Collaborative robot

Cobots offer several advantages and can easily perform various pick-and-place tasks. They are perfect for the automation of your warehouse and can help scale your business.

Cobot collaborating with employee

What is a cobot or collaborative robot?

A cobot, or collaborative robot, is a type of robot that can safely work together with both people and other cobots. Compared to the traditional industrial robots, they are more affordable, smaller, can easily be deployed in various processes and are built and programmed to cooperate with people. Hence the name ‘collaborative robot’.

The differences between robots and cobots

The main difference between industrial robots and cobots is that cobots are designed to work alongside and together with human employees. They are built to assist people and create a safer and healthier workplace. As cobots work alongside people, they have special built-in sensors that guarantee the safety of employees. When a cobot comes into contact with an employee, it stops immediately. Due to these safety functions, there is no need for extra safety measures such as fencing.

Industrial robots, on the other hand, do the work instead of employees and are often used in heavy manufacturing. They are often large installations that operate at high speeds with heavy products. They require a lot of safety measures as employees need to stay out of their workspace.

The advantages of a cobot

1. Flexibility

Collaborative robots require little space, are easy to program and can be installed quickly. They can easily learn new tasks and switch between tasks by means of intelligent and user-friendly software. This makes cobots highly flexible and easy to implement in various pick and place processes.

2. Safety

As mentioned before, cobots are safe to work with. They are designed to safely cooperate with and work alongside people and require no safety fences.

3. Improve quality of work

Of course, one of the main goals of implementing a collaborative robot is to optimize a process. Cobots can help increase productivity. They can operate 24/7 and do not need breaks or holidays. In addition, actively monitoring the cobot’s performance can give useful insights into your production process, allowing you to review how and where to improve to ensure the optimal output.

4. Increase productivity

Cobots are designed to take heavy, repetitive and monotonous tasks of employees’ hands, such as palletizing. Employees can then focus on more creative and solution-oriented tasks which contributes to their health and personal development. Collaborative robots can create a more attractive work environment and improve employee satisfaction.

5. Scale your business

As cobots are highly flexible, improve quality of work and increase productivity they can help scale your business. With the ever increasing consumer demand and product variety, as well as growing labor shortages, automation is of great importance.

Collaborative robot collaborating with employees

What are cobots used for?

Collaborative robots are used for the automation of many types of processes and tasks. They can help increase efficiency and improve quality of work. Cobots are not created to take over people’s work, but to take on monotonous and repetitive tasks. This allows employees to focus on tasks that require problem solving and creativity; what people are good at.

As cobots are able to carry out many different tasks, they are suitable for a large range of industries, including logistics, e-commerce and the food-, pharma- and fashion industry. Many of these industries use cobots for pick and place tasks. That is what we offer at Smart Robotics; cobots as a service for various pick and place tasks, including palletizing and robot picking.

The ROI of a cobot

When considering automating with cobots, the return on investment is a crucial decision maker. Luckily, the price of implementing a cobot in your warehouse is generally lower than the price of an industrial robot. As a cobot cooperates safely with people it needs no additional safety measures such as fences or cages. Also, it is a very compact system that easily fits into existing production lines without having to clear a lot of floorspace. However, the most important factor is that cobots are easier to (re)program and can be adjusted to perform other tasks. They are highly flexible and can be implemented in various processes.

At Smart robotics, we see that customers who have implemented our intelligent palletizing and pick and place cobot solutions achieve an average ROI of 1 to 2 years.