Collaborative robots (cobots)

Collaborative robots or ‘cobots’ are making the world of human and robot interaction within a shared space rapidly become the norm. Human-robot interactions can now range from simple coexistence and cooperation to full collaboration. Currently most cobots are relatively small, with a maximum payload capacity of between 0.5 to 20 kg while maintaining a good reach and without sacrificing accuracy, speed or repeatability. They often operate with 6-degrees of freedom (6DoF), requiring a separate brushless DC motor on each of the 6 axis. While powered from a mains supply, cobots motors use either a 24 V or 48 V supply.

Block diagram

Highlighted components are Nexperia focus products

Design considerations

  • As cobots interact in shared space with humans, there cannot be any high power / live currents or elevated temperatures and ensure fail-safe mechanisms. 
  • BLDC motor is typically used - precise movement and positioning and torque sensing required.
  • Designs are moving from a centralised architecture where all electronics are located in a cabinet to a decentralised architecture where each axis includes a controller
  • Need for custom PCB design to sit in the joint alongside the motor, also increase need for small footprints with large power density

Streamlining Cobot motor drive design efficiency with digital platforms and online resources

We partnered with Wevolver to highlight the significant edge that comprehensive digital resources offer to engineers. Online tools have transformed from mere conveniences to essential cornerstones in cobot design. They offer a bridge over traditional challenges, bringing in an era where design is not just faster, but also more precise, efficient, and forward-thinking.

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The growth in collaborative robots requires robust and thermally efficient semiconductors. Select the ideal MOSFET for your design using Nexperia's MOSFET selector tool for BLDC Motor (sinusoidal) applications.