Cobots, or collaborative robots, are robots intended for direct human robot interaction within a shared space, or where humans and robots are in close proximity. Cobot applications contrast with traditional industrial robot applications in which robots are isolated from human contact. Cobot safety may rely on lightweight construction materials, rounded edges, and inherent limitation of speed and force, or on sensors and software that ensures safe behavior.
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) recognizes two types of robots
1) Industrial robots used in automation (in an industrial environment)
2) Service robots for domestic and professional use. Service robots could be considered to be cobots as they are intended to work alongside humans. Industrial robots have traditionally worked separately from humans behind fences or other protective barriers, but cobots remove that separation.
Collaborative Robot refers to a robot that is designed to directly interact with people in the collaboration area.
What is the difference for collaborative robot?
Industrial robots cannot meet the needs of the emerging personalized market, such as reduce labor costs and flexible production, etc.
- Traditional Industrial robots replace production lines with production lines.
- Collaborative robots replace individual personnel.
Cobots were invented in 1996 by J. Edward Colgate and Michael Peshkin, professors at Northwestern University. Their 1997 US patent entitled "Cobots" describes "an apparatus and method for direct physical interaction between a person and a general purpose manipulator controlled by a computer."