What are collaborative robots?

What are collaborative robots?

Cobot = Collaborative Robot
A collaborative robot is a robot designed to specifically work alongside humans. In contrast, industrial robots were not made for working in close proximity to human workers and this shows in the fact that they are locked behind fences for safety measures. Collaborative robots, on the other hand, operate freely with, at most, a safety shield between it and the human employees.


Collaborative robots are often called "cobots", which is a contraction of "collaborative" and "robot".


Ideal for process optimization

The tasks between a collaborative robot and a human employee are divided so that the robot handles manual, dirty, physically straining and repetitive tasks. By automating monotonous and tedious work tasks, the human employee is relieved from strenuous work while at the same time being freed to do other tasks better suited for a human mind.


Provides flexibility

Collaborative robots are typically smaller than industrial robots, as they are designed to provide flexibility. You can easily rearrange the placement of a collaborative robot as most of them are light enough to be moved without a problem. The flexibility is also reflected in their versatility: depending on what kind of end effector is installed, the robot can assist with a multitude of tasks from palletizing to quality inspection.


Moreover, end effectors featuring advanced vision and sensor technologies enable the robot to carry out tasks with human-like dexterity and precision. Collaborative robots are therefore suitable for a high mix/low volume production due to their ability to be redeployed for new processes. In addition, more and more collaborative robots are starting to come with self-installing software. This means that even employees without a technical background can install the robot and set it up to handle different tasks.

Collaborative robots are designed to be safe

Because collaborative robots are intended to work side by side with human employees made of flesh and blood, they are designed to be safe to interact with. As such, it is standard for collaborative robots to have intelligent built-in safety measures that make them stop completely if they collide with anything other than the work item.


Some collaborative robots can also be installed to slow down work speed when human employees are in proximity. The safety aspect is not only visible when looking at the features of the robots, but also when looking at their design. Many collaborative robots are designed with round edges so that they pose the least danger to the humans working in the environment around it.

Easily learn new work paths

Collaborative robots are unique in that they are designed to easily learn new work routines. Among newer models, a hand-guided demonstration where the operator pulls the robot arm to show it how to move is enough to set it up.


Thus, there is no need for advanced programming or engineers, as the robot's software is so advanced that it allows the robot to learn a new work path simply through imitation. Other collaborative models learn new work routines by having the operator draw the route on the software’s graphical user interface.


Because a collaborative robot is easy to teach, it opens new usage scenarios. Unlike an industrial robot, a collaborative robot is not locked into a specific task for the rest of its life. This means that you get more value out of your investment both in terms of usage and financial yield.

Cost-effective means faster ROI

A collaborative robot costs much less than an industrial robot, and because you can utilize it in many different processes, you also gain the advantage of a faster ROI. Some collaborative robots have a payback period as short as 200 days. Collaborative robots are most often found in manufacturing companies, and with good reason. Their size and flexibility make them ideal for automating a multitude of processes, allowing businesses of almost any size to increase productivity, improve quality and swiftly respond to changing customer demands.


Collaborative robots are commonly seen in:

  • Pick & Place operations
  • Packaging & Palletizing
  • Surface finishing
  • Assembly operations
  • Machine Tending
  • Quality testing & Inspection


These applications are the most prevalent ones; however, collaborative robots are finding more usage in other areas besides manufacturing. For instance, more and more collaborative robots are finding their way into the entertainment industry, e.g. for teleprompters or part of amusement rides.


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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