Industry 4.0

Cobot, your new work colleague

Collaborative robotics has burst into the industrial and services sector with the aid of cobots (collaborative robots). This new typology of robots requires the continuous interaction with humans to achieve their potential to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of companies.

From the 1960s onwards, robotics triggered an outstanding transformation of industrial activity. The industrial robots we have known until now were mainly designed to automatize very specific predefined tasks –in an assembly line, for instance–, without the need of a constant human presence beside it. The image of chains with large-sized robots operating alone is still common, in many cases locked in a cage and isolated from any direct contact with workers due to safety reasons.  

New paradigm in industrial robotics

Today, the concept of collaborative robotics is fully transforming this traditional image by means of its most important expression: cobots (collaborative robots). Unlike their predecessors, cobots cannot operate on their own: their existence and functionality are based on the continuous interaction with humans, working side by side in the same space and creating an inseparable working pair.  

The conceptual shift that turns cobots into an essential piece of the industry 4.0 can be seen as a paradigm change: instead of replacing human presence, they require it to reinforce, improve and multiply it, providing strength, accuracy and data in multiple processes.

Cobots banish the image of the autonomous robot that replaces workers.

A customized solution

In only two decades, cobots have already taken an evolutionary leap thanks to the incorporation of technological advances in sensors –especially robotic vision– and connectivity, so that by 2027 it is predicted that one out of every three robots on the market will be collaborative. By definition, cobots are lighter, more flexible and easier to use that traditional robots. Thus, they can be applied to very diverse sectors, ranging from industrial production or logistics to medicine, and to companies of any given dimension.

More information about cobots on You’ve Heard Of Robots; What Are Cobots (Forbes) or watching next video… Have fun!