Collaborative robots known as cobots are rapidly capturing the market compared to traditional robots.
The cobots got an appreciative profile with a high return on investment, flexibility, and low cost, and require only a vision system, controller, and an indicator.
However, cobots got their restraints in heavy-industry like automotive, metals, or heavy machinery industries where the payload is exceeding the threshold capacity of cobots. The average speed of cobots is 1m/s whereas a traditional robot got a higher speed for the same payload.
Even though cobots, have become popular robots among small to mid-scale companies but its competitors in the large scale industry, the opportunity is less.
The collaborative robots are designed at the speed of a human arm, so the safety of human employees is ensured. Hence, the restriction of speed increases the cycle time. The comparison of such restraints are:-
- The total speed of the Sawyer Black Edition collaborative robot from Rethink Robotics is 1.5 m/s. The speed of the COBOTTA collaborative robot from DENSO is 500 mm/s.
- The speed of AURA-170-2.8 from COMAU is 2 m/thus, the average speed of collaborative robots is around 1m/s.
It clearly shows the restriction and where cobots are facing difficulty to meet the industrial standards.
The major players are Universal Robots A/S, Fanuc Operation, TechMan Robot Inc., Rethink Robotics GmbH, AUBO Robotics USA, YASKAWA, and DOOSAN Robotics.
Some of the merging companies in cobots are F&P Robotics (Switzerland), Wyzo (Switzerland), MIP Robotics (France), Neura Robotics (Germany), Elite Robot (China), and Kassow Robot (Denmark).
Another route of market growth for companies is through acquisitions or collaboration with the COBOT experts.
- OMRON TM cobot expanding its market in Europe, The Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) via OMRON Industrial Automation Europe signing the distribution agreement with OnRobot (a Danish manufacturer of cobot applications).
- OMRON corporation in a capital investment agreement with Techman Robot, Inc. OMRON is announced to hold a 10% stake in Techman Robot, Inc.
- Epson Robots launched its first virtual expo, Automate Boldly in the factory automation range for informative keynote presentations, technology sessions, and product demonstrations.
- ABB expanding the cobot portfolio market with the launch of new GoFa™ and SWIFTI™ cobot families, offering higher payloads and speeds to complement YuMi® and Single Arm YuMi® in ABB’s cobot line-up. (Mordor Intelligence)
In my opinion, with time, cobots may replace the traditional robot in some heavy sectors also with innovative advancements. The payload and speed are the hurdles, but with time cobots may upgrade due to massive demand. Or it may replace some traditional robots in the heavy sector. Maybe not completely, as it may not be needed also.