Apparatus and Method for Enhanced Determination of Optimal Operational Separation for Collaborative Robotic Systems

The Need

Collaborative robotic systems, often referred to as cobots, represent a transformative advancement in industrial automation. Unlike traditional robots that are typically large, heavy, and designed to work in insolation behind safety barriers, cobots are designed to work alongside human operators collaboratively. However, integrating cobots into existing workflows and systems can be complex. Ensuring compatibility with existing machinery, software, and processes requires careful planning and expertise. For example, the setup and calibration of a cobot for a particular task can be time-consuming and tedious. A human user may spend significant time ensuring the proper setup of a cobot before the actual work begins. Therefore, a need exists to optimize the setup and initialization process of collaborative robotic systems.

The Technology

The innovative system developed at The Ohio State University facilitates user-guided determination of optimal operational separation between the collaborative robot (cobot) and the workpiece, thereby enhancing the user's efficacy in configuring and programming the cobot unit. The principle hinges upon the utilization of precisely directed light beams, which can be immobilized for recurring, unvaried processes, or repositioned to denote distinct operational distances.

Commercial Applications

  • Anywhere cobots are utilized, such as welding, material removal, dispensing, finishing and more.


  • Results in consistent, precise actions of the cobot end effector relative to the workpiece
  • Can be designed to work with any cobot model or brand.
  • Can be designed as part of original equipment or as a retro-fit/after-market add-on

Patent Protection

  • United States Provisional Patent Application

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