DOBOT CR Series Review: Safe and Easy Collaboration with New Robotic Arms

Anabelle Yearsdon
by Anabelle Yearsdon
Updated Jun 13, 2023 1492

Founded in 2015, Chinese company Dobot Robotics is known as the creator of the world’s first desktop collaborative robot. Over the years, they have expanded their product range to several lineups with a dozen models varying in terms of payload capabilities and scope of application: CR, CRS, MG400, M1 Pro, Nova, and Magician. According to official data, Dobot has sold over 68000 collaborative robots to 100 countries and regions, which has unsurprisingly made it the first Chinese robot exporter by volume.

With their new CR series consisting of six efficient machines designed for smooth and stable operation, the company opens up new opportunities for collaborative robotics.

This is Top 3D Shop, and today we’d like to take a closer look at specifications and innovative features that make the CR series the next step in safe manufacturing automation.

Pros and cons
  • Excellent repeatability
  • Six payload and reach options
  • Extremely easy to deploy and control
  • Thoughtful safety algorithms
  • Flexible and reliable structure
  • Rich connectivity and communication
  • Fit for numerous automated applications
  • End-effectors and accessories should be purchased separately
  • The SafeSkin technology is supported only by some models

 

Overview

The DOBOT CR series introduces easy-to-use collaborative robots with plug-and-play architecture that are designed for high-precision repetitive tasks in various working environments. With six available versions differing in terms of payload — from 3 to 20 kg — and reach capabilities, the lineup offers innovative safety functions alongside high performance.

DOBOT CR collaborative robots possess the following characteristics:

  • outstanding repeatability of up to ±0.02 mm coupled with high maneuverability and the maximum speed of 4 m/s (depending on the model), thus the machines can perform even the most difficult precision tasks with ease;
  • increasingly flexible structure that allows to install the cobot at any angle — horizontally, upside down, mounted on a wall or auxiliary equipment, such as AGVs;
  • intuitive and easy-to-learn control options, such as graphical programming interface, make the DOBOT CR series perfect for both beginners and experienced robot users;
  • secondary development is available on 20+ platforms;
  • due to the unique interactive panel, the robots provide quick access to drag teaching functionality and simplified controls;

  • to ensure flexible and convenient usage at all levels, the CR devices support TCP/IP, TCP Modbus, Wi-Fi, and EtherCAT communication methods;
  • built-in energy feeding and power outage protection functions ensure stable and consistent workflow;
  • high level of protection against potential environmental hazards, like dust and water, allows facilitating multiple repetitive tasks that take a lot of time, effort, and risk on the part of human staff;
  • thanks to remarkable technical parameters in various aspects, the DOBOT CR cobots can master a wide range of applications.

In the picture, you can find the basic technical characteristics of the DOBOT CR machines:

For more information, check out the corresponding product pages in our shop and informative sections below.

 

Highlights

Now, let’s look at the prominent features of the DOBOT CR cobots.

Accurate and smooth operation

The DOBOT CR machines provide reliable performance in combination with high accuracy and stability. With six degrees of freedom, the robots can do the majority of tasks human staff is capable of, but more accurately and with less risk of damage and failure. They can repeat the same movement within ±0.02 mm at a maximum speed of 4 m/s. Considering decent payload capabilities, this lets the CR models perform a wider range of difficult operations.

Apart from the mentioned benefits, the DOBOT CR series is designed with vibration suppression and True Motion algorithms that guarantee precision and stability during complex movements.

Intuitive controls

To fit a user of any level, the DOBOT CR machines come with intuitive graphical programming interface and simple scripting, which allows to easily set and adjust tasks from any connected device, with no prior programming experience required. The list of the available terminals includes a smartphone, tablet, PC, and hand-held teaching pendant.

Another convenient function is tactile drag teaching that allows the operator to simply move the cobot to desired positions and set necessary actions. Integrated trajectory tracking and portable learning algorithms enable imitation of human hand motions, which is possible due to all-perceptive AI technology that efficiently combines vision, force, and voice controls.

Enhanced safety

Since safety is one of the priorities when it comes to collaborative robots, the CR series is equipped with multiple sensors offering 5 adjustable levels of collision detection.

This smart mechanism can adapt to a variety of application scenarios and boasts quick response of up to 10 ms at a distance of 15 cm. Moreover, it provides an obstacle avoidance mode with no material interference.

The innovative pre-collision sensing technology known as SafeSkin represents an optional silicone shell accessory for the CR3, CR5, and CR10 models. Attached to J4 and J6 joints of the robots, SafeSkin boasts high surface coverage, long sensing distance, and rapid response. So, this cutting-edge mechanism takes human-machine collaboration to a whole new level.

All these smart features make the CR cobots injury-free at low and medium speeds and guarantee 90% less collision damage during high-speed operation.

Quick deployment

Thanks to ergonomic design with plug-and-play architecture and simplified wiring, the DOBOT CR devices ensure a fast and easy deployment. The complete installation process takes no more than 20 minutes, so the cobot is ready for work in just an hour.

Full-fledged ecosystem

To fulfill an even greater variety of tasks, the CR collaborative robots are equipped with multiple I/O and communication interfaces. They are compatible with a wide range of plug-and-play end-tools, such as grippers, cameras, and sensors.

 

Applications

DOBOT CR cobots are aimed at high adaptability and versatility. Due to official software packages that cover more than 50 tasks across 8 major industries, they can master all manner of traditional operations, including loading and unloading, assembly, screwdriving, welding, polishing, etc.

These ergonomic, easy-to-use machines will become perfect tools for a wide range of industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, semiconductor, healthcare, chemical, and new retail.

Depending on their individual features, the DOBOT CR cobots will fit different spheres of application.

  • If you are looking for a compact robot able to fit in tight spaces, the CR3 model is a perfect choice for automating light tasks, like handling coffee and other beverages. Apart from different retail scenarios, it can also be great for consumer electronics.

DOBOT CR3 Collaborative Robot
Material(s) Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic

  • Both CR5 and CR7 robots feature decent payloads and working radius, which lets them perform a wide range of repetitive tasks, such as loading and unloading, polishing, screwdriving, assembly, and transportation for metal processing, healthcare, food and beverage, home appliance, and semiconductor industries.

DOBOT CR5 Collaborative Robot
Material(s) Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic

DOBOT CR7 Collaborative Robot
Material(s) Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic

  • With CR10 and CR12, you get a wider working radius that is well suited for loading and unloading, packaging, transportation, and palletizing tasks. All these operations are essential for a number of demanding spheres, among which are automotive, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.

DOBOT CR10 Collaborative Robot
Material(s) Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic

DOBOT CR12 Collaborative Robot
Material(s) Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic

  • As the model with the highest payload in the series, CR16 is perfect for handling heavy-duty tasks and improving overall palletizing efficiency for any factory, workshop, or lab.

DOBOT CR16 Collaborative Robot
Material(s) Aluminum alloy, ABS plastic

 

Use cases

From the official website, we have gathered just a few examples of use of the DOBOT CR series.

Loading and unloading of hydraulic tube adapter machining

While manual loading and unloading is inefficient and unsafe, there were some other problems for the customer, namely — insufficient space and high price of traditional automation equipment. Luckily, a CR5 robot equipped with a double gripper is able to manage unprocessed and processed parts from two machine tools at once, which greatly improves production efficiency and cost.

Sanding and polishing of car parts

Not only is the polishing process difficult to control by manual operation, but in this case the working environment is dangerous for workers: resulting dust can cause professional diseases.

To reduce labor costs and achieve better outputs, the customer decided to deploy a DOBOT CR5 robotic arm with a force sensor and grinding head installed. Thanks to force perception and adaptive compensation technology, it can successfully adapt to high-quality polishing of irregular surfaces, such as car roof surfaces and doors.

Automated gearbox screwdriving

As with many traditional technical operations, manual screwdriving is inefficient. Too much force can easily damage the screw holes, which affects product consistency. 

However, with a CR16 collaborative robot equipped with proper accessories, the pre-tightening task of the screw set of a gearbox can be completed within 32 seconds. Apart from dealing with two screws at the same time, the robot is able to continuously follow the exact procedures and scheduled workflow.

Chinese pancakes baked by robot

In retail, staff training takes a long time. Additionally, it implies hard business hours with unstable customer flow. With suitable end-effectors, collaborative robots from the DOBOT CR series can prepare food and drinks based on customer orders. For example, this particular cobot completes the full process of baking Chinese pancakes, from making the mixture to delivering the finished product, in 3 minutes.

 

Bottom line

In summary, the collaborative robots from the DOBOT CR series effectively combine a flexible design, decent working radius, high precision, cutting-edge safety technologies, and intuitive controls, which makes them ideal for a wide spectrum of operations in multiple spheres where repetitive tasks have to be performed accurately and reliably. 

The reasonable implementation of the DOBOT CR series allows one not only to automate manifold production processes, save time and costs, but also maintain safety and health of human staff working alongside these intelligent machines.

FAQ

How long is the service life of the DOBOT CR collaborative robots?
According to the developer, the mean time between failures (MTBF) of the CR series is 32000 hours. Please note that the life cycle of any device is unique and greatly depends on the operating environment, maintenance performed, and other factors.
How is the DOBOT CR series certified?
The CR series has obtained several international certificates, such as CE, CR, FCC, KCs, RCM, and UL. In addition, it has also secured the ISO 13849 PLd safety standard and the TS 15066 safety requirements for collaborative industrial robot systems.
What is the essence of the SafeSkin technology?
To provide pre-collision detection capability, the SafeSkin accessory is designed to sense obstacles that come within 15 cm of range and initiate a corresponding evasion maneuver. Thus, the CR series models equipped with the SafeSkin can operate at 1 m/s while ensuring safe collaboration for surrounding personnel.
Anabelle Yearsdon
Anabelle Yearsdon
Updated Jun 13, 2023
About the expert
A linguist by profession and 3D enthusiast by passion. Spirited researcher of existing and new AM technologies, inquisitive tester of various devices, and a true connoisseur of creative ways. In addition to digital manufacturing, Ana enjoys learning new things, cooking for her loved ones, and chilling in video games.

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