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Dual-role cobot combines high-speed operation with safety

19 March, 2021

The Italian robot-maker Comau has announced a collaborative robot (cobot) that can switch automatically from running at industrial robot speeds (up to 6 m/s), to safe collaborative operation when a human enters its working area. When the operator leaves, the six-axis Racer-5 cobot switches back to full speed. The cobot has a 5kg payload capacity, a reach of 809mm and a repeatability of 0.03mm.

Comau says that its new machine counters the belief that collaborative robots are slow. It will allow users to automate sophisticated manufacturing processes without sacrificing speed, precision or collaborative intelligence. The dual operating modes will allow them to install a single, high-performance system rather than having to deploy two separate robots.

“Our new Racer-5 cobot delivers the speed and precision the small payload collaborative robotics market was missing,” argues Comau’s chief technology officer, Pietro Ottavis.

The cobot has TÜV Süd-certified safety functions and can be used without protective barriers, cutting safety costs and floorspace. Built-in LED lighting provides real-time indication of the workcell status. Electrical and air connections are located on the forearm,  enhancing agility and minimising the risk of damage.

Comau’s Race-5 cobot also operates as a high-speed industrial robot

The cobot has a rigid construction, resulting in high precision and repeatability, and making it suitable for assembly, material-handling, machine-tending, dispensing and pick-and-place applications. It can be transported easily and installed almost anywhere.

According to Ottavis, the global market for compact cobots will achieve a five-year CAGR of up to 45%, “driven by the global need to reduce process complexity and eliminate non-value-added activities. By adding advanced safety features to our top-selling Racer-5 industrial robot, we have created a fast, reliable and user-friendly cobot that can be used in any situation where cycle times and accuracy are paramount.”

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