Industrial collaborative robots: The ultimate guide [2024]

February 6, 2024
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What are Industrial Collaborative robots?

Industrial Collaborative robots, or Cobots, are designed to work directly with human workers on the factory floor

These Cobots have built-in safety features that allow for close collaboration without much fear of injury.

Of course, that’s in an ideal world. You shouldn’t play around with Cobots, and much less try to test their safety by putting yourself or others at risk. 

It’s also worth noting that the Industrial Collaborative robot market is growing quickly. 

Major manufacturers and industries have started implementing Cobots en masse, with the automotive sector leading the pack. The Cobot market is projected to reach $7.5 billion by 2027, making up 29% of the total Industrial robot market.

What are the essential features of Industrial Collaborative robots?

What’s amazing about Cobots is their capability to cooperate with humans. But, to do so safely, they have some distinct features that set them apart from traditional Industrial robots:

  • For one, Cobots are comparatively lightweight, with 80% of Cobots weighing less than 40 kg. They also have rounded edges and padded surfaces so they won't cause injury if there's accidental contact. 
  • Additionally, they have sensors that can detect when a human is near and will immediately stop moving. Some Cobots even have LED lights that change color to indicate their current state.
  • Another feature of Cobots is that they tend to be pretty flexible and skilled. They can perform a wide range of tasks like picking and placing, packaging, and assembly. 
  • Their arms have multiple joints that provide a large range of motion, similar to a human arm – and even exceeding human capabilities.This allows them to reach around, under, and over obstacles to access hard-to-reach areas.
  • In most cases, programming Cobots is simple and intuitive. You don't need a dedicated IT team coding day and night. Some Cobots can be programmed using a teach pendant, where you physically guide the arm through the desired motions, while others have a cutting-edge no-code framework. 

What industries are using Industrial Collaborative robots?

The many benefits of Cobots have already been noticed by a huge variety of industries. It’s no surprise, then, that Cobots have been part of manufacturing for a while, with a role that’s only set to grow. 

Here are some of the industries using Industrial Collaborative robots to great success: 

The auto industry 

The automotive industry was an early adopter of Cobots. Automakers use them for assembly line tasks like installing windshields, moving components, and screwing on parts.

Moreover, Cobots have also helped quality control processes and painting applications, 

They’ve also become pretty much a necessity in heavy lifting tasks, enhancing worker safety by reducing the physical strain associated with handling large and heavy car parts (and the expenditures on chiropractor visits, surely). 

Robots making electronics 

Electronics manufacturers have also embraced Cobots in a big way. 

Cobots are a match made in heaven for the ultra-detailed assembly of small components like circuit boards, wiring, and chips. 

They provide an extra set of hands for jobs that need extreme precision and care. Many major tech companies now use Cobots to help produce everything from smartphones to laptops.

Putting the fun back in warehousing and logistics

The rise of e-commerce has made warehouse work more demanding, but more fun than ever

Cobots can help with those mundane tasks like sorting, picking, and packing orders for shipment. 

They move boxes, load pallets, and transport goods safely and efficiently. 

They’re also great at jobs like barcode scanning and label application. Their presence helps many warehouses meet the relentless pace of today’s order fulfillment demands.

You want it, they can make it

The manufacturing industry has very rapidly integrated Cobots into its core operations. 

The reason the Cobot craze spread like wildfire is that these robotic assistants are now essential for tasks like assembling products, handling raw materials, and managing packaging processes. 

Unsurprisingly, Cobots have markedly improved efficiency in manufacturing lines, handling intricate tasks with unbelievable precision.

They also play a vital role in quality assurance, making sure that products meet even the most stringent standards. How do they do it? By leveraging advanced machine vision systems that can catch even the most minute flaws.

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What are the benefits of implementing Industrial Collaborative robots?

There’s a lot to like about Industrial Collaborative robots.

In a nutshell, these are the main reasons why so many industries love them: 

  • Most Cobots can operate safely around human workers without the need for cages or barriers. Their low mass, limited force, and speed make them unlikely to cause injury if contact with a person happens accidentally. This opens up an avenue for comfortable and productive human-robot collaboration.
  • Cobots massively increase productivity. They don’t need wages, they work 24/7 and are far less prone to mistakes.
  • They redeploy labor. By automating simple tasks with Cobots, companies can allocate human resources to areas where they can have the biggest impact – which could mean upskilling workers or hiring more specialized staff.
  • They’re flexible! Cobots are pretty easy to reprogram and redeploy for different uses. As business needs change, Cobots can adapt to new processes and tasks with very low downtime or cost. In essence, they are a flexible solution that can scale with a company.
  • They cost far less. Cobots typically have a lower upfront cost than traditional Industrial robots. The fact that they’re easier to install and program also reduces implementation and training costs. Maintenance and operating costs are lower as well due to their simpler design and operation.

How much do Industrial Collaborative robots cost?

While Industrial Collaborative robots tend to be broadly more affordable than traditional Industrial robots, the exact cost will depend on the specific model and features you’re looking for

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $100,000 for an Industrial Collaborative robot. 

The lower end of the range, around $2,000 to $50,000, will get you a basic Cobot that’s perfect for simple, very repetitive jobs like pick and place, packaging, or loading and unloading. 

These Cobots are a great way for small and medium companies to start reaping the benefits of automation without tanking their bank accounts. 

Mid-range Cobots, from $50,000 to $75,000, tend to have higher payloads, more advanced features like integrated vision systems or force control, and software for more complex applications. 

At the higher end, $75,000 and up, are heavy-duty Cobots and those with sophisticated software and tooling. 

These are best for large companies, especially in the automotive industry, electronics manufacturing, and other fields requiring high precision and speed. 

While yes, we’re talking about a hefty investment, these Industrial Collaborative robots can handle critical assembly tasks and provide a quick ROI – typically 1-3 years. 

Another piece of good news is that Cobot prices have been steadily decreasing over time due to advancements in technology and high market demand. 

As more manufacturers enter the space and Cobots become more advanced, prices are projected to continue declining, which makes Industrial Collaborative robots more accessible to companies of all sizes. 

And this affordability means that more Cobots at lower price tiers will incorporate features from more advanced models, like machine vision systems, etc. 

Who manufactures Industrial Collaborative robots?

Several major robotics companies have invested heavily in developing Collaborative robot technology. Some of the leading manufacturers of Collaborative robots include:

Standard Bots

Standard Bots is a burgeoning American company that’s already made a name for itself by launching RO1, an affordable but powerful Six-Axis Cobot with a payload of 18 kg – the best in its class.

RO1 is flexible, easy to program (it requires zero coding knowledge), and can be deployed in a wide range of applications.


Straight from Japan, FANUC is one of the world’s largest makers of Industrial robots. They entered the Cobot market in 2014 with the launch of their CR-35iA Collaborative robot. 

FANUC Cobots are well-known for their high performance, precision, and reliability in manufacturing environments. They offer Cobots with payloads of 35-50 kg.


From Germany, KUKA is another major Industrial robotics company that has made a name for itself in the Industrial Collaborative robot market. 

Their LBR iiwa series features Seven-Axis (that’s more degrees of freedom than a human arm) Collaborative robots designed for human-robot collaboration in industrial settings. 

KUKA's LBR Cobots have payloads up to 14 kg, but they’re very flexible and can be equipped with advanced sensors and software for complex tasks.


ABB is a global leader in industrial automation and robotics. They launched their first Collaborative robot, the YuMi, in 2015. YuMi is a dual-arm Cobot designed for small parts assembly. ABB's latest Cobot, the GoFa CRB 1500, can lift up to 1,500 kg. ABB Cobots are used for a wide range of applications like machine tending, material handling, and electronics assembly.

Summing up

You now have all the key info you need to get started with Industrial Collaborative robots

These cutting-edge machines are turning manufacturing on its head by taking over the repetitive tasks that bore us out of our minds. 

And, with the exponential growth predicted in the Cobot market, things are only going to pick up from here! 

Next steps

Ready to take the plunge and buy your first Industrial Collaborative robot, but you’re lost when it comes to the best automation choice for your business? 

Meet RO1 by Standard Bots, the cutting-edge robotic arm that has emerged as the #1 choice for shop floors big and small.

  • Cost-effective and dependable: RO1 stands out in the robotic arm category, offering unmatched affordability, costing about 50% less than its closest competitors.
  • Fast & acurate: RO1, with a leading payload capacity of 18 kg, surpasses its competitors in terms of speed and accuracy.
  • Enhanced safety features: RO1 comes equipped with advanced safety sensors and collision detection, ensuring safe and reliable performance in your workspace.

Contact our solutions team now for a no-cost, 30-day onsite trial, and get expert advice on smooth RO1 integration!

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