Cobots | Collaborative Robots

Automate Your Facility with Safe, Cost-Effective Cobots

By safely taking over tedious, repetitive, and ergonomically unfriendly tasks, cobots, also known as collaborative robots, can quickly become an integral part of the team. Cobots are designed to work alongside humans, no safety fencing required.

While cobot solutions are designed to be ‘plug & play’ or as easy to integrate as possible with other equipment and existing processes, a collaborative system is only as viable as the collaborative design of the entire robotic work cell. A properly integrated cobot solution involves careful vetting of the product moving through the system, the EoAT (end of arm tool) that will interface with the product, each device that interfaces with the robot, and proper training of system experts at the end-user’s facility. Bastian Solutions will work closely with your team to identify the right technologies to create and implement a safe, effective collaborative solution.


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How Cobots Work

A cobot is a robot that is designed to work “collaboratively” with humans in a shared workspace. Equipped with safety features including slower speeds and sensors that immediately stop motion when contact is made with a person or object, cobots don’t require the enhanced safety components associated with industrial robots. Without the need for designated work cells, safety fencing, lock out procedures, area scanning, or light curtains, these robots can be implemented in much smaller spaces and with significantly less money.

Cobots come in a variety of sizes, handling payloads up to approximately 35kg. The collaborative robot arm and EoAT should be selected based on the specific application, and custom end of arm tools can be designed for unique tasks. Once selected and properly set up in your facility, cobots can be programmed in two user-friendly ways, through the manufacturer’s software interface or by manually guiding it through the process. Designed to be easily programmed and maintained, cobots minimize operating costs and setup time.

 

Features & Benefits

Cobots are designed to operate alongside human labor which translates to unique design considerations. Compared to typical industrial robots, these robots have a shorter reach, handle smaller payloads, and, due to safety requirements, operate at significantly slower speeds. For operations requiring fast speeds or if heavy objects are handled, traditional industrial robotics may be a better solution.

However, cobots introduce numerous features and benefits that can help automate your facility in a safe, cost-effective way.

  • Safe operation alongside human collaborators with multiple safety features
  • Faster, easier deployment due to compact, modular work cells
  • Easy programming and more open maintenance access due to collaborative design
  • Integrates with cutting-edge AI software and machine vision for autonomous, accurate product handling
  • Decreased ergonomic concerns regarding repetitive, repeatable tasks
  • Reduced safety hardware allows for deployment of robots in tighter spaces
  • Fewer infrastructure requirements and smaller size makes redeployment easy
 

Applications

Cobots are suitable for automating a variety of processes, including:

  • Goods to robot picking
  • Pick and place
  • Palletizing and depalletizing
  • Packing and kitting
  • Machine tending
  • Inspection and quality control
  • Assembly
  • Operating in small areas or tight spaces
  • Operating in areas of high personnel traffic or involvement
 

Considerations

When deciding whether a collaborative robot is a good choice for your facility, it’s important to consider:

  • Any action, motions, and movements needed to perform each task
  • Size, weight, and shape of objects being moved or manipulated
  • Number and weight of EoATs being used
  • Facility space and layout of area
  • Collaboration between robots and human operators – if no collaboration is needed, a traditional robot may be more suitable
  • Speed required for optimal efficiency – higher speed operations may benefit more from a traditional robot with safety barriers, as cobot speeds are limited for safety
  • FAT (factory acceptance testing) ensures our solution meets your standards
 

Technologies & Specifications

Universal Robots
Universal Robots offers cobot models with payload options ranging from approximately 3-16kg and reach ranging from approximately 500 – 1300 mm. All robots have 360-degree rotation on “wrist” joints, and infinite rotation on the end joint where the EoAT attaches. The smaller cobots are good for tabletop applications and light assembly, while larger cobots are good options for palletizing, machine tending, packing, assembly, and other material handling tasks that require a heavier EoAT.

Fanuc Cobots
Fanuc cobot models, ranging from approximately 4-35kg in payload and approximately 550-1813 mm in reach, offer more payload and reach options than any other cobot brand. Like other options, Fanuc cobots safely work side by side with workers, but they also allow the unique option to customize speed and safety settings. Integration with FANUC iRVision, 3D vision, FANUC Force Sensors, and more.

 

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