Experiences and expectations of collaborative robots in industry and academia: Barriers and development needs

Iina Aaltonen (Corresponding Author), Timo Salmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a proceedings journalScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Cobots have been expected to provide the missing link towards flexible production by simple programming and the cobots’ ability to work next to human workers without the need to install cumbersome and space-intensive fences. Before these expectations can be met, however, we need to identify what the current barriers and development needs for cobots are from the point of view of both industry and academia. An online questionnaire considering the deployment of collaborative robots was answered by robot manufacturers and distributors, system integrators, end-users, and the academia. In all groups, the most significant barrier towards adopting cobots was the lack of knowledge of, for example, potential applications, reference cases, safety legislation, and ease-of-use. The most significant development needs were about new ways of allocating work between human workers and cobots, and safety technology. There were differences between the answers from representatives of various sectors. This paper describes the current needs of the Finnish industry and shows that slightly different issues were raised in the academia. In addition to finding new ways of co-working with cobots, safety remains an issue, and there is a generic lack of knowledge regarding cobots. This paper helps in focussing research efforts to support the deployment of cobots in the industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1158
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Issue number1151-1158
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2019 - University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 24 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 29


  • collaborative robots
  • barriers
  • development needs
  • questionnaire


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