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10 collaborative robots that are human-friendly

07 Sep 2015  | Rich Quinnell

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High-volume manufacturing has employed the use of industrial robots that move quickly and handle heavy loads to accelerate production line throughput. However, the need to adapt to smaller and changing production requirements in some manufacturing operations has created a new demand for robots that are flexible.

Here come the collaborative robots.

Collaborative robots are designed to operate with, or at least in the presence of, human operators. To keep their human companions safe, collaborative robots use techniques such as reduced movement speed, force sensing for contact detection and limited motor power so that they cannot accidentally contact a human with sufficient force to cause injury.

They are also designed to be flexible in their operation so that they can be quickly adapted to whatever production task needs their help. Common applications include precision assembly, packaging, materials handling and test.

Collaborative robot

Collaborative robots are designed to safely work alongside humans and even interact with them without the risk of injury.

Recently a wave of collaborative robots has entered the industrial market. In addition, some robots are being developed to provide non-industrial tasks such as healthcare assistance and even catering. Even traditional industrial robotics companies are creating smaller, more flexible and human-friendly robots.

Click on the following pages to see ten collaborative robots that are now on the market.

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