Comparison of FANUC and Universal Cobots

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
Collaborative robots have been one of the biggest robotic automation trends over the past few years. Processes that could not be automated by traditional industrial robots can now be performed by cobots. Cobots are designed to operate alongside workers, assisting workers with repetitive and tedious processes in order to increase productivity. Their user-friendly features have also made them popular, making them an excellent automation option for those new to robotics.

The popularity of collaborative robots has resulted in top industrial robot manufacturers developing cobot product lines along with robotic manufacturers dedicated solely to designing collaborative robots. Two popular collaborative robot lines are those from FANUC and Universal. FANUC is well-known in the industrial robot sector as a top manufacturer. While Universal exclusively manufacturers collaborative robots. The following is a comparison of the similarities and differences between FANUC and Universal cobots.


FANUC’s CR collaborative robot series was first introduced in 2015. The CR series features several cobots including the FANUC Lr-7ia and CR-15ia. Payload capacities for the series range from 4 kg up to 35 kg. The FANUC CR-35iA currently has the highest payload for a collaborative robot, which is no surprise as FANUC is known for their strong articulated robots. All CR cobots feature six axes for a full range of motion.

Universal Robots has developed two lines of collaborative robots, their original UR series and their newer e-series. Universal launched their first cobot in 2008 with the Universal UR5. Since then, they have added the Universal UR10, UR3 and UR 16e. UR cobots feature payloads from 3 kg up to 16 kg and each of their cobots is configured with six axes. Universal’s cobots also feature a more compact footprint than FANUC’s collaborative robots.

Safety Features

Both FANUC and Universal collaborative robots are able to operate directly alongside workers and interact with them without any barriers due to their enhanced safety features. FANUC cobots feature a rounded design with no pinch points. Their built-in contact sensor technology alerts the cobot when contact with an object or person has been made and immediately stops operation.

Universal cobots are designed with built-in adjustable force sensors. When abnormal force is detected, the sensors can stop the cobot’s operation. The Universal cobot safety system is certified by the German Technical Inspection Association.


Both FANUC and Universal cobots feature user-friendly programming. Cobots from both manufacturers can be programmed through hand guidance. Hand guidance is an intuitive method in which users simply guide the robot arm by hand through the waypoints of a robotic application. In addition to hand guidance, FANUC cobots can be programmed through iHMI guides that feature step by step instructions, programming wizards, and tutorials. Universal also provides and additional programming method for their cobots with their touchscreen teach pendant.


Both FANUC and Universal collaborative robots can be used to automate machine tending, dispensing, assembly, and inspection applications. FANUC collaborative robots can also automate pick and place, packaging, and palletizing tasks. While Universal collaborative robots can automate welding, finishing, material handling, and material removal processes.

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