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Dutch National Cobot Day

by Marco van der Hoeven

Last week, the fifth edition of the National Cobot Day took place at Olmia in Tiel. Visitors could network and exchange knowledge about the rapidly growing cobot market in a relaxed atmosphere. ‘We see that robots are not used to replace people, but to enable them to do other, more challenging work.’

“We started the cobot day with the idea of ​​bringing all cobot suppliers together once a year,” says Sven van der Wal, sales and marketing manager at Olmia Robotics. “We want to make it a casual cobot party that is easily accessible for visitors, and where they can make interesting contacts.”

This year the event was attended by two hundred and fifty people, considerably more than in previous editions. In addition to networking, the exchange of knowledge is also part of the programme. “We have organized a number of lectures, where we see that good interesting substantive discussions arise between the visitors.”


The market for cobots is growing very fast. Van der Wal: “It is going incredibly fast. We see this growth in our own organization, but also in companies around us.” He explains the popularity of cobots from the rapid deployability of these robots. “That’s a big advantage for users. Where industrial robots have to be in a separate room or behind a fence, that is no longer necessary with a cobot.”

“We see that this is especially interesting for smaller companies. Moreover, the investment that you have to make as a factory in a cobot, for example, is a fraction of what an industrial robot costs. So the ROI quickly becomes very favorable for many companies.”


“As an integrator, we focus on that market, and we notice that there is currently a great deal of demand for cobots for packaging. That is also a nice market, where cobots really add value. We see that robots are not used to replace people, but to enable them to do other, more challenging work. Precisely because it is so difficult to find people, cobots are a good solution.”

“So we see a shift, people would rather do more fun work than take boxes off a belt all day long. A robot can do that too.” He gets a lot of questions about cooperation with cobots. “A cobot is never sick and needs little maintenance, it is also cleaner than other machines. A lot of people don’t know that.”


He still sees room for innovation in the cobot market. ‘What we could really use is a cobot that can lift even heavier. Now, although a cobot can remove large boxes from a pallet, it cannot lift the pallet itself. Extra weight is therefore welcome, but that does not alter the fact that the current cobots offer a good solution for many companies, including small ones.”

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