Cobot Vs. Robot?: The Intelligent Answer

by Greg Carter
for Tennessee Industrial Electronics

FANUC robotics on auto assembly lines

“Hello. My name is Cobot, short for Collaborative Robot. Technically speaking, my cobot drives, servo motors, power supplies, vision sensors and other robot parts allow me to see, hear and touch like humans. I cannot feel, so I’m force and power limited for human safety. I can also learn from humans.

Some call it machine learning, although you’ll learn I’m no ordinary robot. Like humans, my parts can wear down, and I need to see a robot repair service.”


Cobots Vs Robots: What’s the Difference?

If a collaborative robot really could talk, “Cobot” would explain that regular industrial robots are programmed to work alone. A cobot assists workers with non-automated, complex, sensitive tasks.

Collaborative robot “hand-guiding” or “path teaching” is common in pick-and-place industrial applications where humans program and train robots. Here a human guides the cobot through patterns and motions that use force-limiting sensors to control pressure on objects and avoid unwanted human contact. This is how the cobot learns.

A  cobot’s soft rubber skin and rounded edges are smooth to the touch. If the robot gets too close, its human counterpart just pushes it away. Cobots can also teach themselves. They can be programmed to apply algorithms that suggest additional ways the robot and the operator can efficiently complete tasks.


Robot and Human Safety in the Workplace

Cobots combine strength, mobility and safety. This human assistant can be moved where needed. Cobots are not limited to one task and are suited to multiple projects where they are re-deployed into various positions in the production process. “Cobotic” performance reliability

Auto assembly line cobots.

Auto assembly line cobots.

and safety reduces the need for setting up protective enclosures or gates. This also saves space and lowers operating costs.

A cobot can do heavy lifting, allowing workers to avoid strain and related work injuries associated with repetitive tasks. Workers can focus on applying their skills and human intelligence.

7 Facts About Collaborative Robots

      • Lightweight, strong, mobility to move where needed
      • Human-friendly soft rubber skin with rounded edges
      • Power and Force Limiting to stop upon specified resistance
      • Speed, Separation Monitoring controls distance from humans
      • Human Hand Guided programming teaches the cobot
      • Can learn processes and suggest improvements
      • Protective safety fencing not required


Repairing Robots, Replacing Robot Parts

Collaborative robots have joints with intelligent robotic parts that can be repaired, refurbished or replaced. by a robot repair shop. Like humans, robots get tired. When they do, they’re in good hands with a service facility that specializes in repairing, refurbishing and supplying Robot Controls.

Repair service providers like Tennessee Industrial Electronics specializes in extending the electro-mechanical life of FANUC Robot Controls. In fact, the entire website ( is dedicated to FANUC Controls and FANUC CNC.

The cobot population is growing rapidly, and just like humans, they begin to show their age and need to see a specialist. You might call these robot repair specialists robot healthcare providers. Cobots and humans have begun a lasting relationship.



About Tennessee Industrial Electronics: TIE is a leading supplier of industrial electronic component parts and repair services to end users, integrated suppliers, independent machine service providers, and industrial resellers.

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