Industrial robots typically performed simple, routine tasks on the factory floor, leaving complex or less routine tasks to humans. Collaborative robots working in close proximity to humans are the solution. Business Insider reports that “co-bots can boost productivity with the same number of workers or replace workers altogether.”
Co-bots boost productivity because they are not only cheaper and faster than industry robots, but they’re also smarter. Unlike industry robots, which are typically caged while doing tasks in order to keep humans safe, co-bots have integrated sensors and soft, rounded surfaces. These sensors and design features reduce the risk of accidental pinching or crushing, making co-bots safe for human interaction.
Co-bots also have force-limited joints, which can sense and react quickly to forces due to impact. These joints mean co-bots have more “human” capabilities, like dexterity, memory, sensing, and trainability. As a result, co-bots are able to do more jobs, including testing and inspecting products, picking and packaging products, and assembling electronics.