VIDEO: Collaborative Robot Safety with Immediate Contact Stop Features
James Anderton posted on April 26, 2017 |
FANUC releases new CR-7iA cobot for material handling and machine loading, unloading applications.

The march of collaborative robots, or cobots for short, continues as they role out in an increasing variety of designs for an increasing number of applications.

In the video above, we look at a new series of collaborative robots from FANUC America, the CR-7iA.

The cobot comes in three sizes: a 4kg, 7kg with standard reach and a 7kg with longer reach.

“These fall within the force and power limiting operation for collaborative robots, as far as the safety standard is concerned,” said Greg Buell, product manager for collaborative robots at FANUC America Corporation.

The CR-7iA is the same signature green color as FANUC’s first and significantly larger collaborative robot, the CR-35iA, to distinguish the cobots from their non-collaborative, traditional yellow industrial robot counterparts.

The CR-7iA sports the same immediate contact stop features as the CR-35iA. Touching or bumping into the cobot will immediately make it stop operations. A simple push of a button lets the cobot know to continue its process.

“The robot senses the force of the contact,” Buell explained. “The force and power limited robots have a safety rated sensor mounted in the base of the robot and what it’s doing is monitoring external forces, so it feels when you touch the robot.”

FANUC’s CR-7iA and CR-35iA can even be pushed around and moved out of an operator’s way without significant effort, to minimize resistance and chance of injury. Once the operator is ready to begin the process again, with the push of a button the cobot will return to the original point of contact and resume its operation from there.

“Even though the robots are green, they’re all yellow at heart,” Buell said. “All of our collaborative robots come with the same software functions, features and same intelligence that all of our yellow robot lines have, with also the same controller and programming, but in a green color and human-safe package.”

The CR-7iA is well suited to material handling and machine-loading and unloading applications.

For more information, watch the video above and visit the FANUC America website.

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