In Italy, cobots are getting popular and the internal production rises.

Cobots, or collaborative robots, are a particular evolution of traditional robotics; it is a completely different approach to robotics, with a special focus on cooperation between man and machine.

First of all, what is a Cobot?

The cobot was born in 1996, created to cooperate with workers; this in total opposition to the traditional robotics that, till ’90s had been popular: efficient and heavy robots for industry.

The invention comes from two scholars of Northwestern University who, in fact, begin to try to change the idea of industrial robot. Until then, in fact, the robot was positioned in a secure area with fixed protections – real cages – and sensors that avoided an intrusion while operating.

On the contrary, cobot is designed for work in synergy with man and space is shared between the parties.

Which is the legislation in EU?

The main regulations governing the use of these machines are:

  • ISO/TS 15066:2016 (Robots and robotic devices – collaborative robots)
  • ISO 10218-1:2011 (Robots and robotic devices – Safety requirements for industrial robots – Part1: robots & Part2: Robot systems and integration)

The legislation regulates what are the safety requirements for collaborative robots and workspace.

This space is primarily created for the operator, who can work without risks for his safety; in fact, the robot cobot is designed to give the maximum range of action to the operator.

Moreover, when it is in operation, it complies with precise rules of speed, power and space measurement, so that those who are working at all times (not only an operator, but also a maintenance worker) are in complete safety.

Another advantage of the cobot, is that when it is not collaborating with an operator, it can safely function as a traditional industrial robot without restrictions.

What about Cobots in Italy?

Even in Italy they are taking hold, and their market on a global scale has risen by 23% in 2018, although the installed units are still few compared to traditional robots.

In Italy they are appreciated, first of all because they are smaller, and simple to manage, but also because one does not experience the effect of “eliminating the human being” that many fear. On the contrary, the application of this type of robot is seen especially in SMEs.

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Among the main supporters of these innovative tools, there is Camozzi Spa, where the CEO has even claimed to have hired extra staff to work with cobots, a sign that the man, more than ever, serves the machines.

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