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Industrial Robotics & Automation

Industrial Robotics & Automation


For more than 35 years, SwRI has been developing innovative automation and robotics solutions. World-class experts and experienced engineers comprise the automation engineering staff. Automation engineering facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories and large prototype areas for development.

Innovations in Automation Blog

Are cobots really safe and easy to use?

an orange and silver cobot sitting on work bench to the left of a blue and silver cobot picking up widget in gripper

This is the second post in a series about collaborative robots, also called cobots. Our first post explained that cobots are industrial robots designed to be safer to use near humans and more easily programed to complete simple tasks by a worker who is not a robotics expert. In this second post, we look in detail at cobot safety and ease of use.

What is a cobot and does my company need one?

woman holding a cobot teach pendant in front of a cobot with a man in the background working on another robot

Collaborative robot, or cobot, has become something of a buzzword in the automation industry. The popularity of cobots has created an explosion of new models from all the major robot manufacturers as well as many industry newcomers. If you are new to the field, it can be challenging to know which model to pick or even determine if a cobot is the right solution.

Extending the Industrial Robot Life Cycle

xray of robotic arm with the words Innovations in Automation Blog overlayed

Typically, robots are not in service long enough to require “major” upgrades. In a typical robot’s service life, there may be some software updates and improvements to the end of arm tooling (EOAT) but no major changes. In contrast, some of the robots we have developed, operate effectively for decades. There are key lessons to be learned when planning for an extended robot life cycle with upgrades and retrofits that must be planned to keep the systems healthy and happy.