Browse Definitions :
Definition

collaborative robot (cobot)

A collaborative robot, also known as a cobot, is a robot that is capable of learning multiple tasks so it can assist human beings. In contrast, autonomous robots are hard-coded to repeatedly perform one task, work independently and remain stationary.

Today, advances in mobile technology, machine vision, cognitive computing and touch technology (including collision avoidance) are making it possible for small, lower-power robots to be aware of their surroundings and perform multiple types of tasks safely in close proximity to human workers. A cobot, when working side by side a human, can quickly learn tasks through demonstration and reinforcement learning.

As of this writing, the majority of industrial robots are still autonomous. They are expensive, large and reside behind barriers for safety reasons. Although industrial robots have played an important role in the automotive industry and its suppliers, their high cost, large size, weight and complex programming requirements have limited their use in other vertical industries.  Another barrier to adoption is the cultural fear of robots dominating the workplace and replacing human employees.

Cobots are purposely designed to address this fear. A collaborative robot is not intended to augment the human worker's capabilities, not take the place of a human worker. In many cases, the cobot takes the form of an arm, providing the worker with an extra set of hands.

Today, collaborative robots are currently used in several vertical industries, including manufacturing, supply chain management and healthcare. They generally have lower power requirements than their large, autonomous counterparts, are often mobile and use collision detection to prevent injury to their human colleagues and other cobots.

Popular collaborative robot manufacturers include Universal Robots, KUKA, Rethink Robotics and Franka.

This was last updated in June 2018

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Some of these co-bots are cute, but only one is ready for the industrial automation environment, Universal Robots. @axisnj
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • brute force attack

    Brute force (also known as brute force cracking) is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted ...

  • spyware

    Spyware is software that is installed on a computing device without the user's knowledge. Spyware can be difficult to detect; ...

  • ATM black box attack

    An ATM black box attack, also referred to as jackpotting, is a type of banking-system crime in which the perpetrators bore holes ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

SearchStorage

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close