Robot or Cobot: that is the question (part 1)


Considering a productive optimization of a facility, or a production line, it is no longer possible avoiding the term “automation”. Nowadays robots represent a key factor to reach high efficiency production standards.

However there are several numbers of applications where robots can be used; so here come the questions:

is it always the best choice to rely in a traditional robot or a collaborative robot (cobot in the following) could represent a valid alternative?


To answer the question, it is, first of all, necessary to define the two technologies:

A robot is an autonomous machine, designed to perform a specific task.

A cobot is an autonomous machine, designed to perform a specific task but sharing the neighbouring area with operators.


The important differences among the two solutions are the following:

  • Size
  • Flexibility
  • Software design
  • Safety


Traditional industrial robots are typically heavy, big and fast, three aspects that generate highly energetic movements. Therefore the requirements, in terms of safety distances, are quite limiting. In addition, a complex software design is highly time demanding, affecting the robot flexibility.

It is this latter aspect the crucial point to bear in mind when addressing the choice for a robot or cobot.


Robots are designed and programmed to perform a specific task at high speed and precision for large scale production.

Because of this, the zone surrounding the robot shall be confined to prevent any collision with operators and load moved at high speed.


On the other hand, cobots are light, small and can be easily moved and reprogrammed thanks to two modes: the touch pendant and the manual drive.

These two functionalities make them extremely versatile.

At the same time, since they are designed to share the space with operators, the movements speed must be limited, in order to guarantee that contact are not dangerous, eventually.

Moreover, cobots are thought to move small load, typically between 5 and 30 kg.

The price to pay for this versatility is, of course, speed and precision.


Thus, there is not a general rule to stabilize if cobots are better than robots, but every industrial need should be analysed case by case.


Which are the production volumes?

How large is the available space?

The dedicated tasks are fixed?

These are the typical questions to answer in order to evaluate the better choice between robot and cobot.


We, as Advolo, can offer you a team of experts in the robot/cobot sector, happy to support you to design your robotic platform following the most updated standard carrying the project until the legal compliance.


To know more about it contact us at:

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