#ThoughtsOnRobots: Cody James

Cody James - Robotics Specialist, Olympus Controls - Collaborative Robots

Cody James, Robotics Specialist, Olympus Controls

What do you see as the biggest trends within the field of collaborative robots right now?
Currently, the biggest trends in the collaborative robot market are increased reach and payload capabilities and increased development in graphical programming environments. These developments are allowing more people to self-install cobots into new applications without the need to be a robot expert.

How do you see the current trends within the area of end-of-arm tooling?
There has been a major focus on developing end-of-arm tooling that is easily adaptable to different applications and robot models. This development has led to standardized mounting plates that allow for quick changeover, easy-to-install wiring and user-friendly programming. The OnRobot Quick Changer is a great example of this. This theme of adaptable tooling will continue to grow as more robots move into high-mix, low-volume applications.

Why do you think the sales of collaborative robots have increased by 23% from 2017-2018?
For cobots, ease of use has played a huge role in much of this growth. The programming environments for these robots are user-friendly, yet powerful enough to solve difficult applications. This ease of use has brought system implementation time down to a matter of weeks, and sometimes days, rather than months and has empowered the user to confidently move forward with other robotic projects.

Where do you see the biggest potentials for collaborative applications in the future?
The next 5 years are likely to bring more process-based applications such as sanding, buffing, material dispensing and screwdriving to the cobot market. Though these types of applications are not new for robots in general, the typical complexity and size of traditional systems have kept some companies from moving forward with these applications. With cobots, many of those barriers are removed.

In your opinion, in which industries can end-of-arm tooling create most value for end users?
End-of-arm tooling can create the most value when a work process needs to be done repeatably for every part, such as a sanding process. The speed of the sanding wheel and the downward pressure on the part are critical to producing the correct surface finish. With the proper end-of-arm tooling in place, you can dial variables into these process to a level that will produce a consistent finish, every time. For industries that have these types of applications, end-of-arm tooling can help ensure a repeatable process.

What are the biggest challenges the collaborative robot industry will face in the future?
Cobots are a fairly new innovation in the timeline of robotics, with many people still not being aware that these types of industrial robots even exist. On top of that, there are also misconceptions about the capabilities of cobots and the applications that they do or do not fit into. The challenge going forward will be to educate the market at large on the capabilities of cobots.

What is most important when robot companies are developing new collaborative applications?
Overall user experience is critical: Everything from taking the product out the box to having the final system up and running should be as painless as possible. How easy is my product to physically set up or install? Is everything included in the box, ready to be installed? Is the user interface easy to navigate and learn? If a user has a question, how easy is it for them to find technical information and documentation? Are there simple “How-To” videos that users can quickly reference? These aspects affect the overall user experience and need to be considered during new product development.

Do you have a favorite collaborative robot or application?
CNC machine tending would be my favorite cobot application, hands down. The machining industry is feeling the sting of the current labor shortage, and it is very rewarding to be able to help these businesses overcome that challenge. The ease of reprogramming and redeploying a cobot also allows many CNC customers to be more competitive when bidding on new projects, thereby helping to grow their business. When this happens, the robot goes from a money-saving tool to a money-generating one.

What is your personal motivation for working within the robot field?
There is so much development in the robotics industry right now, with new technology coming out almost daily. This new technology is helping to make robotics a reality for applications that were not previously possible, from either a technological or economic standpoint. I am very fortunate to get to work with this new technology to help solve real problems that companies are having. It gives me the opportunity to exercise my inner nerd!



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.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

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
Download Material
Please provide the following information to download the material.