Yaskawa Releases the HC20XP Human-Cobot With Power and Force Limiting Technology

March 27, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Yaskawa release a new collaborative robot designed to work seamlessly alongside human operators. 

Yaskawa Motoman is an American branch of parent company, Yaskawa Electric Corporation. Motoman produces robotic automation technologies and solutions for industry including arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material handling, material cutting, packaging, palletizing and, spot welding.

Recently, Motoman has released its latest product, the HC20XP collaborative robot. 

Depending on the industrial environment and task that operators need to be conducted, cobots may be favored for use over standard industrial robots due to their proficiency at working alongside humans.

These cobots still require rigorous risk assessments and a majority need to be monitored or be defined by working perimeters to ensure safety. Motoman’s six-axis, 20 kg payload HC20XP cobot allows for safe and efficient processing without the need for additional protective measurement (risk assessment dependent).


HC20XP Cobot With Maximum Reach and Full-Range

  • 1,700 mm maximum reach 
  • Cast aluminum surface designed for utilization in sanitary environments where wipe or wash is required
  • A precise hand-guided teaching system for ease-of-use 
  • A through-arm Category 6 cable to allow a variety of communication options for tooling
  • An IP67 rating and easy-to-clean surface for use in damp or splash-prone environments 
  • A pinch-less design
  • Incorporation of NSF H1 food-grade grease to protect against potential incidental food contact


yaskawa cobot

The HC20XP 20 kg payload cobot. Image courtesy of Yaskawa Motoman.


The vertical reach of the device makes it suitable for a variety of activities including material handling, machine tending or assembly tasks. The range of the cobot enables it to reach full 80-inch pallets without requiring an elevator or lift mechanism.


Working Alongside Humans

Other features of the HC20XP include four types of collaborative features according to ISO 10218-1 and 10218-2.

One mode involves speed and separation monitoring, which allows the robot to slow its speed when a human approaches. Additional stop-state monitoring allows the robot to stop when a human enters the safety-monitored zone.

The last two collaborative modes allow guidance by human contact (hand guiding) and the ability to stop upon human contact (power and force limiting, PFL).

In particular, PFL features include sensors in each joint of the HC20XP for detection of human presence and additional safety options such as soft active or passive skin (jacket) for softening impact.

Cycle times that are based on risk assessment and specific process requirements can be optimized with the HC20XP, because it can switch between the collaborative speed in PFL mode and industrial speed mode.


Controlled by Yaskawa Micro-Controller

The HC20XP is controlled by Yaskawa’s ultra-compact YRC1000micro controller. The controller can be installed vertically, horizontally or in a 19-inch rack.

The device also comes with a user-friendly, lightweight standard pendant featuring a touch-screen interface and the ability to evaluate 3D simulation of robot motion on-screen before or during robot execution. The design of the controller is ideal for factories with high-density layouts, where stacking of controllers may be required.


yaskawa micro-controller

The YRC1000micro controller. Image used courtesy of Yaskawa Motoman.


Yaskawa’s HC20XP cobot offers the latest thoughtful design to enable a safe working environment for man and machine. In this time, the cobots easy wash down and distance monitoring capabilities can be simple, and yet extremely effective features for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Bots like this can be deployed in the automotive industry now to keep industrial supply chains running, supply chains that could be being used to create lifesaving ventilators or other protective equipment needed in hospitals the world over.  


Do you use cobots similar to this one?