The technology that allows repetitive, non-ergonomic or dangerous processes for the operator to be carried out without the need for security systems and the restrictions present in traditional robotic plants is called collaborative robotics. Robots or cobots have the ability to work alongside humans, even in collaboration with them. This is possible because they are aware of their surroundings thanks to sensors and because the main premise in their design is the safety of the operators who interact with them.
Reasons to apply collaborative robotics
Collaborative robots or cobots have a series of advantages that differentiate them from their predecessors, traditional industrial robots. They stand out for their versatility (they can perform multiple functions and be integrated into different environments), small size and affordable price.
1. Easy to program
Unlike traditional industrial robots, cobots are easy to program. Through user-friendly software and mobile apps, cobots can learn new movements. You can also manually set a cobot to move to a desired location and save it to the software.
Therefore, when integrated, any operator can program simple actions in minutes, while traditional robots require a lot of knowledge and time to program actions and often can only perform one action.
2. Easy to install
Traditional robots typically take days (or even weeks) to install before they’re up and running. In contrast, the installation of cobots can be completed in a short period of time.
Combined with intuitive, easy-to-use software along with easy programming, the cobot can complete its first task within an hour of receiving it. In addition, they can be connected to any outlet, since these devices do not require special electrical installations.
3. They provide versatility and flexibility
While traditional industrial robots can only perform one task, collaborative robots can perform many different tasks. A cobot is a very flexible device, and adding new tasks to it is very simple. A cobot can do the same thing in a 40-hour work week, but it can also do a different task each day.
Also, a cobot is basically an automated arm that can hold as many tools as needed for the job. These peripherals or accessories are as easy to integrate and configure as the robot itself.
The new functionalities can be added to the arm thanks to the “plug and play” system, that is, it is enough to connect them and the configuration mechanism does most of the installation.
Changing from one part to another requires no new wiring, adapters, or complex mechanical installation and removal procedures. It’s as easy as plugging and unplugging. This simplicity combined with the new functionality makes it easy to use the robot in general.
4. They have a positive impact on employees
Cobots are designed to work alongside people, not replace them. For this reason, collaborative robots, also known as human-centered robots, make it easier for operators and improve the work they do.
Robots can perform tedious, unsafe, boring, monotonous, or repetitive tasks so employees can focus on more important tasks. These types of tasks can be related to quality control and maintenance, but product assembly can also be done in collaboration with collaborative robots.
Also, because employees are supported throughout their working day, they enjoy the work they do more. Boring and monotonous jobs are shifted to robots, allowing employees to do their jobs in a more “human” way. Tasks that give more room for creativity, solution-oriented thinking and initiative. In this sense, robots help create a more attractive work environment.