ABB has expanded its collaborative robot (cobot) portfolio with the launch of the GoFa and SWIFTI cobot families, offering higher payloads and speeds, to complement YuMi and Single Arm YuMi in ABB’s cobot line-up.

Designed to be stronger, faster and more capable these cobots will help to accelerate the company’s expansion into high-growth segments including electronics, healthcare, consumer goods, logistics and food and beverage meeting the growing demand for automation across multiple industries.

GoFa and SWIFTI are intuitively designed so that customers need not rely on in-house programming specialists. ABB said that they would help to unlock industries that currently have low levels of automation, with customers able to operate these new cobots within a matter of minutes of installation, straight out of the box, with no specialized training.

Commenting Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation Business Area said of the new robots, “They are easy to use and configure and backed by our global network of on-call, on-line service experts to ensure that businesses of all sizes and new sectors of the economy, far beyond manufacturing, can embrace robots for the first time.”

ABB’s cobot portfolio expansion is engineered to help existing and new robot users accelerate automation as they look to respond to four key megatrends including individualised consumers, labour shortages, digitalisation and uncertainty that are transforming business and driving automation into new sectors of the economy.

A global survey of 1650 large and small businesses in Europe, the US and China, found that 84 percent said they will introduce or increase the use of robotics and automation in the next decade, while 85 per cent said the pandemic had been “game changing” for their business and industry, with COVID-19 a catalyst for accelerating investment in automation.

Nearly half of businesses (43 percent) said they were looking to robotics to help them improve workplace health and safety, 51 percent said robotics could enhance social distancing and more than one-third (36 percent) were considering using robotic automation to improve the quality of work for their employees. More immediately, 78 percent of company CEOs and Managing Directors said recruiting and retaining staff for repetitive and ergonomically challenging jobs is a challenge.

Cobots are intended to operate in the presence of workers without the need for physical safety measures such as fences and to be very easy to use and install. In 2019, more than 22,000 collaborative robots were deployed globally, up 19 percent compared to the previous year and the demand for collaborative robots is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17 percent between 2020 and 2025.

Every ABB cobot installation includes a start-up package that provides ABB Abilitycondition monitoring & diagnostics as well as a support hotline free for the first six months to access ABB’s expert technical assistance, which is offering support across all industry segments.