Open Question: Best Cobot for education?

  • It is not my intention to create a firestorm of opinions with this question.

    I have a situation that requires fast resolution.

    We have an opportunity to move on the purchase of ONE collaborative robot.

    It will be used for academic student teaching, student projects, and so on.

    Given the evolution of the cobot market so far (October 2021), which brand of robot would you purchase (5-10Kg-ish payload range) ?

    Brief reasons why would be nice.

    North American market only.

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  • I would lean towards the Fanuc CRX robot (not the CR series). It's mostly a "classic" Fanuc with a UR-styled "skin" on the user interface, but you can program in both the "Blockly" style and in regular old TP. This gives you options you wouldn't have with a UR.

    It's a bit more complex than a UR, but is also more capable and "industrial." So if you're trying to teach students about how to handle "big iron" robots, not just cobots, the CRX would be closer than a UR.

  • Quote

    What is your budget?

    Cwany: We know the price range of this size of cobot and are prepared to commit the funds to it if it is the right choice for the organization. Why do you ask? Any Educational Discount that might be offereed doesn't really add up to much. None of the cobot manufacturers are cutting any substantive deals for Academia. I guess it is too early in the market cycle.

    Skye: thanks for the good insight. Familiar with UR arms, have seen the Fanuc CRX arms webpages. Was curious what BigYella had to offer that would discriminate their product from the herd. We already make the students sweat over another well-known industrial arm.

    Thank you for your replies.

    Anyone else have any insights to offer?

  • Well, I would lean away from the KUKA iiWA. It pains me to say that, but the iiWA is really less of an entry-level cobot and more of an Ivy League R&D robot in a lot of ways. I don't have a lot of experience with it, but what I do have leaves me feeling that it isn't really "industry ready", except in use cases that require it's unique abilities, and I don't think it's suited to be an entry-level educational cobot.

    The URs are a bit toy-ish, IMO, but if you already have a "big iron" bot for training, then the UR probably isn't a bad choice. It definitely seems more friendly towards "complete newbies" than any of the competition I've seen.

  • I would add ABB GoFa or SWIFTI (why the hell do we now need stupid names instead of logical number combinations) for you to look at, even as i have no experience with them as they are pretty new.

    It would be comparable to the FANUC offering (GoFa is more like a CRX and SWIFTI like a CR).

    Colored blocks marketed as programming but be able to use RAPID completly or just to make new blocks.

    And ABB means Robotstudio, wich is in my opinion the best software from the robot manufacturers.

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