Collaborative Robots – Advantage and Disadvantage of Cobots in Real Life
What are Cobots ?
Cobots or collaborative robots are complex machine which work in a close proximity within the shared space with the human. Unlike the traditional industrial robots which are isolated from human and work on their own. Typically, cobots are created to share the same work with human beings. The emergence of the cobot gives more choice to the users in between industrial robots and the cobot. Though the cobots are getting evolved day by day becoming sophisticated and independent machines sharing work space but the true partners of the human being.
Important things to look about
Cobots are safe to work with because of the lightweight construction materials, rounded edges, certain limitation in speed and force, or having a sensor or software which can ensure the safety. The fact that they can detect abnormality in their surrounding environment through the force limitation or vision monitoring. The cobots have force sensors in them to stop their motion in case of an impact. This allows the robot to run in full speed without worry about the potential danger.
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Basic difference between cobots and robots
There are various models of cobots in the market from small tabletop robots to cobots of carrying heavier loads. Cobots can have many uses, logistics robots that transport materials within a building, from information robots in public spaces, to industrial robots that help automate tasks such as helping people moving heavy parts.
In industry application now a days cobot and human worker share same space but complete tasks independently or sequentially which is called co-operative or responsive collaboration. As different from industrial robots which are large robots tends work like in manufacturing. Whereas cobots carry out wielding and spray painting.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of cobot ?
Advantage of cobot
- Cobots are less expensive as it doesn’t required safeguard. Sometimes depending on the time duration of its use and application, company can ROI that is strong enough to have the payback within a year.
- The work of Cobot is always same as it is programmed. Which means that cobots work consistently with the same force and the same process. However, the quality of the final result is same always. So, if the consistency is important in safe ground than cobots can be good choice.
- They can coexist with the human directly sharing the same work space. As they are smaller than most industrial robots, they are compact solution. This makes them suitable for working in less space. Therefore, reduced the workspace accommodation and easy programming.
- Cobots are smaller and can easily be transferred in various industry. They are not so heavy and less complicated so they can be easily integrated to work alongside human.
- Some of the cobot have software that allows the user to reprogram the machine to change for a new work which means that cobot can be assigned to a new task or work within hours. So, the cobot working on spraying paint in the morning can also work in screw together crates in the evening.
- People can change the cobots work allowing operations to realize higher productivity without either additional labour or extensive capital investment.
- Cobot help in reducing the human labour and stress freeing them for other works. Cobots are made keeping in mind of the human strain from repetitive work. The human worker assigned in repetitive task than cobot can handle those tasks such as loading machines, during the assembling of product screwing needs to be fastened, taking the load of the product etc. So the human worker can check on other works or supervise. Sometimes some works can’t be done by human labour so cobots are the friendly option.
Disadvantage of cobot
- Because of its safe nature cobot aren’t much powerful. high speed accelerated work can’t be performed by cobots.
- Cobot can’t take higher loads for it’s restricted speed, lower power limits. Cobots are good for lower payloads.
- Cobot require a restricted working area to ensure the worker’s safety. For setting up the cobot in initial stage can be costly and substantial.
- Work speed of the cobot can be slowed if the safety comes into question, which means cobot may stop working every time if it senses any human presence near it’s working environment.
- Some of the cobot are programmed to slow down when there is a human presence near it or to shut down completely when the human is very close to it so for that costly measure has to be out on.
- As these cobot workalong side the human, they cannot work without human assistance or supervision like the industrial robots. That means they can’t work alone.
Cobots are opening new possibilities for the opportunities to automate an operation. Employees should not fear that the cobot will take over their jobs instead they should stay calm. As in fact, the cobots are designed for making the work easy for the industrial workers to perform their jobs well. The cobot function side by side with a supervisor overseeing its operations. However, they won’t replace traditional industrial robots, they are an excellent way to make the space so that robots can help make our lives easier and our processes more efficient. Even seeing a few new applications where cobot have been successful can spark so many new ideas for their implementation. As both machine are make for the betterment for the human livelihood.