Industrial robots vs cobot

Industrial robots vs cobot

When it comes to automating your manufacturing processes, one of the first questions you'll ask is whether to employ traditional industrial robots or collaborative robots (cobots). While there are many distinctions, it's also worth noting that robots are only part of the equation.

Industrial robots are generally large, stationary equipment intended for high-volume, high-accuracy, and high-speed manufacturing. Because of the rapid arm movement of industrial robots, they may pose a threat to human workers, thus necessitating such things as a cage to keep people out of the robot's working area. The integration of the robot and its safety cage may increase costs dramatically, as can the requirement for expert services to program these sophisticated robots and connect them with other manufacturing equipment and machines.

Traditional industrial robots are well suited to production operations that will last years and decades, and their advantages over other types of robots include the following: They can work in extreme weather conditions with limited access to maintenance.

For traditional industrial applications, end-of-arm tooling will typically be highly specialized to the task. Because human workers are kept out of the work envelope, the tool does not require collaborative safety features, and simplicity isn't necessary because the application will be programmed by an integrator.

Cobots are ideal for businesses with small volumes and high-mix manufacturing, as well as those who need to safely automate procedures while keeping humans safe. This might include automating a repetitive process and handing over a component to a human for inspection or to finish a complicated assembly operation.

Cobots are relatively inexpensive to purchase and program, making them an appealing investment for small manufacturers. They provide a quick return on investment because they're compact and light enough to be effortlessly transferred and reused in numerous processes across a manufacturing plant. Assist with routine maintenance tasks, as well as providing support in emergency situations. These useful, cost-effective, and user-friendly tools allow firms of almost any size (and level of technical expertise) to increase productivity, improve quality, and respond more quickly to changing customer needs.

The end-of-arm tooling is a crucial component in maximizing cobot effectiveness. These tools are made with the safety of human workers in mind and are simple to program using the robot's teach pendant. They're cost-effective, versatile, and easy to customize for various applications that provide quick payback and fast outcomes.

Here are some of the differences between cobots and traditional industrial robots.


  • Big batches, little variability

Ideal for large businesses that produce a large number of the same items on a regular basis.

  • Complex deployment

It takes days or weeks to set up, and it requires considerable programming knowledge.

  • Requires constancy

Designed for the unchanging environment and the same activity with minimal adaptation required.

  • Not safe without guarding

Typically, this entails restricting access to the robot's work cell so that humans cannot get inside.

  • Focus on the robot

Over years, it repeats the same activities with a stagnant tool that is linked to a specific procedure.

  • Big investment, longer ROI

Large upfront investment and a longer return on investment are required for more expensive robots, system integration, and operator training.



  • Low-volume, high-mix

Designed for low-volume, high-mix manufacturing, in which the robot is frequently relocated for new procedures.

  • Fast and easy deployment

It's simple to set up, and even novice users can do it in minutes.

  • Adapts to environment

Adaptable to fit the ever-changing work environment and workpieces.

  • Collaborative and safe

Humans can work side-by-side with robots in collaborative settings after risk assessment.

  • Focus on the EOAT

As robots become a commodity, attention shifts to EOAT (end-of-arm tooling) in order to increase robot use.

  • Lower upfront cost, faster ROI

Competitive pricing, in-house integration, and simplicity of use minimize upfront expenditures while also increasing uptime and ROI.



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