Co-act Gripper Meets Cobots

The NEW HRC grippers from SCHUNK. Interacting intelligent and safe with humans.

Under the new brand name "Co-act" (collaborative actuator), SCHUNK presents its competence in gripping technology for future human/robot collaboration. The new SCHUNK HRC grippers, Co-act Gripper JL1, EGP, EGN and WSG were presented for the first time in live applications (Co-act Gripper Meets Cobots) at the Automatica 2016 show.

The NEW SCHUNK Technology Carrier for Collaborative Gripping


With the NEW SCHUNK technology carrier Co-act gripper JL1, SCHUNK is setting the stage for the first intelligent HRC gripper that directly interacts with humans. Adjustments to the gripping processes can be made in real time using diverse sensor systems. In essence, various “senses” are used to record, evaluate and communicate situational, environmental and operational conditions.

In the future, SCHUNK Co-act grippers will be able to transmit all relevant data about processes andsurroundings 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 Systems

    For the prevention of collisions

  • 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 geometries

  • Tactile Sensor Systems

    For in time detection and differentiation of workpieces and humans

  • Optical Feedback

    Through the use of LED lights, the Co-act gripper JL1 provides information to the operator about the status of the gripper and identification of the workpieces

Our brand ambassador and eponym:


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

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



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.

To article "Hand-in-Hand Gripper"

Safety: Teamwork according to standards


The various forms of interaction between humans and robots are defined by the types of machining areas and forms of contact. A distinction is made between separate and shared machining areas, between decoupled and coupled work processes as well as between levels of contact. The more closely humans and robots work together, the more technologies and components are required to meet higher safety requirements regulated by the relevant standards.


Risk analysis according to ISO 12100

SCHUNK grippers never lose a workpiece and comply with the general principles for design.

Machine safety according to ISO 13849

The certified Safety Gripping Systems EGN and EZN allow the functionalities SLS, SOS, and STO. Depending on the activated safety zone, the grippers either switch to a state of safe limited speed or safe stop.

Principles of protection according to 10218-1/-2 and ISO / TS 15066

The new HRC grippers SCHUNK “Co-act gripper” meet the safety requirements for robots, robot systems and integration, as well as for collaborative robots, and exclude injuries to humans.

As a pioneer, SCHUNK is a decisive leader in cutting edge automation topics with safe, robust and intelligent gripping technology. With the aim to open up new opportunities for sustainable efficient production automation in the full automation, the functional safety, and for human/robot collaborations.

Plant concepts: from full automation to the safe human/robot collaboration

Full Automation

The plant is disconnected from the power supply and production is brought to a standstill when a human enters the production cell.

Gripping systems for full automation

Functional Safety

Shared machining areas with decoupled work processes. The process switches to a slow, safe speed whenever a human enters the area. If the distance becomes too small to ensure safe operation, the system will be stopped and the energy supply will be maintained.

Safety gripping systems

Human/Robot Collaboration

Shared machining areas with coupled work processes. The cells continue to work, even in the presence of humans. Any human contact with dangerous areas is detected at all times.

SCHUNK defines the Human/Robot Collaboration with a Focus on Grippers

With the Co-act gripper SCHUNK is capturing a trend and focusing on carrier technology in the development of HRC-ready actuators.

The aim is for SCHUNK Co-act grippers to directly interact with humans and to communicate in accordance with regulatroy requirements.

Three principles from the Human/Robot collaboration

Grippers never cause injuries when gripping

Grippers always detect human contact

Grippers never lose a workpiece

Force Limitation

Gripping force limitation is activated in dangerous situations. Otherwise, the gripper can be operated with any force possible.

Collision Protection

The HRC-compatible design eliminates all possible risk of injury as a result of human contact.

Safe Drive

Grippers must prevent injuries to humans even with high gripping forces. Gripped parts are held reliably if a process is interrupted.

Environmental Sensor Systems

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


Gripper software that evaluates and processes the signals of the environmental sensors. This intelligent software empowers the gripper with artificial intelligence.

SCHUNK HRC Gripper Competence


In the context of its technology carrier HRC-ready gripper concepts, SCHUNK is oriented toward real-world applications within a variety of industries. The experience gained as a result will influence the ongoing development of SCHUNK Co-act grippers.

Aim: The results of this technology carrier are intended for the specific development of a certified overall Co-act gripper system. In the process, the HRC gripper, finger design with environmental detection as well as other factors such as work environment, robots and workpiece supply are all considered.

Are You facing a real HRC challenge and you want to learn more about SCHUNK HRC grippers?
Please contact us with your individual requirements.
You can reach the SCHUNK Co-act team at:

Tel.: +49-7133-103-3444

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Photo gallery HRC-applications


Co-act Meets Cobots (PDF, 2.7MB)