Classical robotic arms have many limitations that prevent enterprises from deploying them; their high price points often prevent small and midsize enterprises from purchasing them, and their large size, lack of safety features, and complex interfaces prohibit their use in applications that involve human workers. In the late 2000s, a handful of companies like Universal Robots and Rethink Robotics developed smaller, safer, cheaper versions of classical arms that were much easier to use, which we now call collaborative robots, or cobots. The robotics industry speaks of these two as cobot pioneers, but where Universal Robots saw success and an acquisition by Teradyne, Rethink Robotics struggled to find traction and shut its doors in late 2018.
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