Best Cobots ranked by User Reviews

Universal Robots | Franka Emika | Techman | Fanuc | Kinova | Yaskawa | Stäubli | ABB | Doosan | AUBO

Cobots, or collaborative robots, are robots intended for direct human-robot interaction within a shared space. They are safe by relying on lightweight materials, an inherent limitation of speed and force, or sensors and software. They are designed to prevent collisions. The most common applications of cobots are palletizing, picking and placing, assembly, machine Loading, welding, polishing and grinding, gluing and dispensing.

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Qviro gathers unbiased user reviews on satisfaction and ranks the cobots accordingly. We don't allow sponsoring to get products on top of the list.

URe/UR Series
Payload 3-16kg | Reach 500-1300mm

Payload options 3, 5, 12.5 and 16 kg enable a wide variety of applications. And with six degrees of freedom, incredible flexibility, and easy integration into existing production environments, our collaborative robots are built to do more.

Industrial and Academic Cobots
KINOVA Industrial and Academic Cobots
Payload 2.4-6kg | Reach 891-1000mm

Industrial robot with collaborative capabilities leveraging the latest technologies in order to support all industries that want to benefit from automation. Proudly made in North America, more precisely in Québec, Canada, Kinova’s newest robot is backed up by 15 years in the business of providing robotic solutions.

GoFa CRB 15000
ABB GoFa CRB 15000
Payload 5kg | Reach 950mm

ABB’s GoFa incorporates a range of features: used safely directly alongside human workers and without the need to design and build bulky barriers or fencing. The GoFa can continuously share workspace with people, giving it maximum flexibility and efficiency. That means robots and humans cooperate on the same tasks, without jeopardizing productivity or safety.

With a class-leading reach of 950mm, and the ability to handle payloads up to 5kg, GoFa loves demanding, repetitive tasks. For maximum safety, it also features intelligent sensors in every joint that stop the robot within milliseconds if contact is detected.

With a top speed of 2.2m/s, GoFa is faster than other cobots in its class. Excellent position repeatability and superior motion control from ABB also enable it to perform its tasks accurately and precisely.

M Series
Payload 6-15kg | Reach 900-1700mm

M-Series stands for Excellence. Versatile, easy to use and install, and are competitively priced. The range won the prestigious RED DOT award for product design in 2017 and 2018.

IRB 14000 YuMi
ABB IRB 14000 YuMi
Payload 0.5kg | Reach 500mm

An innovative, human-friendly, dual arm robot, the ABB’s IRB 14000 YUMI has breakthrough functionality designed to unlock vast global additional potential in industry. Designed for a new era of automation, for example, in small parts assembly, where people and robots work side-by-side on the same tasks. Safety is built into the functionality of the robot itself. YuMi removes the barriers to collaboration by making fencing and cages a thing of the past.

Payload 3kg | Reach 800mm

The Franka Emika robot is agile and sensitive — like a human arm. Programming is workflow-based and intuitive, interaction is seamless.

Panda is currently the fastest-selling industrial robotic system in the world. For Panda, Franka Emika received the German President‘s Award for Innovation in Science and Technology and was the only German company to make it onto the cover of TIME Magazine's "Best Inventions 2018" edition.

HC DTP Series
Payload 10-20kg | Reach 1379-1900mm

The MOTOMAN HC10 robot can operate without additional protective measures like a safety fence, depending on the risk assessment.

CRX Series
Payload 5-25kg | Reach 994-1889mm

The FANUC CRX cobot is the only collaborative robot on the market with FANUC reliability offering 8 years of Zero Maintenance on Motors, Reducers, Sensors, Cables, and Grease The CRX has FANUC industrial-strength

Payload 10kg | Reach 1600mm

Thanks to its unique mechanical qualities, ISYBOT’s SYB 3 brings competitiveness and attractiveness to manual operations that are considered non-automatic.
Through agile automation, ISYBOT simplifies the response to the need for flexibility and variability for all types of processes such as grinding.

Without any particular training, the operator integrates and optimizes the use of the COBOT by enhancing his know-how in a work environment that does not require any modification.

ISYBOT’s interactive COBOTs improve productivity while reducing operator fatigue.

myPalletizer 260
Elephant Robotics myPalletizer 260
Payload 0.3-0.25kg | Reach 260-260mm

The Elephant Robotics myPalletizer 260 is a versatile and highly efficient palletizing robot that is designed to automate the palletizing process in various industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, and logistics.

The myPalletizer 260 is capable of handling a wide range of products, including bags, boxes, and cases, with varying sizes and weights. It can palletize up to 1200 bags or cases per hour, depending on the product size and weight.

One of the key features of the myPalletizer 260 is its advanced vision system that uses sensors and algorithms to detect and locate products and pallets. The robot is equipped with a 3D vision system that can detect and handle products of different shapes and sizes, ensuring accurate and precise placement on the pallet. The vision system can also detect and avoid any obstacles or hazards in the robot's operating environment, ensuring the safety of operators and surrounding personnel.

The myPalletizer 260 is also designed with advanced safety features, such as a safety scanner and a torque sensor, to ensure the safety of operators and surrounding personnel. The robot can be programmed to stop or slow down its movements when it detects any obstacles or abnormal conditions in its operating environment.

The myPalletizer 260 is also highly flexible and easy to use. It can be programmed to perform a range of palletizing patterns and configurations, including column stacking, interlocking, and mixed palletizing. It can be easily integrated into existing production lines and can be customized to meet specific production requirements.

Overall, the Elephant Robotics myPalletizer 260 is a highly capable and versatile palletizing robot that provides increased efficiency, cost savings, and improved product quality and consistency in manufacturing and logistics operations. Its advanced vision system, safety features, and flexibility make it an ideal option for companies looking to automate their palletizing processes and increase their competitiveness in a rapidly changing market.

Gen3 Lite
KINOVA Gen3 Lite
Payload 0.5kg | Reach 760mm

A more compact and accessible option

Being the newest and most compact member of the Kinova ultra-lightweight robot series, the Gen3 lite offers a more cost-efficient option if you're looking for one or multiple professional-grade robotic arms to perform light manipulation tasks. The Gen3 lite is perfectly suited for professional academic-level education needs.
In addition, the Gen3 lite runs on the powerful and robust Kinova® Kortex™ API software, so you can seamlessly share programming and collaborate with other Gen3 lite or Gen3 units.

• Ultra-lightweight
• Highly portable
• Power-efficient
• Ideal for mobile applications

A new standard in compact professional robots

The Gen3 lite is adaptable for all levels of expertise, so you can
control your robot to perform everything from simple grasping tasks to
programming more complex manipulation applications in MATLAB, ROS, C++, and Python.

• Efficient, transparent actuators with an embedded controller.
• High-level and low-level control
• 1 kHz low-level closed-loop control
• Plug-and-play
• Protection zones

Get started in under 10 minutes

Start teaching your robot simple manipulation and grasping sequences right away.

• Easy set up in less than 10 minutes
• Simple connectivity (USB, Ethernet, RNDIS)
• Connect to the Kinova Web App from any desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

Brooks Automation DIRECT DRIVE 6-AXIS

The Brooks Automation Direct Drive 6-Axis is a robotic arm designed for use in a variety of industrial automation applications. It has six degrees of freedom, allowing for complex movements and positioning. The direct drive technology in the robot provides high precision, speed, and accuracy in its motion control, making it well-suited for tasks such as material handling, assembly, and inspection.

Regular Payload Series
TECHMAN ROBOT Regular Payload Series
Payload 4-6kg | Reach 700-900mm

The TM5 collaborative robot features simple programming, innovative integrated vision capabilities together with the latest safety functionality, all leading to rapid deployment in a huge variety of applications. Having vision identification functionality completely integrated within the collaborative robot platform, provides an easy and intuitive way to achieve robot calibration to work piece or tooling, product selection, 1D or 2D barcodes and a host of other vision applications, delivering a true Industry 4.0 solution.

TX2 Series
Payload 2.3-20kg | Reach 515-1000mm

TX2 can handle classic robot applications as well as adapt their behavior to the different Man-Robot Collaboration levels every time it’s needed. They are simultaneously production performers and collaborative experts.

Brooks Automation PP100
Payload 2kg | Reach 663mm

The Brooks Automation PP100 is a high-performance robotic arm designed for use in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries. The PP100 is a 6-axis robot that provides high precision and accuracy in its motion control, making it well-suited for tasks such as material handling, assembly, and inspection. The PP100 is designed for use in cleanroom environments, making it ideal for handling delicate and sensitive components in the semiconductor and electronics industries. It is typically used in applications such as wafer handling, material transfer, and other similar tasks in the semiconductor manufacturing process.

Payload 10kg | Reach 1400mm

A true power pack: Fast industrial cobot with an especially long reach of 1400 mm and no compromise on strength. Payload of 10 kg. Simple programming thanks to our special intuitive Kassow user interface.

H Series
Payload 20-25kg | Reach 1500-1700mm

H Series stands for Heavy Duty. The most powerful cobots on the market (25kg payload). Both models in the series feature six torque sensors which dramatically increases their application potential.

Payload 5kg | Reach 915mm

With a payload of 5kg, and a reach 915mm, the HCR-5A is perfect choice to collaborate with employees. For almost every industry and application, HCR-5A improves working environment and let people concentrate on value-added work. HCR-5A is suitable for pick-and-place, welding and inspection to increase productivity of manufacturing line.

SWIFTI CRB 1100/0.58
ABB SWIFTI CRB 1100/0.58
Payload 4kg | Reach 580mm

A lightning-fast cobot that combines industrial-level performance and innovative safety. SWIFTI gets the job done faster and more accurately than you can imagine.

SWIFTI bridges the gap between collaborative and industrial robots. It enables proven safe collaborative operation to be achieved, even in applications that demand industrial-level speed and lifting capabilities.

LBR IIWA 14 R820
Payload 14kg | Reach 820mm

The LBR iiwa is the world’s first series-produced sensitive, and therefore HRC-compatible, robot. LBR stands for “Leichtbauroboter” (German for lightweight robot), iiwa for “intelligent industrial work assistant”. With the LBR iiwa, humans and robots can work together on highly sensitive tasks in close cooperation, opening the possibility of new applications and paving the way for greater cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

The collaborative and sensitive LBR iiwa robot is available in two versions with payload capacities of 7 and 14 kilograms.

myCobot 280
Elephant Robotics myCobot 280
Payload 0.25-0.25kg | Reach 280-280mm

The myCobot 280 from Elephant Robotics is best suited for education, individual projects, scientific research, medical fields.

Payload 10kg | Reach 1350mm

The Aubo i Series of robots use the CAN bus networks to communicate between joints. Low cost of ownership and high positional repeatability are some of the other criteria that makes up the outstanding features of this robot. Aubo Robotics holds several core patents and has strategic cooperation with several public companies leveraging the best of all new technologies.

myCobot 320
Elephant Robotics myCobot 320
Payload 1-1kg | Reach 350-350mm
A high cost-efficiency six-axis robotic arm for education and scientific research powered by M5Stack
Medium-Heavy Payload Series
TECHMAN ROBOT Medium-Heavy Payload Series
Payload 12-14kg | Reach 1100-1300mm

The TM12 & TM14 collaborative robot features simple programming, innovative integrated vision capabilities together with the latest safety functionality, all leading to rapid deployment in a huge variety of applications. Having vision identification functionality completely integrated within the collaborative robot platform, provides an easy and intuitive way to achieve robot calibration to work piece or tooling, product selection, 1D or 2D barcodes and a host of other vision applications, delivering a true Industry 4.0 solution. Don’t hesitate to consult us on the TM12 Robot or TM14 Robot as the suitable solution for your business.

Lynxmotion AL5D

The AL5D robotic arm delivers fast, accurate, and repeatable movement. The robot features: base rotation, single plane shoulder, elbow, wrist motion, a functional gripper, and optional wrist rotate. The AL5D robotic arm is an affordable system with a time tested rock solid design that will last and last. Everything needed to assemble and operate the robot is included in the kit, with several different software control options.

Note that we have tested the arm to hold at most <10oz at full reach without any additional products such as the wrist rotate upgrade installed on the arm (which decreases the payload). The lift capacity increases as the load is closer to the base, but depends on the configuration of the arm.

The Mechanics
The aluminum robotic arm is made from our Servo Erector Set components for the ultimate in flexibility and expandability. The kit consists of black anodized aluminum brackets, Aluminum tubing and hubs, custom injection molded components, and precision laser-cut Lexan components. The arm uses 1 x HS-485HB in the base, 1 x HS-805BB in the shoulder, 1 x HS-755HB in the elbow, 1 x HS-645MG in the wrist, and 1 x HS-422 in the gripper.

Arm Control Options

We now have arm control options. They each have their own unique operating methodology and feature sets.

  • FlowBotics Studio is an easy to use graphical program which allows you to easily get your AL5 robot up and running without the need to create code. Use the software to manipulate the real arm using the virtual arm, and create, record and play back your own sequences. Software allows for wrist rotation and additional servos.
  • FlowArm PLTW provides a graphical interface for controlling the AL5A, AL5 and AL5D arms. You can also create and save sequences. It is a stand-alone .exe program which was created using FlowBotics Studio.
  • Alternately the servo motors can be controlled directly from a microcontroller. We sell the arm without electronics for this purpose.
Payload 10kg | Reach 850mm

Strong and fast industrial cobot with a reach of 850 mm and a payload of 10 kg. Simple programming thanks to our special intuitive Kassow user interface.

Payload 35kg | Reach 1813mm I'm the world's strongest collaborative robot. I can lift 35 kg. This combined with my reach and safety certification make me ideally suited to a whole range of manual processes that you humans have traditionally had to do alone. But thanks to me, that's all about to change. From now on I'm here to do the heavy lifting and positioning for you in a range of industries. That way you'll be free to do the more skilled work. But don't worry, my built-in anti-trap protection and soft rubber skin will keep you safe. I'm also happy working with you or alongside you. Either way, you can guide me, teach me or simply push me away if you need some space. As a team we're faster, safer and more effective.
Payload 4kg | Reach 1260mm

With 7 degrees of freedom, a range of 1,260 mm, and a 4kg payload, Sawyer – the flexible, easy to use collaborative robot with sensitive and intuitive handling for high acceptance among employees.

Payload 7kg | Reach 800mm The LBR iiwa is the world’s first series-produced sensitive, and therefore HRC-compatible, robot. LBR stands for “Leichtbauroboter” (German for lightweight robot), iiwa for “intelligent industrial work assistant”. With the LBR iiwa, humans and robots can work together on highly sensitive tasks in close cooperation, opening the possibility of new applications and paving the way for greater cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

When grouped with its smaller sibling, the LBR iisy running on KUKA’s new operating system, iiQKA.OS, KUKA’s lightweight robot portfolio can handle cobot applications from small to large and simple to complex.
Payload 7kg | Reach 790mm

Kuka’s LBR iiwa is the world’s first series-produced sensitive, and therefore HRC-compatible, robot. With the LBR iiwa, humans and robots can work together on highly sensitive tasks in close cooperation, opening the possibility of new applications and paving the way for greater cost-effectiveness and efficiency.


Quick reactions

LBR iiwa’s joint torque sensors can detect contact immediately and reduce its level of force and speed instantly. Its position and compliance control enables it to handle delicate components without creating crushing and shearing hazards.

Able to learn

Ability to choose from three operating modes and program the LBR iiwa via simulation: indicate the desired position and it will remember the coordinates of the path point. Stop for breaks and control it with simple touch commands.

The lightweight LBR iiwa with its high-performance servo control is able to detect contours quickly under force control. It establishes the correct installation position and mounts components quickly and with the utmost precision with an axis-specific torque accuracy of ±2% of the maximum torque. The LBR iiwa can also find small, delicate components in next to no time without your assistance.


The LBR iiwa's controller, KUKA Sunrise Cabinet, simplifies the quick start-up of even complex applications.

Educational Robots
NIRYO Educational Robots
Payload 0.3kg | Reach 440-490mm

A complete ecosystem designed for education, research and prototyping.

Ned Educational Robot
NIRYO Ned Educational Robot
Payload 0.3kg | Reach 440mm

Niryo Ned is a robot arm created for robotic learning. With its three Dynamixel XL servomotors and its NiryoSteppers, it facilitates the learning of robotics in an environment true to the industrial reality: its 6 axes allow it to reproduce all the movements required for the most advanced uses.

Niryo One’s concept makes it precise in complex situations yet accessible. The Niryo Education ecosystem is designed to develop robotics, mechanics and programming skills with educational resources, a community, and a polyvalent software, Niryo One Studio, which lets you program the robot with different approaches, from the most intuitive to the most advanced.

Ned2 Educational Robot
NIRYO Ned2 Educational Robot
Reach 490mm

A cobot made for universities, technical high schools, vocational trainers and researchers.

Ned2 is a 6-axis collaboratif robot arm, based on open source technologies. Designed for educational and research purposes, it can be used to train, teach and learn.
The successor to Ned, Ned2 is more robust. Multiple improvements allow users to go even further in the understanding and use of collaborative robotics: The human-machine interaction has been improved in order to guarantee the clarity of the messages sent by the robot.

Following the footsteps of Ned, Ned2 is the ideal cobot to meet your diversified needs in terms of prototyping Industry 4.0 applications. Its six axes give it a range of motion that meets the requirements of the industry.

Designed with the same aluminum structure as Ned, Ned2 continues to meet your requirements in terms of robustness, precision (0.5 mm) and repeatability (0.5 mm).

The improvement of the global aesthetics has led us to develop a product with plastic molded covers, thus reducing its net weight and improving its robustness and finishing.

Ned2 is based on Ubuntu 18.04 and ROS Melodic. It also benefits from Raspberry PI 4 capabilities, a 64-bit ARM V8 high performance processor and 4gb RAM.

Payload 2.2kg | Reach 1210mm

Baxter is a collaborative robot, also known as a cobot, designed and developed by Rethink Robotics. One of the standout features of Baxter is its ability to work safely alongside human operators, without requiring traditional safety barriers or cages. This makes it an ideal option for industrial settings where human-robot collaboration is necessary, such as manufacturing and assembly lines.

One of the most unique aspects of Baxter is its adaptive behavior. Rather than relying on pre-programmed movements, Baxter is able to adapt to changes in its environment and perform a variety of tasks using its advanced sensing and vision capabilities. This makes it incredibly versatile and able to perform a wide range of tasks, from picking and placing objects to performing quality control inspections.

Baxter is also designed with ease of use in mind. Its user-friendly interface and intuitive programming system make it easy for operators to program and teach Baxter new tasks without requiring specialized technical expertise. This means that even operators with limited programming experience can quickly learn to use Baxter and integrate it into their workflow.

Another standout feature of Baxter is its durability and reliability. It is designed to operate in harsh industrial environments and can withstand extreme temperatures and humidity levels. It also has a high payload capacity, allowing it to handle heavy objects and perform tasks that other cobots may not be able to handle.

In terms of specialized specifications, Baxter is compatible with a variety of software systems, including ROS (Robot Operating System) and Python. This makes it easy for users to customize and program Baxter to meet their specific needs and integrate it into their existing systems. Baxter is also designed to be easily upgraded and maintained, ensuring that it remains a valuable tool for industrial automation for years to come.

Overall, Baxter is a highly advanced and versatile cobot that is well-suited for a wide range of industrial automation applications. Its unique features, ease of use, and compatibility with specialized software systems make it a popular choice for manufacturers and other industrial operators looking to improve efficiency, safety, and productivity in their operations.

Payload 12kg | Reach 1304mm

Security: Ability to work side by side with humans without the need for a safety fence for isolation, possesses high reliability and safety

Lightweight: The lightest and most flexible collaborative robot with a lighter self-weight and a stronger payload. The self-weight is only 31kg and the payload is 12kg.

Good-looking:The most good-looking collaborative robot, the overall industrial design is exquisite and agile, and the screw hidden design presents a simple and streamlined shape.

High efficiency: the maximum speed can reach 3.2 m / s, the running efficiency is high, the trajectory is smooth, and the movement is coherent

Easy to use: easy to carry, easy to transport, simple assembly and disassembly, supports 48V battery power

Intelligence: equipped with machine vision Elite Vision system, the robot not only has "good appearance", but also high "IQ"

Collision detection: Realizes safe human-machine interaction, able to detect whether there is a collision between the robot and the staff in real time, and ensure that the collision will not harm the staff with corresponding control strategies

Payload 10kg | Reach 1384.5mm
Qviro Quadrant for Cobots

What is a Cobot?

A cobot is a robotic arm that can work in close proximity to humans. It is designed to be safe by relying on lightweight materials, an inherent limitation of speed and force, or sensors and software. This design has the goal to prevent collisions or reduce the impact in the event of a collision. Though Cartesian robots and gantry robots are used interchangeably, gantry robots generally have two x-axes while Cartesian robots will have only one each of the two/three axes (according to the configuration).

What Does Cobot Stand For?

Cobot stands for Collaborative (Co) Robot (bot), which refers to the safety of the robot. It is a robot that is built to collaborate with humans.

How to Choose the Right Cobot?

Choosing the right cobot requires a complete and comprehensive assessment. Therefore, here are some quick definitions of the specs to take into consideration to help you pick the right cobot that fits your requirements and needs.

1. Payload:

Payload is essentially the weight that the cobot can carry. All cobots have a designated payload which is calculated as the sum of the weight of the End Of Arm Tooling (EOAT) and the weight of the product being picked. Palletizing or handling heavy products require a big payload, while handling small electronics does not.

Much like a human, a cobot arm will be better able to handle a load closer to the body. This explains why it is important to compare load diagrams of different cobots. We recommend narrowing down the cobots considering just the payload, but when you have a shortlist of 5 cobots, make sure to put the load diagrams next to each other.

2. Reach:

The reach of a cobot is measured by the distance from the center of the cobot to the fullest extension of the robotic arm. It is an intuitive indication of the working area of the cobot. If your application is palletizing, you will need a large reach. If your cobot needs to pick and place objects close to each other, a low reach will do.

By filtering cobots on an estimation of payload and reach, you will easily narrow down your search by 80%. That is why payload and reach always need to be the starting point of your search.

3. Repeatability:

In technical terms, repeatability of a cobot is the positional deviation from the average of displacement. It is the closeness of agreement between several positions reached by the cobot’s end-effector for the same controlled position, repeated several times under the same condition. Essentially it is the cobot’s ability to repeatedly execute the same task or the accuracy of the cobot.

Just like payload, repeatability depends on the position of the end effector with respect to the cobot’s body. Hence it is important to take into consideration that the repeatability that is expressed as a single value, is actually a spectrum. The smaller the repeatability, the more accurate the cobot, but also the more expensive. Therefore it is important to consider the needs of your application to choose the accuracy that is needed in the position that it is needed.

4. Ease of Use:

Cobots are much easier to program than conventional industrial robots. For cobot programming, it is often not necessary to write code, due to the software being intuitive. There are for example options for teaching by demonstration. This means that you would have to manually show the robot what to do by holding the cobot arm in your hands, like you would hold a child’s hand to demonstrate a movement. The steps include downloading a cobot software application and creating tasks in it, then teaching the cobot the specific movements that you would like to perform while recording them in the application. Reprogramming during production can also be carried out easily if necessary.

Ease of use is very important aspect to consider while making a purchasing decision of a cobot. The reason is that the programming salaries still make up for a big chunk of the budget. Faster implementation means a lower project price. But it also means less downtime if the plant engineers know how to reprogram the cobot for a new application without the need of an external integrator. While the previous parameters (payload, reach, repeatability,...) are parameterizable, ease of use is much more difficult to put a value on. It is a subjective parameter, which is why Qviro gathers product reviews to reveal the ease of use of cobots.

5. Quality of Documentation:
Documentation means all content available to assist during setup, programming, use or maintenance of a cobot. The documentation can be in different formats like datasheets, instruction videos, manuals, FAQ pages. High quality documentation results in successful projects with little or no contact with the supplier.

Visit the Qviro product page of the cobots you are interested in. The resources you find give a first impression of how well the supplier's documents prepare you for implementation. You can also have a look at the supplier’s website. The best way to know if a cobot has good documentation is to talk to people who have used the documentation during a project. That is why Qviro surveys people and asks them to rate the quality of documentation. Make sure to have a look at the reviews on the product pages.

6. ROS:

ROS (Robot Operating System) is a flexible framework for writing robot software. It is a collection of tools, libraries and conventions that aims to simplify the task of creating complex and robust robot behaviour across a wide variety of robotic platforms. Choosing a cobot that can run ROS will make things significantly easier.

7. Communication Protocol Possibilities:

Communication Protocols are a form of communication between a cobot and an operator or between a cobot and another cobot. With the rise of cobots, it is more and more common to witness cobots take on more intricate tasks. For example, this creates a potential situation where cobots are to interact with other cobots which requires a mode of communication to uphold efficiency and rapid production times. Hence there are a range of communication protocols that are suitable for a cobot, for example, I/O, Fieldbus, TCP/IP, MODBUS, ProfiNet, EtherNet/IP and XMLRPC just to name a few.

8. Offline Programming Possibilities:

The newest cobots tend to not use any programming. As mentioned in point four, cobots learn their tasks from their human operators. This is carried out by the operator manually showing the cobot the steps needed to complete the action or task required of them.

9. Compatibility:

When it comes to compatibility, choosing the right tool to go hand-in-hand with the cobot is crucial for the job you would like to perform. Whether it is assembling, positioning, picking up, or cutting and what kind of actions are required. Whilst selecting tools, it is important to take into consideration the shape and size of the workpiece, payload limits, target cycle time, and actuators. These factors are all interdependent. Some cobots are compatible with almost end-of-arm tools, whilst others are limited to specific brands.

1. Always choose all products required for your project at the same time.
2. Think about the future, you might use the same cobot for different applications and cobots that are compatible with a lot of brands offer more flexibility.

10. Unique features:
There are a plethora of varying types of cobots, each unique and fitted with distinctive features. For example, there are cobots that possess built-in vision systems (f.e. Techman's cobots) specifically for pattern recognition, object positioning and barcode identification. Another example includes dual-arm cobots (f.e. ABB Yumi) that are flexible collaborative work for space, gestures and collaboration methods. Dual-arm cobots allow for multi-objective optimization in respect to optimal collaboration.

With all these various factors to consider when examining your next cobot purchase, Qviro makes these criteria transparent with reviews of real users. This encapsulates what Qviro intends to do, to help users make the most confident of decisions on their next cobot purchase.

What Types of Cobots Exist?

Collaborative robots
come in four different types: Power and Force Limiting, Safety Rated and Monitored Stop, Speed and Separation, and Hand Guiding. Each of these types meets the standards set by the ISO Cobot Safety Guide. That means they can all work safely alongside humans.

Yet they also have their differences. Take the example of the Power and Force Limiting cobot to understand this point. It stands out from the rest due to its additional sensors. These sensors help it use standard industrial robots while remaining safe for human-cobot interaction.

The other three cobots lack this functionality. Though they make up for this ‘shortcoming’ by offering unique features of their own.

1. Power and Force Limiting Cobots:

Power and force limiting cobots stop operation on sensing contact with people. They have smart collision sensors and are equipped with physical features to prevent or minimize damage or injury in the event of contact. This allows them to work with (or near) humans.

Once a risk assessment ensures that it’s safe to use them, power and force limiting cobots won’t require any safety devices like vision systems, barriers, and external scanners. This reduces their upfront cost as you don’t have to purchase a plethora of safety equipment with them.

That isn’t to say that everything is great about these cobots. They are slower, smaller, and less powerful than the other three types of cobots. You cannot count on them to handle massive payloads either. Nor are they famous for their precision, which is currently lower than other cobots.

1. Have smart collision sensors
2. Can safely work alongside humans
3. Require lower investment

1. Cannot handle a massive payload
2. Types of power and force limiting cobots

  • Joint Sensing

These cobots use joints to monitor the forces applied to their body. Some collaborative robots use force-torque sensors to accomplish this objective, others rely on the current of their motor. They are extremely easy to operate and are by far the best choice for human-cobot interaction.

  • Skin Sensing

These cobots use tactile sensors to monitor the forces that might be applied to their body. Upon sensing potential impact, the sensor sends instructions to the cobot to stop moving, thereby preventing collisions. They are relatively difficult to operate than joint-sensing cobots but are equally safe.

  • Force Sensor Base

These cobots provide the best of both worlds. On the one end, they are capable of handling massive payloads. On the other, they still provide a good enough level of sensitivity to work safely alongside humans. Though adjusting these cobots isn’t easy when compared to joint sensors.

  • Inherently Safe

Their name makes it clear what ‘inherently safe’ cobots are all about. They cannot hurt their fellow human workers in most ways imaginable, mainly because they only handle low payloads. Though the end-of-arm-tooling (i.e. a welding tool) you might be using with them could affect their safety level.

2. Safety Rated + Monitored Stop Cobots
These cobots detect when a person has entered a shared workspace and stop working until the individual leaves the designated area. You won’t have to manually restart them by pressing a button – they’d automatically resume the task once the person has left.

This lets the worker complete their task with the knowledge that their safety won’t be endangered while they are in the shared workspace with the cobot. The cobot only will spring back to life either when they leave the area or if they pushed a button.

Safety rated + monitored stop cobots are for workspaces that involve minimal cobot and human interaction. That’s because they aren’t very good at collaborating with humans, although they do ensure human safety and also provide the convenience of automatically resuming operation.

1. Ensure human safety
2. Automatically resume operation

1. Aren't very good at collaborating with humans

3. Speed and Separation Cobots

Speed and Separation cobots work on the same principle as their Safety Rated counterparts but allow more cobot-to-human interaction. They have a vision system constantly monitoring the work area, divided into ‘’warning zone’’ and ‘’stop zone”.

As a person enters the “warning” zone, the cobot slows down but continues working at a reduced pace. It will continue doing so unless the vision system detects presence in the ‘’stop zone”, after which it would signal the cobot to halt its operation.

The majority of speed and separation cobots you see on the market come with attached vision systems. This allows them to operate seamlessly. Some, like the TM Robot, are equipped with a built-in vision system to save you from spending extra on additional installments.

1. Leverage industrial robots
2. Collaborate with human worker

1. Pricier than Safety Rated Cobots

4. Hand Guiding Cobots

Hand guiding cobots come with a ‘hand-operated’ device using which the operator controls their movement and ‘teaches’ them tasks they’re required to perform. They are easier to reprogram than other collaborative robots, most of which require the recoding of their systems.

What’s more, since these cobots can be taught quickly, downtime is limited with them. This is incredibly useful in scenarios where the cobot has to be programmed (or reprogrammed) on the fly. However, if the cobot isn’t force limited, safety guarding should be in place to protect the human operator.

1. Easy to reprogram
2. Limited downtime

1. Require proper safety guarding if it isn't a force limited cobot

What are the Common Applications of Cobots?

1. Palletizing:

Palletizing is the process of loading products on or unloading products from pallets. It is a very repetitive and ergonomically hazardous task for humans.

Cobots are used for palletizing because their ease of programming and installation makes it possible to use a cobot on different production lines on one day. Cobots don’t require fencing which makes it easier to be activated where needed.

2. Picking and Placing:

Picking and placing is the process of picking up parts and placing them in another location. It is a very repetitive task.

Cobots are used for picking and placing in order to increase production rates and for consistency. Cobots can be used alone if the location of the parts is known or in combination with advanced vision systems to identify the location of objects.

3. Assembly:

Assembly is the process of putting parts together to make another product. Bolting, screwing, part fitting and insertion are examples of assembly tasks. Assembly can be repetitive and unergonomic, especially when workers handle heavy tools to drive screws and nuts.

Cobots are used for assembly because they can move heavy tools faster than humans. Because of their force-sensing they can ‘feel’ when tightening is complete in order to avoid an overload of torque.

4. Machine Loading:

Machine (un)loading, also called machine tending, is the process of supplying and placing parts into a machine so that the machine can perform an operation on the part. Examples of machines are CNC machines, injection molding machines, press brakes, stamping presses. There is a risk of injury associated with working in close proximity to heavy machinery.

Cobots are used for machine loading to reduce operation costs and to reduce accidental injuries.

5. Welding:
Welding is the process of fusing together two or more parts by means of heat, pressure or both forming a join as the parts cool. Welding requires very skilled operators.

Cobots are used for welding because they have the ability to create a longer, continuous weld seam and there is the opportunity to have a lower cost per part.

6. Polishing and grinding:

Polishing and grinding are processes of rubbing a surface to make it smooth. They are precision jobs that require experience. Workers are exposed to an unhealthy working environment.

Cobots are used for polishing and grinding because they have an internal force-feedback system that allows for a precise treatment.

7. Gluing and dispensing:

Gluing and dispensing are processes of applying a liquid to a part. Dosing the amount and dividing the liquid evenly make the process a precision task.

Cobots are used for gluing and dispensing in order to waste less material, reduce rework and improve cycle times.