Automation and robotics are ways for old economies to keep up with competition being inovative and cost effective. Yet aging of population, raising concern about health and safety, stiffer regulations, etc. may welcome the robot as a companion. Those able to work with humans on a shopfloor are called cobots, collaborative-robots.
Collaborative industrial robots are complex machines which work hand in hand with human beings. In a shared work process, they support and relieve the human operator. One example: a robot lifts and positions a heavy workpiece whilst a human worker welds light iron hooks to it. During this task, the operator and the various elements of the robot, such as the robot arm and tool, are in close proximity to each other. The robot and the worker may come into direct contact with each other as a result. A comparable situation can be found with mobile service robots, which are being used in increasing numbers in the proximity of human beings in occupational contexts and in public or private environments.
HIRO, a collaborative human-like robot for industrial applications (Japan)
Meet BAXTER, the Cobot (USA)
>Read Robotics Featured Articles – The End of Separation: Man and Robot as Collaborative Coworkers on the Factory Floor
Andrew, cobot for lab (Switzerland)
Related >Cobots Utopia