Manufacturing Robots are no longer just for mega factories churning out countless products each day. There’s now a place in most manufacturing businesses, of all sizes, for these collaborative tools - also known as Cobots. 

The Manufacturing Robot Trial programme was conceived so that you and your colleagues can, at zero cost, see first-hand what the possible positive benefits could be of adopting the technology.

Our Mechatronics experts will work closely with you and your team to determine which of your manufacturing tasks a Cobot would be able to fulfil. After the Cobot is delivered, we’ll help you set it up and train your staff on how it works.

During the 28-day free trial, you’ll be able to assess the impact of the Cobot on your business, whether that’s newfound efficiencies, reduction of waste, growth of overall output or employee satisfaction.

Our experts will be on hand again after the trial to de-brief you and, hopefully, point you toward a supplier that can supply a Cobot for permanent installation in your factory.

Benefits to your business

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Discover new efficiencies and outputs

Incorporate the Cobot into your real manufacturing processes and learn exactly what value it is providing to your business.

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Boost morale by redeploying staff

Trial moving valuable staff away from the boring or unpleasant jobs, and on to more fulfilling, beneficial tasks.

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Easily programmed to suit your needs

Quickly tweak, change and update the tasks undertaken by the Cobot.

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Free for 28 days

Give a Cobot a go for free, with training and set up included.

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What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 - also referred to as the fourth Industrial Revolution - is the broad terminology to describe the new technologies and data - such as cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence -  that are revolutionising the worlds of manufacturing and distribution. Callaghan Innovation’s experts are here to help you cut through the technology hype, to reinvent your business model and find genuine value and growth.  

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Is this right for me?

Manufacturing Robot Trials are available to businesses registered in New Zealand.

To start the process of arranging a trial, your business must be able to provide a video of the application you’re hoping to use a cobot for.

They are funded by Callaghan Innovation: the New Zealand Government’s innovation agency.

  1. After an initial chat with our team, we’ll ask for a video of the application you’re looking to use a cobot for. We’re looking for the dull, dirty or dangerous jobs that you think could be undertaken by a Cobot, and a good overview of the end-to-end processes you’re undertaking each day.
  2. Our Mechatronics team will then help you determine if a cobot is a good fit for your type of manufacturing, and how a trial could work for you.
  3. If you decide to go ahead with the trial, you’ll sign a hiring agreement and a date will be set for shipment.
  4. We'll send out an engineer to you to get the UR5 Cobot setup and train your people to problem solve and fix issues, or adapt for a change of task.
  5. Once you’ve shipped back the Cobot at the end of the trial our team will follow up for a debrief and, hopefully, guide you toward a supplier that can provide you with a permanent Cobot.
  6. They’ll also discuss other Industry 4.0 initiatives and programmes that we offer and other ways that we can support your manufacturing business.

A Cobot is at its most useful when undertaking a repetitive task, or series of tasks, which it can be preprogrammed and saved for. Typical uses include:

Assembly: placing parts, precision assembly, screw-driving.

Machine tending: loading or unloading a machine, machine operation.

Handling: moving goods between lines, stacking and sorting.

Quality control: measurements, testing, inspecting.

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About the UR5 Cobot

The Cobot hardware available for trial is Universal Robots’ UR5.


  • 5 kg payload
  • Reach radius of up to 850 mm 
  • 6 degrees of freedom
  • I/O ports allow integration with other equipment

Accessories included:

  • Electronic gripper
  • Wrist camera
  • Force/torque sensor

More information can be found on the Universal Robots website.

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Meet our Experts

Sean2 Aronui
Sean Doherty Product Manager Practical deployment of technology changes

Sean describes himself as a man “in the trenches” of advanced manufacturing. Spanning both research and production, he brings skills in engineering, continuous improvement and operations to the Manufacturing 4. 0 team.

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