Key Differentiators Between Collaborative Robots and Traditional Industrial Robots

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automa88_wp August 26, 2021 0 Comments

Collaborative robots (cobots) and traditional industrial robots serve distinct purposes on the factory floor, and their key differentiators lie in their design, functionality, and the way they interact with human operators. Here are the key differentiators between collaborative robots and traditional industrial robots:

Collaboration and Interaction:

  • Collaborative Robots (Cobots): Cobots are specifically designed to work alongside humans. They are equipped with advanced sensors and safety features that allow them to detect the presence of humans and adjust their behavior accordingly. Cobots are intended to collaborate with human workers on tasks, sharing the same workspace without the need for safety barriers.
  • Traditional Industrial Robots: Traditional robots are typically designed to operate in isolation within safety cages or restricted areas. They are not inherently designed for close interaction with humans and may pose safety risks if human workers enter their workspace during operation.

Safety Features:

  • Collaborative Robots (Cobots): Safety is a primary consideration in the design of cobots. They often feature force and torque sensors, vision systems, and speed and force limiting technology to ensure that they can operate safely in proximity to humans. This makes cobots suitable for applications where direct collaboration with human workers is required.
  • Traditional Industrial Robots: Traditional robots require safety measures such as physical barriers, cages, or restricted access zones to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of human workers. They may not have the same level of advanced safety features as cobots.

Programming and Flexibility:

  • Collaborative Robots (Cobots): Cobots are known for their user-friendly programming interfaces. Many cobots can be programmed by non-experts using intuitive methods such as hand-guided programming or graphical interfaces. This flexibility allows for quick reprogramming and redeployment to adapt to changing tasks.
  • Traditional Industrial Robots: Programming traditional robots often requires specialized skills, and the process can be more complex. Traditional robots are generally less flexible and may require significant downtime for reprogramming when there are changes in the production process.

Cost and Deployment:

  • Collaborative Robots (Cobots): Cobots are often perceived as more cost-effective due to their ease of programming, quick deployment, and flexibility. The overall cost of integrating cobots into existing processes may be lower compared to traditional robots.
  • Traditional Industrial Robots: Traditional robots may involve higher initial costs and longer deployment times. The need for specialized programming and safety measures can contribute to a more extensive setup process.

Task Complexity and Precision:

  • Collaborative Robots (Cobots): Cobots are well-suited for tasks that involve human collaboration, as well as applications requiring precision and accuracy. However, they may have limitations in terms of payload and speed compared to some traditional industrial robots.
  • Traditional Industrial Robots: Traditional robots are often chosen for tasks that require high precision, speed, and heavy payload capacities. They are ideal for applications with minimal human interaction and where the focus is on repetitive and highly accurate operations.

Understanding these key differentiators helps manufacturers choose the right type of robot for their specific needs, considering factors such as safety requirements, task complexity, and the level of human interaction in the manufacturing process.

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