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Robins Air Force Base leading Department of Defense in robotics systems

They plan to double the number of robots in the next five years.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Robots are at Robins.

The Air Force base has enlisted 36 artificial intelligence robots to help get a few tasks done.

They have multimillion-dollar robots, custom-designed just for preparing radomes, better known as the nose cone on fighter jets, on Robins Air Force Base.

"There's a digital twin of the robot and the radome on the screen that allows the operator to interact with the robot very intuitively. The robot does exactly what they tell it to do and the robot shows them what it’s going to do using the augmented reality projection," Shane Groves said.

Groves is the Air Logistic Complex's expert on robotics and automation, and he says they brought in the robots as a test. Soon, they'll add two more.

In this process, each cone needs a certain amount of sanding. Done by hand, the work could take hours.

With bots capable of sanding, removing, and adding paint to base equipment, Groves says it helps improve quality and return equipment faster.

"The robot will do a much more consistent job and it doesn't have shoulder and elbow and wrist injuries to contend with. There's no ergonomic damage to the robot," he explained.

The systems aren't putting anyone out of work -- instead, they are supplying benefits everyone can "cache" in on.

"Our ultimate goal is to have the workers that were doing this job manually migrate to running these robotics systems, so we're trying to grow their skills, we're trying to make sure they have the training they need to run these systems and be productive," he said.

Robins currently leads the Department of Defense in the use of robotics systems. With 36 robots performing at least 25 functions, Groves says they plan to double the number of robots in the next five years and the number of tasks they can handle.


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