As the industrial robotics market begins to saturate, collaborative robots are becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses. Collaborative robots (cobots) are designed to work side-by-side with human workers and come in various shapes and sizes. This article will discuss the different kinds of cobots available today.
What is a collaborative robot, and how does it differ from traditional industrial robots?
Traditional industrial robots are designed to work autonomously, meaning they can be programmed to perform tasks without human intervention. They also tend to be larger and more expensive than cobots, which is why many businesses opt for the latter option.
Cobots are smaller, lighter, and cheaper than traditional robotics systems, and they can be programmed to work cooperatively with human workers. It means that cobots can be used in situations where a traditional robot may not have been suitable, such as in small-scale production lines or when assembling delicate components.
The six main types of collaborative robots and their applications
Here are the six main types of collaborative robots and their applications:
Cartesian robots, also known as linear robots, are the most common cobot type and can be found in various industries. They are designed to carry out tasks within a rectangular workspace and have three linear axes of motion. Typical applications for Cartesian robots include pick-and-place operations and machine tending.
A Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) robot is designed to carry out operations within a confined workspace, such as a work cell or production line. They are typically used for assembly and dispensing tasks but can also be programmed to carry out more complex movements.
Delta Robots are swift and precise robotic arms that use parallel kinematics for their motion control. They consist of three linear arms joined at the base and have a rotary joint at each end of the arm, allowing them to move independently from one another. Typical applications for delta robots include packaging, palletizing, and pick-and-place operations.
Articulated robots are the most complex type of cobot and are typically used in applications that require a high degree of precision and accuracy. They consist of multiple rotary joints and can be programmed to carry out intricate movements. Typical uses include welding, painting, and material handling.
Cylindrical robots are similar to Cartesian robots but have two linear axes instead of three. They have fewer axes of motion, so they tend to be less expensive than other cobots. Typical applications include pick-and-place operations, machine tending, and palletizing.
Spherical or polar coordinate robots:
These robotic arms use a spherical coordinate system and are used in applications requiring a high degree of skill. They are typically used for assembly operations, such as a screwdriver and riveting.
Collaborative robots can be an invaluable asset for businesses looking to reduce labor costs and improve productivity. By understanding the different types of cobots available today, businesses can make informed decisions about which type of robot best suits their needs. As collaborative robots become increasingly sophisticated, they will undoubtedly play an even more significant role in manufacturing in the years ahead.
How to choose the right collaborative robot for your business?
When choosing the right collaborative robot for your business, there are several factors to consider.
First, you must decide on the type of cobot best suits your needs. Consider what tasks you would like the robot to carry out, like using robots in education and what level of automation you require. It would help if you also thought about the amount of space available in your workspace and whether or not a human operator will be necessary for some operations.
Once you have chosen the type of robot best suited to your application, it is vital to ensure that it meets all regulatory standards and safety requirements. It includes ensuring that any ‘safety-rated’ components are certified by an accredited body. Finally, it is vital to consider the cost of ownership over the long term.
Collaborative robots are becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing industry and can offer businesses a range of advantages, such as improved productivity, cost savings, and better safety standards. When selecting the right robot for your business, it is vital to consider the type of robot best suited to your needs, its cost of ownership, and its compliance with industry regulations. By understanding all these factors and making the right choice, businesses can enjoy many benefits from using collaborative robots.