The Power and Importance of Sensing Technologies

pin insertion with onrobot rg2-ft robot gripper

The Power and Importance of Sensing Technologies

End effectors, or end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), are one of the most important components of modern industrial automation. While flexible gripping technology has greatly improved the picking and placing of objects, sensing technologies enable force control, equipping the robot to place and fit objects precisely. The force sensing capabilities in advanced force/torque and proximity sensors help to find the right orientation of the object using the right amount of force.

It is crucial for businesses to focus on a variety of EOATs—grippers, sensors, tool changers, vision control—because the various combinations of these tools present significant value for industrial automation. Sensors help manufacturers identify the right combination of EOAT for specific production applications. For example, rather than trying to use a single EOAT to do everything, tool changers make it easy to quickly switch grippers, and sensors help them locate a collision-free path.

Sensors Enable Collaborative Automation

Most collaborative applications require complex manipulation for object handling. This includes correctly mapping the items’ exact locations, operating in a collision-free path, controlling the applied force and simultaneously managing complex interactions between the robot and environment. The latest sensing techniques in proximity and force/torque sensors enable grippers to maneuver without collision and damage. They also help grippers clutch objects with the right force, therefore supporting collaborative applications.

Sensors are like GPS in that they guide automation for modern collaborative applications. Found in a diverse range of industrial system applications, sensors act as an interface between the object and its environment, providing feedback based on the executed task’s results. Everything from productivity and quality to reliability and safety heavily depend on the performance of EOAT sensors. OnRobot’s sensors come with a force control package where the hardware and software complement each other, making deployment easier and saving costs.

It is no surprise, then, that as industry applications evolve, the demand for innovative sensor designs and techniques is increasing rapidly. Global annual revenue from inductive proximity sensors was valued at more than $1.2 million by the end of 2017, according to Persistence Market Research.[1]

Advanced Sensors Transform Modern Industrial Automation

Sensors help detect such variables as light, temperature and collision points, a crucial feature that helps makes automation tasks successful. Because they’re so important, sensors are today utilized in a variety of ways in the industrial automation domain—and they’ve become highly diverse and versatile. Depending on the task, businesses can implement temperature sensors, pressure sensors, MEMS sensors, torque sensors, position and proximity sensors and luminescence sensors, to name just a few.

These new and innovative sensing technologies have made previously impossible applications a reality. For example, OnRobot’s Gecko Gripper uses a biologically inspired microscopic sensor that helps grasp flat objects more effectively than current electrostatic methods.

Gecko Gripper
Gecko Gripper in action lifting porous PCB boards

Sensors must function flawlessly since they determine robot performance across applications, such as when they distinguish between correct and incorrect movement or information to help grippers react accordingly.

OnRobot’s RG2-FT smart gripper, which debuted at the 2018 Automatica Show in Munich, includes six-axis force and torque and proximity sensors. It can control both itself and the robot to achieve what the human operator intends, even if the exact parameters are not programmed in advance. This creates true collaboration with operators and co-worker-like support.

OnRobot 6-axis force torque sensors provide accurate force and torque measurements along all 6 axes that gives precise control during difficult and collaborative applications of assembly, polishing, sanding etc. It comes with a HEX software that includes special features for easy integration.

Deburring Car Rim with OnRobot HEX Force/Torque Sensor

Collaborative applications such as surface finishing becomes easier with a force/torque (F/T) sensor as it enables the robot to follow any kind of complex path and curves, delivering  perfect quality - something  not possible with traditional robots.

OnRobot’s HEX F/T sensors are great for applications that deal with high tolerance, especially while dealing with automotive parts. For example, inserting pins into a motor head needs the right orientation,  requiring high precision. Also, applications such as polishing and sanding or deburring require constant force on the surface. Sensors with force and torque settings are highly efficient for such applications in furniture, shipbuilding, and aircraft manufacturing.

How Sensors Help Businesses Grow

Sensors provide dependability and application flexibility for businesses to automate collaborative application. Smart sensing technology also helps businesses merge disparate data into streams of actionable information to optimize automation tasks in real time.

By adding the sense of touch and feel through sensors, businesses can save on human effort by avoiding repetitive work due to errors, thus lowering automation and production costs.

EOAT developers continuously work to further enhance sensing capabilities. Sensing development and the overall effort to further improve automation for businesses continues, but today’s smart gripping and sensing technologies show just how far the mechanization has already come.




Privacy Policy for processing and protecting personal data

This data protection policy applies to OnRobot.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure and document that OnRobot protects personal data in accordance with the rules for processing of personal data. The policy will also contribute to OnRobot providing information about its processing and use of registered personal data.

The policy will be reviewed each year.

Record of the processing of personal data

OnRobot processes personal data about:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

  • Applicants

OnRobot has prepared a record of the processing of personal data. The record provides an overview of the processing for which OnRobot is responsible.

The personal data must be provided in order for OnRobot to enter into employment, customer and supplier contracts.

Purpose and lawfulness of the processing

Personal data are processed and archived in connection with:

  • HR management, including recruitment, hiring, dismissal and payment of salary

  • Master data for customers as well as orders and sales

  • Master data for suppliers as well as requisition forms and purchases

  • Contracts

Processing is legal by the authority specified in the appended record.

OnRobot does not use the personal data for purposes other than those listed. OnRobot does not collect more personal data than necessary to meet the purpose. 

Storage and erasure

OnRobot has introduced the following overall guidelines for storage and erasure of personal data:

  • Personal data are stored in physical folders.

  • Personal data are stored in IT systems and on server drives.

  • Personal data are not stored for longer than necessary to meet the purpose of the processing.

  • Personal data for employees are erased five years after employment has ended, and personal data about applicants are erased after six months.

Data security

Based on the appended risk assessment, OnRobot has implemented security measures to protect personal data:

  • Only employees with a work-related need to access the registered personal data have access to the data, either physically or via IT systems with rights management.

  • All computers are password protected and employees may not disclose their passwords to others.

  • Computers must have firewall and antivirus software installed, which must be updated regularly.

  • Personal data are erased securely in connection with phasing-out and repair of IT equipment.

  • USB flash drives, external hard disks, etc. containing personal data must be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet.

  • Physical folders are placed in a locked office or in locked cabinets.

  • Personal data in physical folders are erased by shredding.

  • All employees must be instructed in what to do with personal data and how to protect personal data.


Website and Cookie

  • The Personal Data Regulation allows you to treat personal data only legally for the purpose for which they have been collected. If you want to use data for purposes other than the original, you must always have the consent of the registrant.

  • Upon receipt of a business card from a customer you have his consent. If you write his information you need his signature on this paper to have a formal requirement for consent if you want to use his information. Then the customer allows OnRobot to use his data for purposes other than communication, upcoming promotions, product updates or further news including upcoming promotions, product updates and further news.

  • According to the Cookie Act, OnRobot must have the user’s consent to use this software on the user’s equipment. On The company’s intranet or similar closed group, the rules in the E-data protection directive do not apply.


Personal data about employees may be disclosed to public authorities such as the Danish Customs and Tax Administration and pension companies.


OnRobot only uses processors if they are able to provide the required guarantees that they will implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to comply with personal data law. All processors must sign a processor agreement before processing commences.


OnRobot safeguards the rights of data subjects, including the right to access, withdrawal of consent, rectification and erasure and will inform the data subjects of OnRobot’s processing of personal data. Data subjects are also entitled to appeal to the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Personal data breach

In case of personal data breach, OnRobot will report the breach to the Danish Data Protection Agency as soon as possible and within 72 hours. The manager is responsible for this reporting taking place. The report will outline the breach, the groups of persons affected and the impact the breach may have on these persons and how OnRobot has remedied or intends to remedy the breach. If the breach entails a high risk for the persons about whom OnRobot processes personal data, OnRobot will also notify these persons. OnRobot s will document any personal data breach on an access-controlled drive.

Erasure of data

The customer should assess when personal data need to be erased by asking the question:

When is it no longer necessary to store the personal data?

OnRobot follows the practice of the Danish Data Protection Agency:

Applications Are erased after 6 months in connection with job interviews. Unsolicited applications are erased immediately.
Employee data Are erased 5 years after termination of employment.
CCTV surveillance Is erased after 30 days.
Telephone conversations Are erased immediately or after up to 3 months.
Accounting records Must be stored for 5 years from the end of the financial year.


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How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
With the dawn of smarter, more adaptive tooling, robots can now function with greater speed, strength, safety and precision, accomplishing a wide range of tasks, while maximizing ROI. Learn more on how you can enable faster production at lower costs by downloading our free eBook.
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
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