Collaborative robots or Cobots (co-bots/ co-robot) are increasingly becoming popular and mainstream especially in manufacturing industries and with SMEs due to their affordability. Growth in their application is mainly being driven by the following industries: automotive, aeronautic, metal and machining, furniture and equipment, food and beverage, as well as plastic and polymers. These robots are designed to be safe to work alongside humans owing to their safety features that are designed to reduce the risk of harm. The features include rounded design and their force-limited joints that sense forces due to impact and quickly react by dissipating these forces, therefore, averting danger to humans and destruction to surfaces and property.
Within the Horizon 2020, there are about 20 projects related to collaborative robots and robotics. Five of the projects are funded by the Innovation Action (IA) scheme, nine via the Research and Innovation Action (RIA) scheme, six are funded through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) scheme, two projects within the SME Instrument and one project each funded through European Research Council (ERC) sand Coordination and support action (CSA) schemes, respectively. In the H2020 programme, the key players active in the collaborative robots’ technological area are TNO (Netherlands), Technalia (Spain), Fraunhofer (Germany), Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), UNIMORE (Italy), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), CNRS (France), Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy), KU Leuven (Belgium), TU Dresden (Germany), and IMEC (Belgium).