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Cobots get stronger, expand into new industries
Cobots continued to grow in popularity in 2022. Their potential applications are expanding into new areas such as welding, food preparation, and even dishwashing.
Major players including Universal Robots and ABB released cobot arms that offer higher reach, payload capacity, and speeds.
The UR20 has a payload capacity of 20 kg (44.1 lb.) and a reach of 1,750 mm (68.9 in.). It is Universal Robots most high-payload cobot and was designed for machine tending, materials handling and welding, according to Kim Povlsen, president of Universal Robots.
ABB said it developed the SWIFTI CRB 1300 as a stopgap between a traditional industrial robot arm and a cobot. The robot arm has a top speed of 6.2m/s, and payload options from 7 to 11 kg (15.4 to 24.2 lb.) and reaches from 0.9 to 1.4 m (2.9 to 4.5 ft.).
Cobots are making their way to stores as well. Dobot last month launched two new cobot arms as part of its Nova Series. The Nova 2 has a payload capacity of 2 kg (4.4 lb) and the Nova 5 has a payload capacity of 5 kg (11 lb.). The cobots are meant to be used in retail and service markets for cooking food and serving coffee.
EOAT makers also made strides and released new tools designed to expand the capabilities of cobot arms. At Automate 2022, Robotiq showcased a new Machine Tending Application Solution. The system includes a Universal Robots arm and was designed to help customers more quickly automate the CNC machining process.
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