The 10 best cobot manufacturers in 2024

March 21, 2024
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What is a cobot?

A cobot, or collaborative robot, is a robot designed to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. 

Cobots are all-around amazing, representing an entirely new breed of automation. They’re flexible, intelligent, and able to work hand-in-hand with people on the shop floor. 

Plus, they’re programmed to stop operations immediately if they detect a human in close proximity – avoiding potentially injury-inducing collisions. 

Let’s take a look at some of their main benefits: 

  • Easier to implement: Unlike traditional industrial robots that require super expensive and complex installation, cobots are plug-and-play. They can be set up and reconfigured quickly by workers with little to no programming experience. Cobots are also highly mobile and you can shuffle them around production lines as needed. 
  • Safer by design: Cobots are built with advanced sensors and control systems that constantly monitor the robot’s surroundings. If the cobot detects a human or obstacle in its path or workspace, it will immediately slow down, alter its path, or stop moving altogether to avoid injury. This built-in safety functionality allows cobots and humans to work together without strict–and costly–safety barriers.
  • Flexible and smart: Cobots can learn new skills and tasks over time through guided programming techniques like movement teaching. Workers physically move the cobot arm through the desired motion path or manipulate the end-effector into different positions. The cobot records these movements to build an automated task. This intuitive training method lets cobots acquire new skills – without the need for brain-melting code.

Top 10 cobot manufacturers to consider in 2024

When shopping for cobots, there’s such a dizzying array of choices to pick from that it could make your head spin. 

So, we’ve put in the legwork for you and found the top 10 manufacturers producing collaborative marvels today: 

Standard Bots

Originating from the US, Standard Bots is quickly making a name for itself as a key innovator in the robotics industry, focusing on creating accessible and user-friendly Collaborative robots. 

Their approach to making automation affordable aims to level the playing field for businesses of varying scales. 

The company's pride and joy, RO1, their Six-Axis collaborative robot arm, is designed for an array of tasks including pick and place, assembly, and even quality inspections. 

Plus, RO1 operates on a no-code framework, making complex programming available with zero coding expertise. 

This makes Standard Bots' solutions particularly appealing to small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to integrate automation effectively. 

ABB Robotics

Based in Switzerland, ABB is a true pioneer in robotics and automation. They offer a range of cobots ideal for assembly, material handling, and welding. 

Their collaborative YuMi robot is the cream of the crop – one of the best in the market. 

FANUC America

Headquartered in Japan with US operations based in Michigan, FANUC is one of the largest robotics companies in the world. 

Their CR series of cobots are lightweight, easy to program, and perfect for the repetitive drudgery of tasks like pick and place or machine tending.

Kawasaki Robotics

Kawasaki, also from Japan, is one of the leaders in the industrial robotics and automation space. 

Their duAro Collaborative robots feature high payloads, long reaches, and safety features like collision detection sensors. They’re a great option if you need a heavy-duty cobot for more demanding applications.

Rethink Robotics

Rethink is a German company focused on developing intelligent, adaptable robots. 

Their Baxter and Sawyer robots feature computer vision, deep learning, and software that allows them to adapt to new tasks in just a few minutes. They’re designed to work directly with people on the production line.

Techman Robot

Tehchman is a Taiwanese company that produces Collaborative robots for manufacturing and service applications. 

Their TM series cobots are fast, compact and offer high repeatability for precision tasks like electronics assembly or biometrics testing. Also, they provide 3D vision and software to simplify programming.

Doosan Robotics

Doosan is a South Korean company and a regional leader in robotics. 

Their Collaborative robots include the M1013 and M0617, with multiple arm lengths and payloads to suit different needs. They offer enhanced safety features, easy programming, and connectivity with PLC and IoT systems.

Aubo Robotics

Aubo is a Chinese robotics company that produces low-cost, lightweight Collaborative robots. 

Their cobots include the Aubo-i5, i10 and i15, designed for pick and place, assembly, and machine tending. They offer a simple graphical interface for programming and controlling your cobot.

Yaskawa Motoman

Based in Japan with a strong global footprint, Yaskawa Motoman is a frontrunner in industrial automation. 

They deliver a diverse array of robots, including their HC Series cobots. Their cobots are well-known for their robustness, precision, and seamless integration into varied industrial environments that require heavy-duty applications.

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What to look for in a cobot manufacturer

Think about what’s most important for your business when you think about a cobot manufacturer—is it location, customization options, or service? 

Each manufacturer offers different strengths, so let’s take a look at what you should consider: 

  • What’s their location and coverage? Some manufacturers are based in certain regions, so they may offer better coverage and support in those areas. For example, if you’re in Asia, a company with headquarters in Japan or South Korea could be just perfect.

    Most likely, they’ll likely have more resources and faster response times in that region. But, If location isn’t a concern, focus on manufacturers with a global presence and support centers worldwide.
  • What types of robots do you need? Are you looking for arms for pick and place tasks, mobile robots for delivery, or collaborative grippers to work alongside humans? Some companies specialize in certain robot types, while others offer a broader range of options. 
  • Do they offer customization and flexibility? Give some thought to how much customization you require for your automation projects. Some cobots are designed for very specific purposes and offer little modification, while others are highly flexible platforms that can be tailored to your needs. 

    Look for companies that provide options for different robot sizes, payloads, reaches, grippers, and other accessories. The more customizable the robots, the more adaptable they’ll be for your changing needs.
  • What’s their support like? Don’t forget about the ongoing service and support you’ll receive after purchasing your cobots. Look for manufacturers that offer maintenance plans to keep your robots in working order. 

    They should also provide training for your staff, programming support for complex automation tasks, and advice on optimizing your cobot cells. 


What types of cobots are available?

Cobots come in many varieties to suit different needs. The most common are:

  • Articulated cobots: Have multiple rotary joints that offer a large range of motion, similar to a human arm. Great for assembly and pick and place tasks.
  • SCARA cobots: Have two parallel rotary joints that provide a wide range of left-right motion. Often used for high-speed assembly and packaging.
  • Delta cobots: Have three arms connected to a common base, allowing for fast, precise movement in a small space. Frequently used for high-speed pick-and-place work.
  • Cartesian cobots: Move along three linear axes (X, Y, and Z), offering very high precision and repeatability. Typically used for dispensing, soldering, and light assembly.

How much do cobots cost?

Cobot prices can range from $2,000 up to $100,000 or more, depending on the model, payload, and features. In general, a basic cobot with a 10 to 15 kg payload will cost between $35,000 to $65,000. Higher payload capacities, special environmental protection, and additional software features will increase the price.

Many manufacturers also offer financing and leasing options to make cobots more affordable.

How difficult are cobots to program?

Cobots are designed to be easy to program, even for people without an engineering background. Most cobots use intuitive graphical programming interfaces with drag-and-drop function blocks. You simply physically guide the cobot arm through the desired path or action, then the software automatically generates and downloads the program.

Many cobots can also be reprogrammed on the fly using teach pendants, with no PC required. Some cobots offer additional software options for more complex applications. 

What industries use cobots the most?

Cobots are used in virtually every industry, but some of the largest users are:

  • Automotive: For assembly, welding, painting, and testing.
  • Logistics: For picking, packing, and palletizing.
  • Food & beverage: For picking, packing, and palletizing.
  • Plastics: For injection molding automation and assembly.
  • Electronics: For soldering, dispensing, and light assembly.
  • Metal fabrication: For welding, cutting, and finishing applications.

Summing up

And that’s the top 10 cobot manufacturers to keep on your radar in 2024. 

As we’ve gone over above, choosing the right cobot partner involves looking at a range of factors from robot capabilities and customization options to post-sales support and maintenance contracts.

The rest is just having a keen understanding of your application, budget, preferences, and, yes, willingness to finally dip your toe in the automation pond!

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