Cobots, also known as collaborative robots, were first introduced to the robotic industry nearly twenty years ago. In recent years the use of collaborative robots has seen rapid growth as more companies and industries look to adopt robotic automation. Cobots tend to be more user-friendly than other industrial robot types making them popular with first time industrial robotic arm users as well as small to medium-size companies. The growth of cobots is not expected to slow down as market forecasters continue to predict their use to grow every year through 2028.
How are Cobots Different from Other Industrial Robots?Cobots standout from other industrial robot types due to their ability to work collaboratively with humans. Unlike other robot manipulators, cobots do not need to be closed off from workers while operating. Their barrier-free operation is made possible with their numerous safety features which include stop monitoring, force sensors, hand guidance, rounded exterior, compact size, and elimination of pinch points. The Universal UR10 can operate directly alongside humans with minimal safety risk. When cobots sense a object or person within their robotic work envelope they can slow their operation or immediately stop. The same goes for if they sense unusual force. Force and speed limitations prevent injuries or damage from occurring.
Collaborative robots are also easier to operate than other robotic manipulators with their hand guidance feature. Hand guidance programming allows the Universal UR5 to be programmed by manually moving its arm through the steps of an application. This allows for quick programming for minimal downtime and fast changeovers. Companies with low production volumes and a high mix of parts benefit from the quick changeover times of collaborative factory robots.