So, what is a collaborative robot? And how exactly it can help your industry to grow and work in a more organized efficient way? Let’s make it clear. The very word collaborative tells us about the intent behind the invention: it is specifically made to work along with a human worker and produce a better result combining both of the powers.
The key quality of the collaborative robot (or cobot) is that it works alongside people quite literally—being in close proximity and doesn’t cause any harm. It doesn’t require special fencing and atrocious safety regulations—cobots are made to cooperate with humans!
No safety cages and additional costs needed. Cobots are safe, but are there really no safety measures at all? Well, there are situations when a fellow human worker has to intrude upon the collaborative robot’s territory, its workspace. It can happen even while robot still hasn’t finished the task. In that case, the moment the robot stumbles upon a person’s hand, it stops moving altogether. The robot is not shut down—it just puts the brakes on. And though some specifications can differ, the overall result is always the same: in case of an interruption, the manipulator stops with no harm to a human and no damage to the work being performed.
Discover more about cobots
Safety monitored stop. Although a cobot usually works close to human colleagues, it always does specific tasks independently. It can detect a worker being at close proximity and can stop movement altogether when the safety zone is violated. These cases are rare because time is money: when humans get close to a robot, it loses valuable time on frequent pausing.
Broadly used in cooperative work space. By putting a limit to the collaborative robot’s power and force, we are now able to integrate them into cooperative environments. When a collaborative helper senses movement in a nearby area, it decreases the speed at which it is working to safeguard the collaborator’s well-being. Also, they are there not to replace people, but to assist with routine and repetitive tasks. Cobots are used to automate manual low-skill positions that production companies are struggling to fill with human workers.
So all the dull unattractive tasks are being sent off their way.
Easily handled by employees, with no danger of being hurt. Typically, collaborative robots are much more lightweight than industrial ones. Therefore, they can be moved even by one employee from task to task, mounted on a portable stand or elsewhere.
Can be taught via hand guiding. A collaborative robot reads the applied force and remembers the shown path while being held and traced by the employee. And while the operator moves the robot head by the hand to learn it to manoeuvre to this predefined route, it catches on the entire thing. Quite a simple piece of training technique.
Easily programmed. If you can handle a smartphone or a tablet, you will be capable of programming a cobot—it is quite simple and does not require much time.
Collaborative robots: pros and cons
Still doubting if a cobot is worth a shot? Let’s outline a couple of advantages and disadvantages of a collaborative helper.
Easily reprogrammed. The software is quite flexible and the purpose of the robot can be changed within an hour or so. Due to its light weight, a collaborative machine can be physically moved around to its task points by just one person. Moreover, to teach it a trajectory, you only need an hour or even less.
Flexible and safe. It is able to work safely outside the cell and doesn't need protective fencing. It means people can augment collaborative robot’s work, which means higher productivity with no additional investments.
Lower speed. That is how you pay for safety—high-speed applications are not for co-robots at all. Though the cobot can be programmed to move with TCP (tool center point) velocity up to 4 m/s.
Lower payload. It has power limitations and is not the best fit if the key demand is high payload.
Cobot applications & operations
Collaborative robots are made for tasks where they move lightweight items quite slowly.
Here are some of the examples of such jobs:
Assembly line: cobot is efficient in small parts assembly that has precision in favor over blazing speed. It can be assistance with complex assembly of small electronics where the robot is doing basic movements while its human counterpart completes complex inspections or difficult manipulations. This way the robot saves up our time by doing these easily performed segments of the job, while workers apply their human brain to complicated manipulations without having to move pieces around.
Machine tending: a cobot could actually move parts in and out without affecting the overall cycle time of the process being performed by the machine while reducing cost and increasing accuracy. Robots always line up small parts with great precision and are much better at it than humans.
Packing: such tasks that are lacking any meaning can be easily moved over to collaborative robots - they will do a better job at it! Cobots always undergo the protocol and never overstuff or underpack goods as it may happen otherwise.
Also cobot can perform a number of other functions, such as:
Pick & place
Welding and gluing
Lab testing and control
Supply chain management
New generation cobot by Rozum Robotics
The cobot by Rozum Robotics is an arm-manipulator intended for automation of industrial enterprises. The Rozum Robotics cobot is capable of effective manipulation in repetitive tasks at various enterprises. At the same time, the collaborative helpers are absolutely safe, don't require costly protective caging and are allowed to work in direct contact with a human.
Rozum Robotics cobot: key advantages
Every year, about 5 new collaborative manufacturers appear worldwide. To help you make a choice, we enumerate several Rozum Robotics cobot advantages as compared to other manufacturers.
Why PULSE by Rozum Robotics?
Low weight: its total weight is 12,6 kilo. It's much lighter compared to other models. Low weight empowers you to easily move the cobot around the enterprise.
Compact size: it can be easily mounted at a conveyor belt as well as on a common table.
Modular construction: it consists of self-designed servomotors and aluminium connecting elements. In case of necessity, appropriate module (motor) gets replaced. Meanwhile, according to conducted research, Rozum Robotics servomotors lifetime is 35 000 hours of non-stop work.
Intuitive software: to program Rozum Robotics collaborative robot one doesn't need specific knowledge. Anybody can start programming a it in less than 30 minutes.