Are Collaborative Robots Right for You? (Know If You Need to Use Cobots)

Automation can be the answer to most workforce challenges in a production line or business. Collaborative robots are becoming more common in various industries, as small and big companies take advantage of their low initial and operational costs. Could collaborative robots be the answer to your automation needs?

This post will answer some critical questions regarding the suitability of modern collaborative robotic solutions for businesses. What do you need to know about deploying Cobots in your business? 

Things to Consider About Using Cobots In Your Business

To answer common questions regarding the use of Cobots in business, we asked a few experts from the industry and compiled these answers. Here are the guidelines for those looking to make a decision on Cobot deployment today.

Operational Environment

As you may already know, collaborative robots are meant to be deployed alongside operators in a workstation or factory floor. The flexible robot arm is manufactured in accordance to strict specifications to prevent injuries. This can, therefore, mean that Cobots are a bit more restricted in some aspects of automation.

Consider the following operational parameters when thinking about integrating Cobots in your environment.


  • Speed of Operation


 How fast do you want your collaborative robot arms to move so as to meet your production requirements? Note that most collaborative robot arms, if deployed in a collaborative setting, have speed restrictions to avoid accidents. That said, some deployments can accommodate higher speeds for example where several Cobots work together with minimal human input.


  • EOAT-End of Arm Tooling


Some EOATs are too dangerous to be deployed safely in an intimate collaborative workstation. These can include things like high-speed cutting tools, chokes, among others. If your operation requires dangerous tooling operating at high speed, then you might want to consider other ways of deploying robot arms to ensure safety.


  • Power Requirements


 Consider the amount of power required by the robot arm to complete its tasks. How heavy are the items to be lifted if you want to use them for pick and place tasks? Some objects might be too large or heavy to be handled safely in a collaborative environment.


  • Need for Collaboration


How much collaboration is required to enhance your production processes? You need to understand the kind of input needed from operators in your automation processes. This will help you to know if you need Cobots and how to deploy them well.


  • Tasks to Be Handled


Some automation tasks may best be handled with collaborative arms while others are best left to fully automated robot arms. Cobot arms should be deployed to complement human workers or as a coordinated team handling a set of tasks guided by an operator.


  • Spatial Requirements


 Modern collaborative robots are quite flexible in terms of space requirements and portability. They can be integrated into any operation space without special alterations or modifications. If you are looking for an automation solution that is easy to integrate into existing environments, then Cobots could be right for you.

 Cost Implications 

Are you an SME, startup, or individual looking for a robotic solution that you can afford? Cobots have managed to bridge the gap between big automation and the small-scale players. Compared to traditional industrial robots, modern collaborative robots are relatively cheap to acquire and operate. They are, therefore, perfect for small players looking for robotic solutions.

AI, Hand Guiding and Other Enhanced Abilities 

Do you need a robotic solution that has enhanced abilities and that can be modified on the fly to perform different functions? Such is the versatility of modern collaborative robot arms. If you want the freedom to modify your robots as needs change, then you should consider getting Cobots instead of traditional industrial robots.

Final Words

Collaborative robots have brought automation closer to businesses that wouldn’t have had access to such technology in the past. You will find them in small factories, warehouses and even retail spaces serving customers. Any modern business can find a use for Cobots regardless of the industry they are in.