An intriguing new manufacturing technology, Collaborative Robots, also known as Cobots are “complex machines which work hand in hand with human beings. In a shared work process… they support and relieve the human operator.” These robots are intended to support human workers, not replace them. They are equipped with several safety features and smart technology so that they can work autonomously, for the most part.
Cobots have vision monitoring and sensors that help them detect abnormal activity in their environment and allow robots and humans to work alongside one another. They also include force and power limitations to ensure safe collaboration with humans. These force sensors stop their motion if they detect any impact to protect humans from injury. The robots are also able to navigate and autonomously position themselves at the workstation. They are able to navigate around humans and also monitor their position in order to avoid contact. These safety precautions allow them to move amongst and around humans without collisions.
The CoBot project is a mobile platform to conduct personal interface with the cobots to execute localization, navigation and multi-robot tasking. The CoBot project comes from the CORAL (Cooperate Observe Reason Act Learn) group. CORAL consists of several students and professors from Carnegie Mellon University, in Pennsylvania. This is basically a software system to help monitor and control cobots.