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Appearance "Industrial" v/s "Collaborative" Robots

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
These new fangled cobots I guess look sleek and clean, but they appear that they would be a nightmare to have to wrench on? There is nothing exposed. The motors, and even the end effector's I/O has got to be all tucked up in there somewhere. Seems that motors could git hot if working in a warm setting? Are we not expecting cabling issues much quicker with bending/twisting much tighter?

It appears that the biggest difference between the "robot" and the "cobot" is the effort to nix pinch points.
???

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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

sfriedberg

Diamond
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Location
Oregon, USA
Pinch points, but also some of them are deliberately made weak, so when it socks you in the head it's like a punch, not an SUV impact. The ones that are not made weak have pretty serious load/torque monitoring tied into safety circuits so they will stop if they strike something at an unanticipated point in their motion (like pinning your hand between the robot, or a part it's carrying, and a machine frame).
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Gosiger had a stand-alone / portable robotic tending station in both the Hardinge and the Okuma booths. Those units had a proximity detector that would put the robot in slow, or stop modes, depending on how close you were standing. Much easier to set up, but not as rigid as a light curtain. Meaning that I wonder how many times that you might trip the prox unknowingly while just being in the area and stepping in too closely?

It looked like a decent unit that was ready for service and at a price point that was lower than some other numbers that I have heard tossed around prior for similar units. It had a yellow robot with red and black motors on it.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
My dad used to work at a semiconductor fab. I was a well liked child by the higher ups so my dad was allowed to take spare parts for decommissioned machinery home to me. One of the machines I got was a little cartesian wafer loading robot.
The neat thing about this robot that I have seen nowhere else was that all of the joints had flat flex cables between stainless spring sheets. It was a very reliable, very slim way of getting power and signals around a moving joint. I think I still have some of the flex signals.
Anyway, it's a way cleaner approach to machine design than a bunch of loose wires shoved in a casting, but I'm sure it's more expensive.
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
I will add that one of the big barriers to programming complex parts is the chunky joints of the robot getting in the way, and the asymmetrical joints not mirroring for left and right variants of a part. If they want it to be as easy to use as possible, then it should be as slim on the business end as possible.

What I really want is a fully symmetrical robot with through arm wire feed, an assist feeder near the end of the arm, a gimballed torch, and continuous rotation on the torch rotate joint. But that's all an engineering challenge that many would find unnecessary.
 

thunderskunk

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Location
Middle-of-nowhere
The slender outside thing sounded like it was from feedback around programing locations by man-handling it into place; softer touch points for bare hands, better control, etc. I think it's just marketing, and I don't blame them. When you bring a brochure to the boss and say I want this robot for use outside a cage, it's going to sell better if it looks like a child's toy that pets kittens rather than spawn of the terminator. At the end of the day, who really uses a cobot like a cobot? At least on this forum. I just want it to move stuff after I walk away.

Productive Robotics had a booth at IMTS; fairly inexpensive cobot with their own custom joint... wobbled though. They said "we've never replaced a joint" and I laughed a bit. We ran URs into the ground, and joint replacement was a big deal. Their newer units have improved joints based on feedback to make installation easier and life longer, which made a big impression. To say "you'll never have to replace a joint" sounds like you just haven't run your machine through its life cycle. But hey maybe it does last forever, I've never worked with one of their units.
 








 
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