About Collaborative

What does it mean to be collaborative?

A collaborative robot is specifically designed to work with a human operator in a shared workspace. For example, an operator may perform the first part of a task while the cobot finishes the rest.

Although cobots have built-in safety features, a risk assessment is necessary to ensure that the robot, application and humans interact safely.

Traditional industrial robots can be designed to work around people safely. This involves implementing new ideas for robotic arms including reducing their strength and speed, integrating new types of joints, using softer materials, and utilizing advanced sensors to shut down the robot safely if it accidentally collides with someone (collaborative) or if an operator enters the robot's work area (speed and separation monitored robots).

The Case for Risk Assessments
Cobot Safety Webinar
Safety Testing Requirements

Human-Robot Interactions

When looking at applications, there are three types of interaction to be considered.


Human and robot have a shared working area, and share tasks and work zones


Human and robot have shared working areas, but both work on separate tasks


Human and robot have separate but unguarded working areas and do not interfere frequently

Speed and Separation Monitoring

A conventional robot can operate in a collaborative environment if it is equipped with sensors that detect human presence inside the robot work area. Speed and separation monitoring is accomplished using a device called a Functional Safety Unit (FSU). The FSU monitors the area inside and around the robot's maximum range of motion and will slow or stop the robot as an operator approaches or enters the work area.

Select GP-Series robots can operate within a collaborative environment with the use of a Functional Safety Unit, and are a great choice for picking, machine tending, assembly and other light handling jobs.

Watch FSU Demo ›

Hand-Guided Programming

This intuitive programming method is the perfect entry into programming for the novice user. Simply hold down the move button on the robot flange in teach mode, move the robot to the desired position and record the motion points using the teach button as you go. You can also operate the gripper by pressing the (user definable) tool/utility button. Code is automatically generated in the background on your pendant.

Hand-guided, ease-of-use robotic programming​ comes standard on our HC-series – while adding hand-guiding motion on almost any industrial robot is possible with third-party solutions.

Watch Direct Teach Demo ›

Power and Force Limiting
  • Sensors in each joint — force values detected by the sensor will be compared to standard state and evaluated in order to perform an action defined in the FSU (i.e., stop, move away from the force, etc.)

  • Avoidance Function — allows the robot to be pushed away harmlessly while in motion, after a defined pause the robot will resume its programmed job

  • Multistage unclamp & release — meets or exceeds all requirements of TS15066 and wrist-mounted restart button enables user to recover without having to use the pendant

  • Additional safety options — rounded edges and pinch-less design for impact dissipation, abrasion reduction and prevention of hand squeezing

Experience full cobot capability with the HC-Series collaborative robots. HC-Series robots feature hand-guided teaching and easy setup.

Note: A cobot in PFL mode will have slower operation speeds than a conventional industrial robot using only Speed & Separation Monitoring and/or Stop-State Monitoring safety functions.

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