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The Future of Cobots in Manufacturing

Neelesh-ChipadelAutomation is rapidly and undeniably taking all over the manufacturing industries. Industrial automation is no longer just a choice or a distant possibility for advanced processes, it is quickly becoming a requirement for businesses moving forward to maintain a competitive edge.

Manufacturing cobots or collaborative robots are ideal to fit in the advanced era of automation. With the help of collaborative robots, both large corporations and small businesses can expand and automate processes in their factories, warehouses, and research facilities. Collaborative robots, in particular, can perform repetitive, hazardous, or precise tasks alongside human workers.

Let us look more closely at how cobots in manufacturing are becoming increasingly popular and will undoubtedly play an important role towards the sector’s development in the coming years.

Cobots, or collaborative robots, are relatively a new area of industrial robotics. Because they are simpler, easier, and more flexible. Cobots are designed to be a reliable partner that can work hand-in-hand with humans and increase the work efficiency and productivity. They pose no risk, require little to no programming, and simplify connectivity. Because of these benefits, cobots are a game changer for a variety of applications. Cobots are a low-cost, easy-to-use solution which increases the productivity while posing few risks and provide numerous benefits.

What are the distinctions between industrial robots and cobots?

In the manufacturing industry, the distinction between cobots and robots is based on their intended use and, as a result, the type of task assigned to them. Both Collaborative robots and Industrial robots are used to increase the productivity and efficiency by providing more force, energy, accuracy, and data. However, reprogramming industrial robots is a complex process which requires a skilled engineer or a developer. Cobots on the other hand, are easier to program and quickly learn new skills as they are a fusion of a human and machine which is the most efficient and reliable combination.

Following are the main distinction between Industrial Robots and Collaborative Robots:

  1. Partnership with Humans

A cobot can double up as an assistant to a human operator. It is designed to work in partnership with humans. Traditional robots, on the other hand, are programmed to finish an automated task with very little or no human interaction.

  1. Programming

When compared to industrial robots, cobots are easier to program. In fact, one of the most marketed features of collaborative robots is the ease of programming. They are made in such a way that they are extremely easy-to-use as well.

  1. Safety

Cobots are designed to work alongside people. This means that they are safe enough to function around humans and hence do not need the safety infrastructure that industrial robots require.

  1. Heavy Manufacturing

Industrial robots are capable of handling larger, heavier materials like the ones used in auto manufacturing. Hence, they are well-suited for heavy manufacturing. Cobots, on the other hand, aren’t designed for heavy manufacturing owing to their size and their requirement of working in proximity to human employees.

  1. Functionality

Traditional industrial robots are usually fixed equipment created for extremely high-precision, high-volume, and high-speed production. As far as cobots are concerned, they are well suited for manufacturers with low volume, high-mix production or those who want to safely automate processes alongside workers. As compared to conventional robots, cobots can easily be moved and used in various areas of production. A majority of them can easily be mounted on any surface. Moreover, they are often lightweight enough to be carried by a single person.


Collaborative robots, when trained can help businesses scale up and automate various production processes, which can lead to consistent working even in the absence of a human for a particular task. The bottom line is that cobots in manufacturing can improve quality control, increase effectiveness, and intensifies the output.

They improve security of workers by taking control of less desirable tasks. Cobots are generally beneficial to SMEs because they can assist humans efficiently and can prove to be economical for a variety of processes in the long run.

The Shortcomings of Cobots in The Manufacturing Industry

The main disadvantages of cobots in manufacturing are not related to their functionality, but rather to the question of whether a particular business should use them or not. For example, as previously stated, cobots are not designed for heavy manufacturing and cannot perform heavy lifting. They’re not entirely automated and are always dependent on a human to operate them which can prove to be an advantage as well as a disadvantage depending on its usage.

However, there are still some constraints for collaborative robots in terms of cognitive and skilled tasks. Nonetheless, as technology advances, cobots—or, more precisely, their engineers and developers—will most likely overcome these disadvantages.

In manufacturing, we can use cobots to perform a variety of routine tasks, such as:

  1. Picking and placing
  2. Bin-picking
  3. Palletizing
  4. Packaging
  5. Machine maintenance and supervision
  6. Testing and quality control
  7. Screwing, gluing, and sealing
  8. Tasks related to the process, such as soldering and welding
  9. Sanding, polishing, deburring, and grinding

Cobots are used in a variety of fields and industries due to their adaptability, such as the production of goods for the electronics, aerospace, automotive, furniture, and plastic modeling industries, to name a few. They also work in agriculture (picking and placing), labs, research, security (monitoring), food services and food production (precision tasks, repetitive tasks), healthcare, and pharmaceuticals, among other fields.

The Future of Cobots in Manufacturing

Expectations as per the various reports state that cobot market might show a massive growth in the near future. Cobots are quickly becoming a significant component of manufacturing automation as the technology proves to be reliable and more businesses are willing to use it.

Cobots will become more advanced and adaptable over the next few years. Precision and cognitive tasks performed by cobots will improve in sync with AI’s capabilities. Furthermore, with IIoT, Cobots can already connect to other machines, gadgets, network databases., In future cobots will be able to improve a variety of factory workflows and even offer useful data analytics.

Mitsubishi Electric under its factory automation advancements created the collaborative robot – ASSISTA. ASSISTA is an advanced Collaborative Robot and assures security which can work alongside humans. It is simple, easier, and more flexible. Furthermore, ASSISTA requires no robot programming expertise, offers immense ease of operation, and allows hassle-free connectivity with a wide range of components. Operating buttons on the robot’s arm allow for simple control and operation. ASSISTA epitomizes versatility, providing a wide range of components such as Vision, Fingers, Grippers, and other peripherals which are developed by MELFA Robot Partners. These tools allow for easy setup and can easily be configured for specific applications. As a result, automation is better implemented and is a lot more efficient. Flexibility is another key trait of ASSISTA, which is why it can be configured to move freely either as a mobile robot or as a part of an AGV/AMR. With its adaptable design and simple operation, ASSISTA presents a compelling case as a Collaborative Workspace Partner. As a result, the operators can easily adjust the robot arm’s position and set waypoints. The 6-color LED ring mounted around the robot’s forearm constantly displays the operational state and fault diagnostics is also notable. ASSISTA, as a Collaborative Workspace Partner, has a lot to offer: a flexible design, simple programming, easy use, and the ability to connect and work with a variety of components which is perfect to increase the productivity and efficiency of a human.


Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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