Robot and cobot

These terms are often confusing. When do you use the word robot and when should you use cobot? What are the benefits? And what are the differences? We will explain all this for you.

Difference between a robot and a cobot

The term cobot means collaborative robot. This industrial robot variant is developed to work in collaboration with humans. Characteristics of the cobot are the flexible deployment, great safety, and the simplicity of setting up. A cobot has built-in sensors that guarantee the employee’s safety. If the cobot gets into contact with an employee during a movement, it will stop immediately.

A (industrial) robot needs environmental scanners or safety fences to ensure employee safety, which means that a robot needs more surface area in comparison with a cobot. A robot can generally handle higher speeds. Furthermore, the payload (carrying capacity) can be higher for a robot than for a cobot.

Advantages of cobots

The biggest advantage is that cobots are safe to work with alongside an employee. The employee can stand next to the cobot and carry out his tasks without any worries or a fence. As mentioned earlier, it stops as soon as it comes into contact with an employee.

But a cobot has more advantages. It can, for example, be used in places with little space. And it is far more mobile compared to the often large industrial robot. The cobot also takes over the monotonous work of employees. Our experience is that a cobot supports the employee, rather than replacing them. The repeatability of a cobot is far more accurate than what a human can achieve.

Cobots are deployed increasingly often for automating machine tending and assembly in production companies.

We are a preferred partner for Universal Robots in the Benelux, which is the undisputed market leader of cobots.

A fanuc robot and cobot of Universal Robots next to each other
Advantages of robots

A big advantage is that industrial robots can work faster because unlike the cobots, they are allowed to use higher speed limits due to the safety fence. Furthermore, robots are often used for actions that cannot be performed by humans, for instance because products are too heavy to carry. An industrial robot can pick up up to several hundred kilos of products.

Whether you should opt for a cobot or an industrial robot depends entirely on your wishes and needs. Due to the low threshold with regard to implementation, the cobot is more accessible for SMEs to automate.

For more information and possibilities, please feel free to contact us.