What makes a cobot safe?

In recent years, the demand for cobots has skyrocketed and continues to grow. A big reason for this is safety. But what would make a cobot safe, as opposed to the big fast industrial robots? Cobots are designed to work together with humans to increase the efficiency of processes. In this blog, you’ll read about the key elements.

Lower payload

To keep the cobot safe, they usually have a lower force/payload and move slower than industrial robots. For example, you can currently lift up to 30 kg with a cobot. This makes them minimally likely to cause serious injury. Of course, there is a big difference whether an object weighing 30 kg or 200 kg hits the worker.

Safety sensors

Cobots are equipped with various sensors to detect workers in their environment. If the cobot is interrupted by being touched in its work, for example, it will fire into a safety mode. Traditional robots would simply continue, often seriously injuring the worker as a result.

Also, a cobot setup often makes additional use of so-called safety scanners. These scanners detect when something or someone approaches, at which point the cobot will then move more slowly or even stop. If the person leaves the field, the cobot will resume its task.

Safety standards

As you probably expect, cobots must meet strict safety standards, such as ISO 10218-1 and ISO 13849-1. These standards ensure that cobots are safe for human use and that they meet international safety standards.

A CE, NEN and TÜV certificate are also mandatory declarations of conformity issued for all machinery, including cobots. These certificates indicate that the cobot setup complies with European safety, health and environmental legislation.

Together, these safety measures ensure that cobots can work safely with personnel. This makes cobots very suitable for various applications such as, palletizing, pick and place, box set-up and product packaging.