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Cobots vs. Covid Initiative: Start Simple

Samuel Bouchard
by Samuel Bouchard. Last updated on Nov 23, 2021 11:31 AM
Posted on Apr 06, 2020 4:10 PM. 4 min read time
  1. This article is the second of a 7-part series supporting our Cobots vs. Covid initiative:
    If you are a manufacturer ramping up production of mission-critical goods, Robotiq wants to help you deploy a cobot application in two weeks.
  2. Watch our 23-min video explaining the program.
  3. Ready to take action? Contact us now.
Today’s article: Why starting simple is critical to success, and how to do it.

Key to Success #1: Start Simple

Why Starting Simple is Essential

  1. Starting simple means identifying a job that will be simple for the robot to do and simple for you to deploy.
  2. Complexity is the enemy of execution. And we need to execute fast to be successful. Keep in mind that working remotely in a high-pressure environment already involves complexity. By starting simple, we’re doing ourselves a huge favor.
  3. Starting simple will have positive repercussions throughout the project: making design, integration, training, and troubleshooting faster and easier.

What Counts as “Simple”?

Simple for the Robot

  1. Think of robots as near-perfect motion repeating machines. They’re way better than humans at predictable, repeatable tasks.
  2. Remember, though, that all the sensory motor skills you take for granted (like coordinating your sense of sight and touch with your hand movements) are far more difficult for robots.
  3. Also keep in mind that this is not linear: simple things can be very simple, while complex things can be very complex.
  4. In other words, a manual task that is easy for you is not necessarily easy for a robot.

Here’s a quick way to test if your task is simple enough for a robot:


  1. Could you do it:
    • One-handed?
    • Wearing a mitten?
    • And blindfolded?
  2. Don’t use an “ideal scenario”—use a real case on the production line, considering how parts are presented and dropped off, and whether humans are doing any non-obvious tasks like visual inspection or tweaking parts in the process.
  3. If you can perform the task with these limitations, that’s a great start. Obviously we’ll dig deeper into this with you as we move along, but this rough guide can help you do the first filter.

Simple to Deploy

  1. In the previous article, we explained some criteria for a successful project. Three of them relate to simplicity on your end:
    • Do you have an automation team in place of at least two people, who will be 100% dedicated to the project?
    • Do you have prior experience with robots?
    • Can you share data remotely with Robotiq (WiFi, cell network)?
  2. If so, and if we choose a simple job for the robot, we will be able to support you remotely to get it done.

Simple Cobot Jobs

These are some of the simplest jobs for a robot:

  1. Pick and place. Transferring parts from one place to another.
  2. Machine tending. Loading and unloading parts from a machine (pictured below with a testing machine and CNC machine).
  3. Packaging. Placing products in packages.

How We Will Work as a Team to Start Simple

One of our Integration Coaches will work with you to qualify the application within 48 hours of initial submission.

  1. You can submit written instructions for your target application here. Your application will remain confidential.
  2. We will then organize a video call on the factory floor.


Want to take action?

Contact us now!

Upcoming article: Key  #2 - Keep it Simple

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Samuel Bouchard
Written by Samuel Bouchard
Samuel is CEO and co-founder of Robotiq. His mission is to free human hands from repetitive tasks. He is also the author of Lean Robotics: A Guide to Making Robots Work in Your Factory. He lives in Québec City with his wife and four children.
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