Collaborative robots, popularly known as cobots, are now making their way into the Indian banking sector after making inroads in being widely used in the industrial space. Cobots are robots intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace.
With the collaboration of Danish robot manufacturer Universal Robots and Germany-headquartered G+D, India is now poised to become among the first markets where cobots will be used in the banking sector. G+D (Gieseck + Devrient) is a prominent player in the bank-note processing in India and has been closely working with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since 2005.
With the introduction of cobots, the technology will not only help in saving time but money as well. If installed for cash management, the possibility of errors such as pilferage etc is far low if it is done by robots than operated manually, Vivek Shankar, Deputy Managing Director, G+D India Pvt. Ltd. said. The processing capacity of each cobot is 10–12 banknotes per second, which means that it can process 30,000 bank notes per hour.
Terming the inclusion of collaborative robots in the banking sector as a game-changer, Pradeep David, General Manager, Universal Robots, South Asia, said there is a huge benefit when humans and robots work together. The collaborative robots in the banking sector will work safely alongside humans and act as a ‘helping hand’ or a ‘portable tool’ unlike traditional industrial robots, David said.
“The collaborative robot is a powerful innovation in the industrial manufacturing sector, enabling automated production with unprecedented flexibility. Our collaborative robot arms automate and streamline repetitive industrial processes. This approach will enable production departments to assign their staff members more creative jobs that provide them with new challenges that add value to the company and at the same time increase the efficiency and productivity,” David said while talking on the sidelines of a press event.
Meanwhile, considering the emerging trend and seeking a solution that could be scaled down to handle medium-sized cash centres, G+D turned to Universal Robots to deploy the UR3 proved to be a holistic solution which increased efficiency, optimized processes, and enhanced security — all in a constrained space.
G+D India Pvt. Ltd. is also looking to deploy cobots in at least 400 currency chests in next two years, Vivek Shankar said. In currency chests, cobots could be used for the ‘pick and place’ processes. As on date, India has nearly 4,000 currency chests that are run by banks and monitored/supervised by the RBI.
While each cobot costs about ₹15 lakh, the use of technology is expected to deliver benefits such as productivity and security in the banking sector, Shankar said. There will also be cost savings on handling of cash, he added.