots could start as early as next year. With these devices, more than half of manual activities can be automated. The introductory price of humanoid robots is expected to be around €80 000 (HUF 31 million), but even so, such an investment will pay for itself in about one and a half years, according to a study by the Stuttgart-based Horváth Group, of which IFUA Horváth is a Hungarian member.

Humanoid robot ifua-

In industry, robots that resemble human arms are currently the main robots used. Such robotic arms are used, for example, for welding, painting and assembly. Cobots (Collaborative Robots) are also used for quality control, among other things.

Humanoid robots, on the other hand, are built to resemble the human body, and are just as tall and heavy, and move like us. This makes them particularly suited to working in environments designed for humans.

The first pilot projects in the automotive industry are already underway. For example, Mercedes is testing a model from US manufacturer Apptronik: the robot, called Apollo, is 1 metre 73 centimetres tall, weighs 73 kilograms and can lift 25 kilograms. It will be used in production, for example to deliver assembly kits to workers. But there are also many other possibilities. In particular, humanoid robots could perform labour-intensive, physically demanding and repetitive tasks in production and logistics.

Notably, humanoid robots are more expensive than other industrial robots. "We calculate that the average price at market introduction will be €80,000. On top of that, there are maintenance and running costs of around €4-5,000 per year. However, due to series production, the average purchase price is expected to drop to €48 000 by 2030," says Attila Vári, partner at IFUA Horváth and head of the Competence Centre for the Automotive Industry.

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