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Why is the collaborative robot so hot?


In recent years, collaborative robots (cobots) have begun to lead the growth of the robot market. According to the research data of BIS Research, by 2021, the market sales of collaborative robots will reach 150,000 units,  the sales are expected to increase to 2 billion US dollars. Some industries are beginning to introduce collaborative robots as a way to seek a new automated future.


There is a clear contrast between collaborative robots intended to work in collaboration with humans  traditional industrial robots . Fixed traditional industrial robots need to keep a distance  humans when working independently. Due to the inherent safety of collaborative robots, such as the application of force feedback  collision detection, the safety of humans  collaborative robots working side by side will be guaranteed, while collaborative robots equipped with sensors  safety functions that limit force  power will make robots  humans Collaboration between them is possible, thereby shortening the production process, increasing productivity,  reducing error rates. It also makes human work more efficient  valuable, but it does  replace humans. It can be said that the reason why collaborative robots stand out is that they can play a role in the field of work that was originally done manually.

In manufacturing, productivity is the key to success.  the more productivity increases, the higher the profit of the enterprise, which is the same criterion. In recent years, more  more people have chosen collaborative robots. There are 7 reasons why manufacturers should consider investing in collaborative robots.

1. The collaborative robot is easy to program

Some new collaborative robots are designed to be user-friendly  easy to program, eliminating the need for engineers to implement. Some even have a manual guidance function, collaborative robots can learn through examples,  at the same time can be guided by a series of actions required to complete their programming tasks.

2. Short setup time

The longer it takes to set up automation, the more expensive the initial investment. Employee training, production shutdowns,  the high cost of  to hire external service providers may prolong the time for return on investment. For small  medium-sized companies, these may cause great problems.

This has been taken into consideration when designing collaborative robots , as well as requiring out-of-the-box functionality. The pre-programmed software allows users to install the robot themselves, so the user can set it up in less than 30 minutes. In addition, the flexibility brought about by the short setup time of the collaborative robot increases productivity  return on investment.

3. Collaborative robots can be used in different applications. one of the main selling points of collaborative robots is flexibility. Programming collaborative robots for new tasks is simple  does  require external service personnel. This introduces versatility into the production line,  it is easy to set the collaborative robot to perform a series of different tasks on the same day,  specify the date of work for certain tasks.

Collaborative robots can be easily integrated into agile systems because they allow users to quickly respond to design changes  reset collaborative robots accordingly.

Collaborative robots on the current market can play many roles, usually service roles  industrial roles. Service-oriented collaborative robots are used to provide information, transport goods,  provide security in public places. Industrial collaborative robots have multiple applications, including but  limited to picking  placing, packaging  palletizing, assembly, machine maintenance, surface finishing,  quality testing  inspection.

4. Consistency of results

Robots never get tired, so their results are more consistent  accurate than those done by humans doing the same job. This makes them particularly suitable for monotonous tasks because they can perform simple actions repeatedly without degrading the quality of the work. Once set up, the collaborative robot can perform the same task with the same ability.

5. Positive impact on employees

Manufacturing workers are generally worried that they will be replaced by robots. After all, they have the advantage of being faster, more accurate,  never tired. But the fact is that the probability of this happening is too low. Especially in companies with high mixing volume  small batch production, because in general, the traditional industrial robots used are high cost  low flexibility.

this opened the door for what is now called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Information technology is used in intelligent manufacturing, so that human  collaborative robots can work together without reducing the size of personnel. The workers were  replaced by machines. Instead, by using collaborative robots, workers can save on repetitive processes  reduce their time, so they can handle more complex tasks, thereby improving the workers’ daily experience.

Collaborative robots can support human employees in their work  take over dangerous, dirty,  boring tasks, thereby creating a safer  more enjoyable workspace environment.

6. Improve productivity  optimize processes

In the process of taking over human employees, it is difficult for employees to concentrate  maintain performance at a consistent level for a long time,  the accuracy of the robot reduces the possibility of failures  product defects to almost zero.

Quickly changing the tasks to be performed by collaborative robots helps workers optimize production lines  cut costs, while maintaining high standards of product quality.

7. Fast payback period

The cost of collaborative robots is lower than that of industrial robots,  which application programs are used  the length of use time, which also determines that collaborative robots can recover the investment cost in just 200-300 days.

Universal Robots is one of the leading manufacturers of collaborative robots. The company recently released a white paper listing the most common application scenarios for collaborative robots.


For workers, manual picking  placing should be one of the most repetitive tasks today. The boring operation is easy to cause workers to make mistakes,  the highly repetitive limb movements are also easy to cause physical fatigue  injury. The application of collaborative robots  picking  placing tasks is a good start to reduce workers' repeated labor. Pick  place tasks refer to picking up  placing workpieces at another location. In actual production, this operation can be used to pick up items  pallets  conveyor belts for packaging  sorting. Picking up  the conveyor belt also requires advanced vision system support. Pick--place collaborative robots require an end effector to grab objects, which can be fixtures  vacuum suction devices


Equipment care requires workers to stand in front of CNC machine tools, injection molding machines  other similar equipment for a long time to always pay attention to the operating needs of the machine, such as changing tools  supplementing raw materials. This process is long  tedious for the operator. In this case, the use of collaborative robots  only frees employees, but a collaborative robot can maintain multiple machines  increase productivity. Care robots require I/O docking hardware for specific devices. The hardware reminds the robot when to enter the next cycle of production  when it needs to replenish raw materials.


Product packaging  palletizing belong to a sub-category in the pick  place category. Products need to be properly prepared for transportation before leaving the factory floor, including shrink packaging, box assembly  loading, box finishing,  placing trays for shipment. This type of work has a high repetition rate  contains some small loads, which is very suitable for replacing manual work with collaborative robots. Rapid product replacement is the key to the business of mass production companies that mix high  low production volumes. This application requires the use of conveyor tracking to synchronize the movement of the robot  conveyor. For products with inconsistent appearance, it is necessary to combine the vision system in application.


Machining operation refers to any operation process that requires tools to operate the workpiece. Collaborative robots are often used in gluing processing, dispensing  welding processes. Each of these machining tasks requires the use of tools to complete the fixed path repeatedly. If these tasks use new employees, they need to invest a lot of time in training to achieve the finished product requirements. After using a collaborative robot, it can be copied to other robots after programming on one robot. The collaborative robot also solves the problems of precision  repeated operations completed by workers. Traditional welding robot systems usually require operators to have very professional robot programming  welding knowledge.


Manual finishing operations must use hand tools  the process is usually laborious. The vibration generated by the tool may also cause injury to the operator. Collaborative robots can provide the strength, repeatability,  accuracy required for finishing. The types of finishing that robots can perform include polishing, grinding,  deburring. The robot can teach the robot to complete the corresponding action through manual teaching  computer programming. The force control system of the collaborative robot makes the robot more durable. Through the end effector  the built-in force sensing device, it can realize the finishing of parts of different sizes.


Finally, collaborative robots can also perform quality inspections on parts. This process usually includes a comprehensive inspection of the finished parts, a high-resolution picture of the precision machined parts,  a comparison  confirmation of the parts  the CAD model. Fixing multiple high-resolution cameras on a collaborative robot can automate the quality inspection process  quickly obtain inspection results. The use of collaborative robots for testing can achieve high-quality testing  more accurate production batches. To complete the inspection, you need to install an end effector with a high-resolution camera, vision system,  software.