#ThoughtsOnRobots: Nicolas Bouhet

Interview Nicolas Bouhet for OnRobot

In this interview, director of HMI-MBS in France, Nicolas Bouhet shares his five-step guide to making your first collaborative robotic automation a success.

"It is our job to guide our customers to have positive first experiences with collaborative robotics", says Nicolas Bouhet, director of HMI-MBS in France. 

Once the customers - mainly small and medium-sized companies - get a taste of what collaborative automation can do for their businesses, they tend to come back, hungry for more: 

"At the beginning of 2020, we had a customer who was interested in collaborative applications. Together with the customer, we identified a simple pick and place application with OnRobot's RG2 gripper attached to a collaborative robot from Universal Robots. It took just two months from the first contact until the application was up and running. After this first experience, the customer bought two more robots that same year!" says Nicolas Bouhet. 

Here, he shares his five-step guide to making your first collaborative automation a quick success:


A 5-step guide to collaborative automation success

Get employee buy-in

One of the most important aspects of any automation project is getting buy-in from your workers. 

It is only natural for them to be concerned when you introduce new technology that interferes directly with their daily work. Your job is to allay their fears. Speak to their main concerns, usually job security and work safety. 


Job security: The collaborative application works as a third arm

"The collaborative robot is not made to replace three operators by a super highspeed system; rather, it is a third arm for the operator meant to help him in his work and reduce the drudgery of dull and dangerous tasks", Nicolas Bouhet explains. 


Safety: Collision experiments demonstrate safety

To demonstrate the level of safety of collaborative applications, Nicolas Bouhet sometimes asks customers to experiment with collisions with the robot. 

"That's the best way to convince them of its safety! Once, a big company asked me to come and make all the users experiment with collisions for an entire day. All the users were surprised by the sensitivity of the robot and how safe it was for them!" says Nicolas Bouhet. 


Identify the task for automation

Next step is to identify the best task for your first collaborative application. 

"There are two kinds of customer: the ones who want to start with the most complex project, thinking if we can do this, we can do anything and the ones who want to become familiar with the technology by starting with a simple project. In my experience, the complex projects often fail", cautions Nicolas Bouhet. 

He recommends that you start with a simple application that is suitable for collaborative robotic technology. 


Define the robot and accessories necessary

Once you have identified a suitable application for collaborative automation, you need to define which robot and which accessories, such as end of arm tooling, are necessary to complete the task. Look at the robot's payload, cycle time, etc. Ask your robot supplier for help if in doubt. 


Create Proof of Concept

Now, you need proof of concept. Test that your collaborative solution works before making the final investment. That way, you reduce the risk of making the wrong investment, and you can make modifications to the solution to customize it to your need. 


Deploy quickly and efficiently 

A quick and efficient deployment ensures continued support of the new technology. 

With collaborative applications, you can be up and running in a few months, if not weeks. Accessories such as end of arm tooling are all plug and produce. The programming is so easy you can often do it without the help of specialists, and most robot suppliers offer training and support. 

"If the first collaborative automation project is a success, the entire company will have more confidence in the technology", says Nicolas Bouhet. 


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
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How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
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