Co-act gripper meets cobots

The NEW SCHUNK grippers for collaborative operations. Interacting intelligently and safely with humans.

Under the new brand name Co-act (collaborative actuator), SCHUNK will be presenting its gripping technology program for safe human-robot collaboration. SCHUNK received the Hermes award at the Hannover Messe 2017, for the SCHUNK Co-act JL1 gripper, the world's first intelligent gripping module for human/robot collaboration, which directly interacts and communicates with humans.

The new SCHUNK cutting-edge technology for collaborative gripping


With the NEW SCHUNK technology carrier, the Co-act JL1 Gripper, SCHUNK is setting the course for the first intelligent gripper for collaborative operations that interacts directly with humans. Adjustments to the gripping processes can be made in real time using diverse sensor systems.
Various "senses" are used to record, evaluate, and communicate situational, ambient and operational conditions.

In the future, SCHUNK Co-act grippers will be able to transmit all relevant data about processes and surroundings to the control and production systems. The focus will be on the intelligent flow of materials, process optimization and continuous documentation. The system perfectly enhances the intuitive interaction between the gripper and the operator.

  • Capacitive sensor system
    To prevent collision situations by recognizing them early
  • Touchscreen
    Enables communication with the gripper as well as teaching or switching to various operating modes
  • Camera
    Mounted between the fingers, for detecting the surroundings, differentiating and searching for objects
  • Parallel and angular grips
    Two types of grips for gripping any geometry
  • Safe force limitation
    The right gripping force for every kind of handling, even for large workpiece weights
  • Tactile sensor system
    For in time detection and differentiation between workpieces and humans
  • Optical feedback
    Through the use of LED lights, the gripper Co-act JL1 provides information to the operator about the status of the gripper and the identification of the workpieces

Our brand ambassador and namesake:


With human to robot collaboration, SCHUNK has technology firmly in its grasp. I am proud to have the SCHUNK HRC gripper Co-act JL1 Gripper bear my initials.

Jens Lehmann, German goalkeeper legend, SCHUNK brand ambassador since 2012 for safe, precise gripping and holding.

Co-act EGP-C Gripper


The first certified industrial gripper for collaborative operation.
With the SCHUNK Co-act EGP-C Gripper, the competence leader for gripping systems and clamping technology presents an inherently safe industrial gripper that has been certified and approved by the DGUV for collaborative operation. This simplifies the safety observation for collaborative applications and in turn shortens the expenditure of time.

More information

The mega trend of human/robot collaboration


From robots that replace workers to robots that serve as helpful colleagues, the field of robotic automation is experiencing a new trend that represents a huge challenge for component manufacturers.

Whenever full automation of production or assembly lines is not the most economically feasible option, it is necessary to single out individual processes to be delegated between humans and robots. In such situations, autonomous cobots, meaning robots used in the worker's immediate environment, can handle non-ergonomic or monotonous tasks such as assisting with lifting or positioning loads. This reduces the physical workload for workers and makes the process more efficient. At the same time, humans and robots working hand in hand helps to minimize space requirements and increase flexibility.

The number of robotic assistance systems will increase in the future, especially with regard to assembly applications. Reliable grippers, safety functions, sensors and end-to-end integration at the component level will be vital.

As the competence leader for clamping technology and gripping systems, SCHUNK is intensely committed to this new challenge.

Go to article "Hand-in-Hand Grippers"

SCHUNK grippers for collaborative operation

Interacting intelligently and safely with humans.

Teamwork in production automation Standards on safety.


The more closely humans and robots work together, the more technologies and components are required to meet higher safety requirements. The various forms of interaction between humans and robots are regulated by the relevant standards and guidelines. Differentiations are made between safe hold, hand guiding, speed and separation monitoring, and power and force limiting.

Method 1 – Safe hold


The robot system operates at normal speed provided that there is free access in the machining area. When a human enters the area this is monitored i. e. by a laser scanner. The robot system then enters into a safety-monitored stop.

Method 2 – Hand guiding


The robot system is guided by a human. In order to do so, the system must be able to detect the force of the human being e. g. using a force/torque sensor. The robot system only moves when this movement is enabled by the human using a safety switch. Otherwise the robot system is in a safety-monitored stop.

Method 3 - Speed and separation monitoring


The machining area of the robot system is divided up into successive zones. If the entry of a human being into one of the first zones is detected for instance by a laser scanner, the robot system goes into a lower speed. When the zone directly next to the robot is entered, the robot system goes into a safety-monitored stop.

Method 4 – Power and force limiting


The robot system works with limited force and power when collaborating directly with humans. The maximum forces and pressures applied to humans may not exceed the values specified in the technical specifications. This is ensured by an inherently safe design or safety functions.

SCHUNK is defining human/robot collaboration with a focus on grippers

With the Co-act JL1 Gripper, SCHUNK is capturing a trend and focusing on cutting-edge technology in the development of actuators for collaborative operations. The aim for SCHUNK Co-act grippers is to interact and communicate directly with humans in

accordance with normative specifications. The SCHUNK Co-act JL Gripper's cutting-edge technology is based on three principles derived from the HRC standards on human/robot collaboration. A gripper for collaborative operations does not have to fulfill all principles here.

Three principles of human/robot collaboration

Grippers never cause injuries when gripping

Grippers always detect human contact

Grippers never lose a workpiece

  • Force limitation
    A gripping force limitation which is activated in a hazardous situation. Otherwise, the gripper can be operated with any force.
  • Collision protection
    All risks of injury due to contact are eliminated by the HRC-compatible design.

  • Secure drive
    The gripper must be able to prevent humans from being injured even at high gripping forces. Gripped parts are held reliably if a process is interrupted.

  • Environmental sensor systems
    The use of different sensor systems for detecting humans and the environment while simultaneously sensing the workpiece and differentiating it from human hands.

  • Software
    A gripper software that evaluates and processes the signals of the environmental sensor system. This intelligent software empowers the gripper with artificial intelligence.

SCHUNK gripping competence for HRC applications


In the framework of its cutting-edge technology, SCHUNK is oriented toward real-world applications within various industries with its gripper concepts for HRC applications. The experience gained as a result will influence the ongoing development of SCHUNK Co-act grippers.

Are you facing a specific HRC application and you want to learn more about the SCHUNK HRC grippers?

Talk to us about your individual requirement or send us a completed

You can reach the SCHUNK Co-act team at:

Tel.: +49-7133-103-3444E-mail:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Photo gallery HRC


Co-act meets cobots (PDF, 3.1MB)
Co-act EGP-C Gripper
Co-act checklist (PDF, 0.5MB)