The introduction of collaborative robots into the marketplace is changing the face of industrial automation. Equipped with force-feedback detection that stops the motion of the robot when contact is made with a person or object, these so-called “cobots” can safely operate in the same workspaces as humans. As a result, the extensive safe guarding and safety-control interlocks typically required with traditional industrial robots may no longer be necessary, resulting in a number of significant advantages. A new paper, Putting Collaborative Robots to Work, provides an overview of cobots including advantages, limitations, and suggested applications.
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Mike Garman is Senior Engineer for Advanced Automation at EWI. He can be reached at [email protected].