Collaborative robots are a form of robotic automation built to work collaboratively alongside humans. Unlike industrial robots, which operate behind cages and a number of different types of safety equipment, collaborative robots work without any form of external safety equipment.
Featuring light weights, rounded edges, force sensing, vision systems, and simple programming, collaborative robots are designed much differently than industrial robots, from the physical structure all the way down to the programming that operates them.
These robots have seen widespread adoption in a number of industries and offer several advantages for end users.
Growth Factors in the Collaborative Robots Market
According to a recent report from Interact Analysis, the market for collaborative robots is expected to reach a value of $7.5 billion by 2027, accounting for 29% of the entire industrial robots market. In 2018 alone, the market grew 60% over 2017 to $600 million.
Collaborative robots are growing fast. Some of the most prominent reasons for this growth include a shortage of qualified workers, increasing labor costs, higher product mixes with shorter cycle times, greater need for flexibility in automation, and stricter demands for faster ROI and productivity.
How Collaborative Robots Benefit End Users
One of the primary benefits of collaborative robots is their low cost deployment. Some collaborative robots can be programmed simply by guiding the robot arm by hand. This ease of use and low cost of integration make the benefits of robotic automation available to all manufacturers, even small businesses with lower production volumes and less capital for investment in automation.
On top of low cost deployment, collaborative robots are much safer than industrial robots, which minimizes productivity draining disruptions and increases employee satisfaction. Collaborative robots are also flexible, able to take on a variety of different tasks, which helps to accelerate the ROI of automation investment.
Collaborative robots offer many benefits for end users - in particular their ease of use, flexibility, safety, and quick ROI make them appealing to many different manufacturers.
The collaborative robots market is growing quickly. Many of the most pressing problems manufacturers face on a daily basis are promptly solved by the introduction of collaborative robots. As the technology improves and costs decrease, collaborative robots will continue to see rising adoption.
To learn more, read our beginner’s article on Robotics Online, “What are Collaborative Robots?”