Traditional robots are known and used for their ability to perform repetitive tasks with a very high cadency, providing them an important efficiency. This high cadency implies, nevertheless, high-speed movements that can harm workers around the robot. Thus, it is necessary to install a fenced enclosure around it, in order to remove the potential danger.
Cobots are particular robots on which are placed additional sensors able to anticipate the presence of an operator in a precise zone and able to stop in case of contact. This function allows close collaboration between the robot and the humans. The speed limit, acceleration and the robot's force are also set by the cobotics ISO TS 15066 norm, which allows the operator to safely work in the robot's operating area. Unlike industrial robots, cobots do not require the installation of a fence, reducing the cost of the solution, as well as the place it requires.
This additional layer of intelligence turns the robot safe for operators and people around. Nevertheless, some risks related to the tool or the process remain (cutting station or welding for instance). It is, therefore, necessary to respect the strict rules in application.