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Collaborative Robots

Whenever industrial robots and human workers share the same workspace, these robots are known as Collaborative Robots or Cobots. Cobots are becoming common in manufacturing facilities. Cobots work together with humans to accomplish many different types of tasks.

As previously mentioned, special safety considerations need to be made when humans and robots share a workspace.

  • A cobot may have special safety mechanisms such as collision detection and light curtains.
  • They also need advanced programming and/or artificial intelligence to utilize the sensors in the safety mechanisms to keep the workers safe from injuries and accidents.
  • A Cobot may also use their sensors to slow down and reduce the amount of force they can apply when a worker is in their workspace.
  • Some Cobots can have their behavior trained by a worker physically moving the robot arm and this will become part of the program the robot will use when it is operating.

Collaborative robots can be used for most of the same applications as other industrial robots such as machine tending and sorting. With the strict use of industrial robot safety standards, manufacturing workers can work safely without the fear of injury from pinch points and other hazards. Workers and robots can work side-by-side in an accident-free workplace.

Motivate Discussion icon Motivate Discussion

Question: Is the Workcell considered a Cobot? Why or why not? If so, are there safety mechanisms on the Workcell?

Sample Solution: The Workcell is considered a Cobot, as it operates in the same workspace as a user. The safety mechanism on the Workcell is the addition of the Bumper Switch to simulate an E-stop button.