ventajas robots

What are the Benefits & Advantages of Robots in the workplace?

The service robot sector has been developing especially fast in recent years.

The benefits of robotics in workplace can already be seen in various reports such as the International Federation of Robotics ones.
What is a robot in workplace? Work robot’ is a colloquial term that is popularly used and usually refers to an industrial robot or a service robot.

robot móvil RB-VOGUI

The robotisation process is advancing and establishing itself in more and more industrial sectors, although the automotive industry is still at the head, accounting for around 30% of the total demand each year.

At every point in history, humans have developed the necessary tools to carry out their work. Now, mobile robotics is the key to Industry 4.0. It is no longer just about automating industrial processes, but about intelligent automation in which mobile robotics optimises production and profitability, and makes tasks easier for employees.

Robots in the workplace are not here to replace humans at all, but to provide better working conditions.

6 benefits and advantages of working robots

  1. Increased productivity: An Autonomous Mobile Robot, AMR, canperform full shifts so that production runs 24 hours a day without interruption.
  2. Reduced accidents at work: there are tasks that pose a risk to workers. For example, tasks in deteriorated environments with the possibility of collapse, work with toxic substances or handling very heavy loads. Robots can perform these tasks, increasing occupational safety for operators.
  3. Error reduction: it is assumed that in every production line there is a percentage of errors. However, a robotic system has the precision to significantly reduce that percentage. This is one of the main benefits of robots in the workplace: the precision of a robot or mobile manipulator reduces the possibility of production errors and increases the quality of certain processes.
  4. Increased flexibility: there are many types of robots in the workplace, therefore the number of tasks that a robot can do has also increased considerably. Within a single industry, robots can be adapted to various applications, thus increasing flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
  5. New job opportunities: more and more people are required for designing, programming and manufacturing robots, as well as for different areas of research and technological development. Furthermore, as productivity increases, it is logical that the company will grow and require more staff.
  6. Betting on the future: in today’s highly competitive, demanding and globalised industrial landscape. Being at the forefront of technology is a matter of business development. Betting on intelligent automation through robotic systems is equivalent to building a solid foundation for a business to remain profitable, competent and sustainable.


Many of Robotnik’s customers are opting for more intelligent robots, with more safety guarantees and more intuitive for end users.
It is all about using the possibilities offered by technology to become more competitive.

Examples of robots at work

However, some companies believe that there are obstacles. For example, bringing robots into the workplace requires a large infrastructure as well as a large investment.

On the one hand, collaborative robots such as those manufactured by Robotnik are designed to operate with humans in the same workspace without the need for a safety perimeter, making them easy to deploy in any factory. Moreover, these systems are scalable: they can be tested in a given area and then expand their operating zone thanks to their capacity for mobility. The same goes for the number of units: it can be progressively expanded depending on the results.


On the other hand, it is common to find new customers who think that if their company is an SME, they cannot afford to incorporate robots into the workplace, but this approach is wrong.
There are currently more than 5 000 Robotnik mobile robots in the market, working in various industries and companies, which have seen how the investment in mobile robotics has had a return in the short-medium term.

Want to see some videos of robots at work?:

  • RB-ROBOUT in an industrial production system.
  • RB-KAIROS+, the Mobile Manipulator for industry.
  • RB-VOGUI for indoor and outdoor logistics.

What is an industrial robot? Industrial robot definition

The definition of an industrial robot system has evolved considerably in recent years.
In order to determine what an industrial robot is, it is useful to consider the changes from their origin to the present day.
The first robots were precisely industrial robots seen as machines capable of executing certain repetitive and fairly static movements.

Today, as technology advances, it is more complex to differentiate between what is an industrial robot, what is a service robot and how to delimit their working areas.
In the World Robotics 2021 report, it is determined that the classification into industrial robot or service robot is made according to their intended application. Industrial robots are robots "for use in industrial automation applications", while a service robot "performs useful tasks for people or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications".

The truth is that inside the industry there are scenarios where robots and humans have to share space and tasks, and therefore, industrial robots are no longer restricted to a safety zone.

More and more often, we find service robots by definition working in industrial applications.
In fact, in the so-called Industry 4.0, collaborative robots play a key role. Today, we would not be talking about collaborative robotics without the prior development of industrial robots systems and their journey towards intelligent automation solutions based on human interaction.

Industrial robot definition

So, what is an industrial robot? An industrial robot is one that has been developed to automate intensive production tasks such as those required by a constantly moving assembly line. As large, heavy robots, they are placed in fixed positions within an industrial plant and all other worker tasks and processes revolve around them.

The characteristics of industrial robots will vary according to the manufacturers, the needs and the scenario in which they are to be located.

According to the international standard ISO 8373:2012, the industrial robot definition is 'a multifunctional, reprogrammable, automatically controlled manipulator, programmable in three or more axes that can be fixed in one area or mobile for use in industrial automation applications'.
Industrial robots are not usually humanoid in form, although they are capable of reproducing human movements and behaviours but with the strength, precision and speed of a machine.

This following table extracted from the World Robotics 2021 report shows the evolution and forecast of mobile robot installations per year.


After that, here are some distinctions that are often confused within the industrial robotics sector:

Industrial robot and service robot: The difference here is done according to its intended application. As we read in IFR's 'World Robotics 2021' report: Industrial robots are robots "for use in industrial automation applications" while a service robot "performs useful tasks for people or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications".

According to the same report, the market for professional service robots grew by 12% in 2020, from a sample turnover of $6bn to $6.7bn. In addition, the global pandemic created new opportunities and additional demand for some service robot applications, e.g. cleaning or disinfection applications or other tasks in the healthcare sector such as telecare, transportation of food or supplies, administrative and logistical tasks, etc.

In fact, industrial robot components are increasingly being modified for applications outside the manufacturing environment. The aim is the integration of industrial robot systems into new markets, as in the example of robots in the healthcare sector above.

Industrial robot and autonomous mobile robot: Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) are often used in industrial environments, but they do not meet the definition of an industrial robot as such: they have no manipulation capability and no three axes.

Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) and Mobile Manipulator: The IFR classifies AMRs as service robots although, as discussed in the previous point, they are often used in industrial environments. If the AMR platform is equipped with a robotic arm, it becomes a mobile manipulator and would therefore count as an industrial robot.

Robotnik as a manufacturer of mobile robotic systems and as the above IFR classification states, is an expert in the development of AMR and mobile service manipulators, often marketed in industrial environments.

Where are industrial robots used?

Nowadays, it is not only large companies that have access to industrial robots. More and more SMEs are experiencing an increase in profitability and a reduction in production costs by automating certain processes.
One of the objectives of industrial robotics is to optimise production lines making them more agile and adaptable to the specific needs of each customer.

Robotnik has been specialised in the development of industrial robotic applications based on platforms and mobile manipulators for 20 years.
Main areas where Robotnik's industrial robots are integrated:

Robotics in Logistics: autonomous mobile robots for the transport of materials in different areas and mobile manipulators that extend the working area of static collaborative robotic arms. Some logistics tasks where industrial robots are used are pick and place, metrology, packaging, polishing, screwing or drilling or palletising, among others.


Robotics for inspection and maintenance: integration of robotic systems equipped with sensors or artificial vision in inspection tasks in areas that are difficult to access or dangerous for operators. These robots can operate autonomously or be controlled remotely by an operator.

Where is service robotics used?

Beyond industrial manufacturing environments, the use of mobile robotics has increased significantly in several sectors:

Security and rescue: threat detection and assessment, real-time information gathering and transmission, transportation of goods... Autonomous mobile robotics has a lot to contribute in the area of security, rescue and defense.

Robotics in Agriculture: AMRs are increasingly used for fruit picking, identifying the state of a crop, spraying or sorting to avoid food waste.

Robotics in Construction: Early error detection, automation of hazardous tasks or monitoring and inspection are just some of the tasks that an AMR can perform in the construction sector.

Robotics in Healthcare: as mentioned above, it is already common to see collaborative robots in tasks such as transporting food or supplies, surgical assistance, telecare or administrative tasks.

The following table, elaborated by World Robotics 2021, shows the evolution of service robotics by sector and application:



In conclusion, what exactly do industrial robots look like?
After an approach to what an industrial robot is, these are some of the most demanded mobile robots for use in industrial environments:

RB-THERON is an excellent solution for industrial applications such as factories or warehouses, as it is specially designed for autonomous transport of loads indoors.

RB-ROBOUT the solution for the transport of heavy loads in intralogistics, designed to transport loads weighing up to 1 tonne in industrial environments.

RB-KAIROS+: this mobile manipulator is extremely useful for industrial applications such as pick and place, parts feeding, metrology, quality control, screwing of large parts, packaging, cleaning, polishing, screwing, etc. It is designed to work in industrial environments, sharing the work space with operators without risk.


RB-VOGUI+: a versatile mobile manipulator for indoor and outdoor logistics applications. The robot is highly mobile so it is able to follow an operator and navigate autonomously in any industrial environment.

diferencia entre AGV y AMR

What is the difference between AGVs vs. AMR?

Although there are some similarities between a mobile guided vehicle and an autonomous mobile robot, this article shows the differences between AGVs and AMR.

AGVs and AMR have specific characteristics that make them useful for different applications. It cannot be determined that AMRs are better than AGV, but rather that each is suitable for the given production context.

There are certain areas where the terms AMR and traditional AGV are used interchangeably. Although an AGV is not really a robot, but a robotic device, as it lacks the autonomy to determine or redefine its own route. By contrast, an AMR can navigate without external guidance. In other words, the AMR has freedom of navigation and decision making.

For example, if the robot is transporting any material from one point to another and encounters a pallet head-on, it will avoid the obstacle and redefine its route.


Main difference

An autonomous mobile robot is not simply a programmed machine. The AMR is one that, in addition to the initial programming, has a certain degree of independence to make decisions in the middle of the work environment, without the need for human intervention.

That is to say, not every industrial machine is an AMR because not every machine has the capacity to make decisions based on the information it perceives (unforeseen obstacles, for example).

The main difference between an AGV and an AMR is that AMRs use free navigation by means of lasers, while AGVs are located with fixed elements: magnetic tapes, magnets, beacons, etc. So, to be effective, they must have a predictable route.

In warehouses and places where the work environment is shared with humans, AMRs work better due to their dynamism and efficiency in sharing tasks. In addition, autonomous mobile robots have much more advanced software and hardware, expanding their possible applications: inspection and surveillance tasks, error detection, transport of materials, storage and distribution...


And how does it perceive this information? Robotnik integrates in its robots sensors and various components that receive, process and analyse data in real time and act accordingly: elevation system, different cameras, lasers or other components.

The flexibility of AMR to work in different locations means, for example, not changing the layout, easier scalability of the number of units and work zones or a clear definition of ROI (especially measurable in small projects that can be scaled up later). Moreover, AMR does not need a specific infrastructure to move around, but can be implemented in any space.

AGV are the predecessors of AMR and have been evolving since the 1950s. They are typically used for the transport of heavy loads, but run on a rail or belt and with a predetermined route. Another feature of the most advanced AGVs is that they are capable of detecting obstacles, but not of re-routing: when encountering an obstacle, the robot will stop.

Where are AGVs and AMR used?

Industrial environments are complicated, changing and full of obstacles. It is essential to be able to ensure the safety of operators.

Moreover, AMR and AGVs have different navigation systems and therefore behave and interact differently.

AGVs are suitable for workspaces with a large number of fixed tasks, as they require installation of the infrastructure through which they will move.

In collaborative and dynamic environments where both humans and machines are needed, customers often opt for AMRs because of their ability to adapt to a changing environment. A mobile robot receives, understands and manages data from the environment in real time, so it is more flexible and has a wider working area.


How to determine the best solution for a company?

By evaluating the environment, the scenario in which it will be deployed and the specific tasks to be performed by the AMR.

AGVs and AMRs have different applications. In general, AGVs are more effective for less complex tasks such as transporting raw materials, packaging, sorting or delivery. But always with predetermined tasks and routes.

AMR is the best choice for tasks that require Artificial Intelligence. Precisely, it is AI that makes these robots have infinite applications in different sectors: logistics, inspection and maintenance, agriculture or construction, among others.

In conclusion, Industry 4.0 is moving towards increasingly intelligent automation in which autonomous robots have become a key tool for Smart Factories.

manipuladores móviles autónomos

Mobile manipulators: the intelligent production for your factory

What exactly is a robot manipulator and what are the real benefits of mobile manipulators?

Robotics and mobile manipulation are on an ever-spinning wheel, advancing to better adapt to the needs of users. Robotnik has been a pioneer in the design and development of autonomous mobile manipulators which, in short, are a natural evolution arising from the union of cobots and AMR.

This article clarifies questions such as what is a manipulator in robotics, what are the advantages of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators and other questions of interest.

What were fixed robots a few years ago, evolved into collaborative robots and now Robotnik is already designing and manufacturing more cognitive, responsive and safer flexible mobile robots that lead the industry hand in hand towards the fourth industrial revolution.

As a robotics company founded in 2002, Robotnik has extensive experience in autonomous mobile manipulation and maintains business relationships with leading companies such as Universal Robots, Schunk, Kinova or Senserbot.

An example of mobile manipulation integration in industry is one of Robotnik’s recent success stories, based on an industrial implementation at the Dutch gear production company Hankamp Gears BV. It features Robotnik’s best-selling autonomous mobile manipulator, the RB-KAIROS+, which is discussed in more detail below.


What is an autonomous mobile manipulator robot?

A robot manipulator is basically a robot that integrates a robotic manipulator arm into a mobile platform, combining in a single product the advantages offered by both systems: the precision, dexterity and flexibility of one, and the autonomy and mobility of the other.

Collaborative mobile manipulation is now a reality available to all companies competing in the Industry 4.0 framework. These are autonomous mobile manipulators prepared to work safely in environments where people are present. Their capacity to carry out mechanical and repetitive tasks, covering complete work shifts, make them essential tools for any industry that wishes to position itself at the technological forefront and occupy a relevant position in today’s market.


Mobile Manipulator applications in industry

  • Handling – Pick & Place
  • Loading / positioning
  • Assembly
  • Screwing, drilling…
  • Inspection and testing
manipulador movil atornillado

Advantages of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators

The company’s portfolio includes mobile manipulation robots for industrial and R&D applications such as the RB-VOGUI+, XL-GEN or the RB-KAIROS+.

Some of the advantages of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators:

  • Easy configuration and installation, adapting to the needs of each customer, with open software and hardware.
  • Collaborative: collaborative mobile manipulators are perfect for sharing workspace with people in total safety.
  • FMS (Fleet Management System) to make it possible to coordinate a fleet of robots sharing the same workspace and resources.
  • HMI (Advanced User Interface) to generate maps and redefine routes and waypoints.
  • Autonomy: its activity complements or replaces, if necessary, the activity carried out by any worker during 1 or more shifts.
  • Omnidirectional movement that allows time reduction, making it 1/5 times faster than a differential one.
  • Free navigation as opposed to the fixed routes of traditional AGVS.
  • Advanced intelligent functions such as people tracking, coupling to machinery or voice communication, among others.

Within Robotnik’s portfolio of mobile manipulators, there is a model that stands out.

RB-KAIROS+: Robotnik’s most requested mobile manipulator
This innovative collaborative mobile manipulator is specially designed for the development of industrial applications. RB-KAIROS+ is the robot for logistics and industrial mobile manipulation, for Pick&Place, Fetch & Carry, Machine Tending or operations on large parts, among others.


Competitive advantages of the RB-KAIROS+:

As well as having all the advantages mentioned in the previous point, common to all mobile manipulators in Robotnik’s portfolio, these are some of the benefits that customers of the RB-KAIROS+ have highlighted after its use:

  • Versatility, increased profitability and improved production processes due to the possibilities of integrating the entirety of UR’s e-Series arms with the autonomous mobile platform.
    The AMR is UR+ certified, ready for the integration of a UR e-Series arm.
    Universal Robots is one of the giants in collaborative robotic arm manufacturing. Its cobots are safe, flexible and easy to use, so the synergy between the two companies has allowed the development of Robotnik’s most demanded mobile manipulator: the RB-KAIROS+.
  • Easy to configure and adaptable: The open software and hardware in ROS, implies a much simpler set-up than other mobile manipulators. This turns the robotic arm into a mobile manipulator in an intuitive way.
  • Increased efficiency in tasks such as pick&place. With a payload of up to 250 kg, it adds value in handling heavy loads and automating storage tasks.
  • Collaborative: This mobile manipulator is completely autonomous and allows the robotic arm to work in different locations, extending its work area, making it perfect for sharing workspace and tasks with humans.


Incorporating mobile manipulation into your industrial plant?

In recent years, the number of industries automating their production lines by incorporating one or more mobile manipulators into their plant has grown considerably.

To find the solution that best suits your specific needs, Robotnik offers a free consultation service without compromise, in which the professionals will advise you personally.

In any case, there are some key aspects that you can take into account to assess the feasibility before deciding:

  1. What is your environment like?
    A working environment can be structured or unstructured.
    Structured means that the robot will not encounter many unexpected obstacles around it, i.e., there will be no modifications to the layout so that the robot maintains the landmarks that allow it to position itself.
    If it is unstructured, the robot will only be able to avoid dynamic, i.e. unexpected, obstacles if it maintains around 20% of the reference points. When it detects them, it will intelligently re-route its path, ensuring safety and cost-effective working time.
  2. What features does the building need to have?
    The floor is a very important aspect to take into account, as uneven floors affect the accuracy of the odometry and the vibrations generated by the laser measurement. In addition, mechanical wheels may have some limitations in some environments: oily or greasy floors, very dirty, gritty or rough floors.
    Walls and shelves are important for the robot to navigate the floor, locating and mapping simultaneously. Robotnik’s mobile manipulators will take these as a reference and a variation of no more than 20% from the original layout will not affect the robot’s performance.
    On the first day, the robot is walked around the site, moving it in a teleoperated way with a remote control and generating a real route that will be the basis for the future navigation of the robot.
    Aspects such as the dimensions of the corridors or the height of the doors must be adapted to the robot’s footprint. The omni-directional wheels are another great advantage of Robotnik’s mobile manipulator because of their 360° versatility, especially for industrial applications where the robot can easily move in small aisles, for example.
  3. How much precision does your application require?
    By default, the positional accuracy provided by LiDAR for SLAM navigation is about 5 to 10 cm. This accuracy may be sufficient for a normal application where the robot simply transits from point A to point B or goes to several waiting points. But for specific applications such as Pick&Place or interaction with other machinery, this accuracy can be improved up to 1 mm.
    This is achieved by adding sensors or QR codes. This is done, for example, for docking: we add a code that the camera recognises and is able to relocate.
  4. How much payload do you need to carry?
    Each Robotnik mobile manipulator has a different payload capacity, so you can find the best robot option depending on the payload you require.
    Specifically, the standard configuration of RB-KAIROS+ has a payload of up to 250 kg. Other versions are also available with collaborative arms with payloads of 3 kg, 5 kg and 16 kg.
  5. How are work shifts set up?
    One of the great benefits of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators is that, with the right fleet of robots – optimised in number of units – it is possible to work full 24-hour shifts. The robots will perform automatic battery charging when necessary. The robot is equipped with a charging station to which it can be connected autonomously. It is possible to command the robot to perform a charging action, to launch a terminal, to launch wirelessly, to launch an industrial protocol as a rest or also to launch the Universal Robots poliscope interface.


Mobile manipulation is a definite boost on the way to Industry 4.0, also known as connected industry.
The use of mobile manipulators promotes flexible and intelligent industrial automation that increases the competitiveness of a factory by making better use of its resources.

Robotnik is not only committed to automation, but also to intelligent automation, which involves developing mobile robots capable of self-managing and making decisions without human intervention.

robots in logistics

RB-VOGUI, a collaborative robot for outdoor transport in industry

The Eurecat technology center and Robotnik Automation have developed the RB-VOGUI, a highly modular, autonomous and collaborative land robot designed for the autonomous transport of materials in the industrial and construction sectors, with a design that provides an advanced human-robot collaboration system.

As part of the European COBOLLEAGUE project, the robot is focused on autonomous navigation in outdoor industrial environments, which are characterized by uneven terrain and a wide variety of static and dynamic obstacles.

It is a highly mobile, all-terrain modular mobile base suitable for transporting loads of up to 200 kg.  Its design includes features that enable people tracking, gesture detection and voice-based control.

RB-VOGUI is able to generate a map of its environment and to locate and navigate it safely, being able to perform inter-plant transport tasks or last-mile transport tasks This map is also capable to identify all obstacles as well as possible cliffs and holes where the robot can fall through or collect data in construction environments that can then be used in conjunction with the building information modelling system BIM (Building Information Modeling).

Utility of mobile robotics in industry

According to Roberto Guzman, CEO of Robotnik, "the COBOLLEAGUE project demonstrates, once again, the utility of mobile robotics for applications in which repetitive tasks are performed, in this case, automating outdoor transportation in industry and construction. Our experience of almost 20 years in service robotics allows us to adapt our general purpose robots to different verticals, being able to provide mobile solutions in a wide variety of applications and sectors".   

In the words of the director of the Eurecat Robotics and Automation Unit, Daniel Serrano, "after more than a decade of R&D in location and autonomous navigation, in this project we have managed to develop a 3D location and mapping that takes advantage of the building model extracted directly from BIM. This project demonstrates the potential of the application of service robots in the construction sector, with many possibilities for the future".

Robotnik in Cobolleague project

Within the Cobolleague project, Robotnik has been responsible for the provision of the mechatronic solution and the development of the conceptual design, safety and human factors, as well as business case validation and industrial engagement. A new kinematic configuration has been developed to give the RB-VOGUI robot chassis greater mobility and allows it to perform autonomous transport tasks in urban environments or in unstructured environments with difficult terrain. A 3D laser localization and navigation system has been developed that has proven to work robustly, both indoors and outdoors.

mobile robot

Eurecat in Cobolleague project

For its part, Eurecat has been responsible for developing a BIM (Building Information Model) based interface that processes 3D building information, adding structural data to a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) system used by a mobile robot. Thus, the robot can access a 3D map of the reference model and determine its own location in the construction environment, saving time and performing autonomous navigation to a destination, without first exploring the map. 

Futhermore, Eurecat's implementation allows tracking the status of construction and flagging updates to the reference model, a relevant feature for the construction industry. Eurecat also provides the integration of a multimodal worker-robot interface, so that the robot follows the workers in complete safety. 

COBOLLEAGUE has been supported by the ESMERA (European SMEs Robotics Applications) project, in its call for robotic solutions to industrial challenges. ESMERA is a consortium formed by four technology centers (the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Automation Systems of the University of Patras; the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives; and the Tekniker Foundation and Technische Universität München), and three industrial partners (Blue Ocean Robotics; COMAU; and R.U. Robots).

Video demostration here.

mobile robots applications

Mobile robotics applications: more safety and productivity for your plant

The applications of mobile robotics have enabled numerous industries to take advantage of all the benefits that intelligent automation brings to any production line. Mobile robotics applications have been the key automated tool for creating safer, more efficient industrial spaces and achieving greater productivity.

What can mobile robotics do to improve an industrial plant?

Simplification of process manipulation

The applications of mobile robotics in any industrial field are designed to optimize any production processes which could prove overly dangerous or repetitive for workers. 

Therefore, mobile industrial robots are designed to be tools that provide solutions and offer functionalities that simplify the jobs.

We just need to look at the functioning of a mobile manipulator that has all the information and room for movements to help it identify a material, handle it according to its weight, size, and fragility.

Safe collaborative work areas

Collaborative mobile robots are equipped with specific components to ensure they can share a work area with operators without exposing them to any type of risk. 

They work in a coordinated way, with sensors that detect when people are near, thus adapting their strength, speed, or route to prioritize worker safety. Even though they are autonomous robots operating remotely, the information they process is managed by the human workers who control their functioning.

Better productivity and better use of resources

There are considerable time savings because mobile robots or mobile manipulators act predictively to manage all the resources at their disposal (time and raw materials to be processed) more efficiently.

Productivity is also higher because robot applications reduce errors, reduce defective products, and improves the quality of the finished product. 

Industrial areas where mobile robotics applications have been the key to success


Inspection and maintenance tasks can incur risks and mean having to operate in unsafe areas, which is why mobile robots can be very helpful in perfecting these processes and overcoming difficulties.

This is the case with autonomous rescue robots which can detect the presence of gases or carry out search operations, becoming an automated tool with sensors and GPS controlled by emergency units to operate faster and with fewer risks.


In the horticulture and farming sectors, robot mobile manipulators handle repetitive tasks that save considerable time, but also prioritize precision and the exact identification of the materials they are handling.

Collaborative robots are now commonly used in fruit picking, grafting, and insect cultivation where artificial intelligence provides predictive data to optimize farms and plantations.


Mobile robotics applications have also become tools that greatly improve quality of life and provide autonomy to dependent people.

Mobile robots can even be adapted into robotic or motorized shower systems for people with functional disabilities, to enable them to shower on their own by giving orders to the robot. 

Collaborative mobile robots can also become excellent hospital assistants, offering support in operating theatres, ICUs, or areas of risk for the healthcare team.


Industrial robots have become a key technology in this industry, especially for tasks like transportation and picking tasks.

mobile robot navigation with human interface device

Fast-growing industries thanks to robotic applications

Robotic applications in Industry 4.0 have become a determining factor for growth for companies in different sectors, thanks to the benefits of this type of intelligent automation.

At Robotnik, we develop automated solutions to expand and optimize mobile robotics applications in logistics, inspection or maintenance, among others.

What can boost an industry’s growth in the age of automation?

In a global, competitive, and uncertain market, fast growth is possible when an industry invests its resources in automated tools.  Those tools allow industries to have greater control over their production and avoid workers from repetitive tasks.

How Industry 4.0 helps to grow companies?

Industry 4.0 helps the companies to grow sustainably and efficiently at a good solid pace, focused on using its technology to help people improve the way they work and their quality of life. 

Creating more flexible processes

This is one of the main objectives of Industry 4.0 processes and what optimizes production lines to make them more versatile, adaptable, and streamlined when it comes to introducing changes or adapting production to customer needs.

Robotic applications

Saving costs

The starting point here is to save the most valuable resource of all: time. This means a shorter time to market and the ability to increase production. More efficient production also means smarter use of materials and supplies, as well as lower maintenance costs. Overall, production is higher and there are lower costs per finished unit.

Increasing process control

This will facilitate a better monitoring of results and more efficient error detection. As a result, there will be a greater capacity to anticipate and prevent the assembly line from suffering interruptions, wasting unnecessary time on certain tasks, or lowering quality standards.

With increased control over each stage of production, there will also be an improvement in worker safety, thus guaranteeing a risk-free working environment.

Improving information

Mobile robotics applications generate data and create predictive models that streamline decision-making. 

The interconnection between robotic applications in Industry 4.0 helps you to create and share data that is then converted into more detailed and up-to-date information, thus enabling companies to make improvements or predict results more accurately.

Accessing new markets

With improved productivity, greater control over the production, and better use of the information generated by the mobile industrial robots, the industry will now have everything in its favor to enable it to expand into new markets, reach new potential customers, and have greater bargaining power due to an increased company value.

Mobile robotics applications in Industry 4.0

The mobile robotics automate tasks such as load transporting in indoor and outdoor environments. This is a standard application in logistics for example. Thank you the Fleet Management System (FMS), these robots are coordinated among them and with the other tools of the company. 

In the case of inspection and maintenance applications, which involves the execution of repetitive and exhaustive tasks, the mobile robots, equipped with sensors or machine vision can autonomously monitor the state of infrastructures or access risk areas to ensure they are safe before operators intervene.

Growing faster sustainably, and exploiting the opportunities of Industry 4.0 is where mobile robotics applications have much to contribute, not least in making projects safer, more efficient, and less costly.

Smart factories: how robots are leading industry changes

Smart factories are production companies and factories with a level of automation and digitalization that allows them to take advantage of the potential of the latest technologies to improve their productivity and create more flexible and streamlined processes.

These types of factories operate within the realms of Industry 4.0, also known as the Connected Industry. In this industry, what stands out most is how data and information flows are created, as well as the involvement of robots and humans in those processes.

When we speak of smart factories, that implies mobile robotics autonomous and collaborative robots that enable intelligent automation and the creation of safer, more productive work environments where the interaction between machines and humans ensures optimal use of each of their qualities and capabilities.

What are the characteristics of a smart factory?

To understand why collaborative robotics is one of the key players in Industry 4.0 - promoting innovative changes and creating new production methods - then we must begin by understanding the features that determine whether an industry is operating intelligently or not.

Automation of processes

This process of automation doesn’t set out to replace manpower; it aims to optimize tasks through the use of new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, or the Internet of Things.

These automated solutions give access to a wealth of data that generates more information, reduces uncertainty, and increases process control.


Production and market environments are increasingly changing and the survival of many companies depends on their degree of adaptability to new customer needs or demands. 

To be able to cope with this, they first need to create a streamlined, flexible industrial workspace that can adapt to change, without needing to incur large losses. In this way, automation allows for greater versatility without suffering production downtime.

Redesigning the production line

Connectivity and automation are responsible for making collaborative robotics and intelligent mobile manipulators more accessible for all types of industries and all sizes of companies. 

So, we can see that production volumes don’t create so many competitive advantages anymore; these days competitiveness revolves more around the ability to streamline the assembly line processes with fewer resources, and to create higher quality products at a lower cost.

Focusing on work strengths

It is important to bear in mind that smart factories don’t dispense with the human workforce; they strive to relocate them to take care of more value tasks.

Collaborative robots are designed to assist humans; their function is to interact with them and function under their control in order to take care of their speciality: repetitive tasks carried out uniformly and at a constant speed.

Mobile robotics solutions at the forefront of Industry 4.0

Robotnik is an expert in the design and manufacture of mobile robots and mobile manipulators that are used as automated solutions for different applications and services, and especially for logistics.

mobile manipulator in warehouse

Mobile robotics for logistics by taking over the tasks of transporting and picking materials, and, in turn, freeing operators from repetitive and tedious tasks where efficiency and effectiveness can be lost.

The mobile robots are controlled by a Fleet Management System that simplifies the handling of the robots and creates safe, efficient transport routes, where robots can work in the same environment as operators.

Mobile manipulators are a very useful automated solution in smart factories because they permit you, above all, to save time and improve the efficiency of any given process.

Mobile manipulators are extremely useful for industrial applications such as pick and place, part feeding, metrology, quality control, operations on large parts or packaging, cleaning, polishing, screwing or drilling.

The main advantage of a mobile manipulator is its capacity to expand the cobot workspace unlimitedly. In the case of RB-KAIROS+ from Robotnik's it should be noted its omni-directional movement which allows the reduction of times, making it 1/5 times faster than a differential.

The simplification of mechanical processes is the greatest added value that collaborative mobile robots can bring to the industry, leaving creativity to people.

robotics in warehousing

Collaborative Robots vs Industrial Robots: key differences

When we talk about Industry 4.0, we can’t help but talk about collaborative robots and how this intelligent automated solution has been a turning point in the integration of new technologies in industry.

Industry 4.0 has been made possible thanks to the extensive experience already obtained in the field of industrial robotics and its presence on the production lines to automate tasks in a wide variety of sectors, all with the aim of improving productivity, efficiency, and quality.

We would quite possibly never be talking about collaborative robots without the original development of industrial robots and their evolution towards the design of intelligent automated solutions, based on interaction with humans.

mobile industrial robotics

Because of this, none of these types of robotics is better than the other,  they are complimented tools. Rather they are complementary, they are automated systems developed for different types of needs and objectives. It is, therefore, essential to understand what they are, what they contribute to industry, their key differences, and how they facilitate coexistence and work coordination.

Industrial robots

Industrial robots were created as an automated solution to take on intensive production tasks that require a constantly moving assembly line.

They are generally large and heavy, and placed in fixed positions within the industrial plant, configured with modules that do not have force sensors.

These robots are designed and configured to work automatically and intensively, their priority being the constant execution of their tasks. In addition, they need a fenced safety area to protect the human operators around them. 

Industrial robots are designed to perform a single task with high precision and speed. It doesn’t need to be moved, and so its positioning is a priority. The rest of the workers' tasks and processes are adapted to fit in with the robot’s capabilities and workload.

In the case of mobile robotics, we could tell that the first step in the industrial sector were the AGVs. These types of robots require physical elements to function (magnets, beacons ...), so they imply a modification of the layout, they are not capable of overcoming obstacles and the same robot doesn't have the same flexibility that a CMR does to work in different locations.

Collaborative robots

The collaborative robots are automated solutions designed to work interactively with humans. To facilitate this, they are specially designed to be quite compact and lightweight, thus ensuring they can be easily moved and take up little space in a plant’s working areas.

Collaborative robots are designed to work with people, and so safety is key. For that reason, they have built-in movement detection sensors which ensure that they can alter their operations or speed to facilitate safe shared-working environments.

mobile industrial robotics

They aren’t designed to carry out just one specific task, but, rather, to simplify the different processes that they may be involved in. This is why adaptability and flexibility are priorities in their design, as well as being easy to programme in order to carry out their different tasks optimally. 

The Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMR) have numerous advantages compared to traditional AGVS and help to reduce production costs for their rapid installation, flexibility, space saving, improved safety in the workspace and represent an aid for operators. As we have already mentioned before, they do not require physical elements and can work in different locations.

What are the differences between industrial robots and Collaborative Robots?

In general terms, the differences lie in the purpose they have been designed and developed for.

As far as industrial robots are concerned, they are designed to automate tasks and improve productivity, efficiency, and quality. They are created to perform a single task, but they can perform it so efficiently that they become essential for the optimal operation of an assembly line.  Is the case of industrial arms in sectors such us automotion or alimentation, for example.

So, as you can see, we’re talking here about robots with a high degree of specialization, and a complex configuration carried out by experts, involving the creation of a workspace that requires specific safety measures. In addition to this, there are electricity, operation, and maintenance costs.  

A cobot, on the other hand, is a collaborative robot, which means they are automated tools created to operate under the guidelines of an operator, with whom it works in a coordinated and safe manner, all in the same workspace. This makes it capable of executing a single task or intervening in different tasks, depending on the production needs and the parameters it has been configured with.

mobile robot in warehouse

Because of this, a collaborative robot stands out for its versatility and ease of programming. This means that it can be easily integrated into the production line and can be operated and configured by an operator with basic knowledge.

This type of robot is able to free operators up from repetitive and precision-demanding tasks, thus helping to improve productivity and the quality of the result. This adaptability and interactive working influence their cost, as cobots stand out for their quick return on investment.

The CMR are perfect for autonomous transport loads and the mobile manipulators are designed for tasks such as pick&place, part feeding,  packaging, cleaning, polishing, screwing or drilling.

So, as we can see, both industrial robots and collaborative robots have their place on the production line, with the former conceived as a replacement for human workers, and the latter as a helper and ally to improve work efficiency.

Industry 4.0

Mobile Robots in Industry 4.0: automation & flexibility

Industry 4.0, also known as Connected Industry, is the industry stage that has consolidated the use of connectivity and collaborative robotics in industrial processes, creating workspaces in which humans and robots can work safely together and share information to optimize processes, thus resulting in better decision-making.

The use of mobile robots and mobile manipulators creates the flexible and autonomous industrial automation needed to create Smart Factories, where the greatest asset is the exchange of information made possible by the integration of the latest intelligent technologies into robotics, such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, or Big Data.

This gives rise to the possibility of using intelligent, autonomous, and collaborative mobile robots which allow the creation of more efficient, optimal industrial processes with better use of resources, resulting in all-around greater productivity.

Industry 4.0 and the Age of Mobile Robotics

The combination of ICT and smart technologies has ushered in an era of mobile robotics with characteristics and features that widen its industrial applications and its capacity to process data, perform actions, and adapt to different working environments.

Thanks to R&D processes such as those developed by Robotnik, collaborative mobile robotics can take charge of the execution of repetitive processes, adapting the robots’ movements to the information they receive, process and share, thanks to the latest state-of-the-art software and sensors.

This has brought about very significant changes, for example, in the application of mobile robotics for pick & place logistics tasks or for general industrial applications as part feeding, metrology, quality control, operations on large parts or packaging, cleaning, polishing, screwing or drilling,  where the repeatability and uniformity of actions are key to saving costs and streamlining processes.

What features enable collaborative mobile robotics to create intelligent factories?

Intelligent automation

This means that a mobile robot is not only capable of performing a task without human intervention, but that it is also capable of self-management and decision making, due to its ability to access, generate, and process information

In this way, the mobile robot doesn’t only take on the execution of repetitive or dangerous processes; it can also decide to change its route or adapt its omnidirectional movements at any given moment, thanks to the simulations it can recreate and the predictive models it generates with the data it collects in real time.


This is what makes a machine-to-machine (M2M) communication possible: the creation of decentralized systems and the possibility for robots to interact with humans through integrated interfaces that simplify the collaborative work.

This also allows collaboration with other components that can be integrated into mobile platforms, such as artificial vision systems or robotic arms.


This is the adaptability that mobile robots and mobile manipulators have at their disposal, to modify their way of working, according to the demands of the production line, or the changes in the working environment.

Executing different tasks, adapting their speed, creating alternative routes, or changing sections in real time are all well within the capabilities of a mobile robot with intelligent navigation.

Within this ability to adapt, Robotnik has gone one step further with the creation of mobile manipulators that provide mobility and autonomy to the collaborative arms, with a simple plug and play integration.

Robotnik’s contributions to the evolution of Industry 4.0 

Robotnik is an expert in the design, manufacture, and marketing of mobile robots and mobile manipulators, with all the necessary features to enable any industry to adapt them to its own needs.

Their close collaboration with different types of industries has made it possible for Robotnik to innovate and create new tailor-made solutions to widen and enhance the industrial applications of mobile robots.

  • This has led to the development of an own Fleet Management System (FMS), which coordinates the operation of several robots and mobile manipulators working in the same area, sharing resources and creating coordinated flow control to save resources and create more efficient processes.
  • The integration of the latest intelligent technologies has enabled the provision of mobile robots with new functionalities that can improve collaborative work. Some cases in point are voice control, people tracking, or autonomous coupling to other machines.
  • The development of an Advanced user interface (HMI) allows to generate maps and define localization (waypoints) and routes in a simple and interactive way.  It allows the client/user to control the operations of mapping, localization and navigation directly from any device connected to the robot network.
  • And, finally, it has enabled the creation of mobile manipulators compatible with different automated components that expand their industrial applications. Here we have the innovative RB-KAIROS+ Mobile Robot, a robotic platform with omnidirectional kinematics equipped for the integration of the Universal Robots e-Series arm. This allows unlimited expansion of the cobot workspace, because the collaborative mobile manipulator can work in different locations.  In this sense, it enables a wide range of new applications and it is a great complement for current URe arm users.

It is this continuous process of research and development that has enabled robotics to begin taking on new tasks in different fields and sectors.