What is an Industrial ROBOT?

What is ROBOT?

A robot is a programmable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or special devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks (a robot need not look like a human).

Advantages of an Industrial Robot:

  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Consistency
  • Accuracy
  • Worker Redeployment
  • Cost reduction

Types of Industrial Robots:

  1. Pick and Place

    • Simplest kind of industrial robot
    • Perform simple pickup and drop function
    • Cannot sense environment or surroundings
    • The limits of motion of each joint of the machine are fixed by electric or pneumatic impulse originating at a plug-board control panel
    • Still some on production lines but are being phased out .
  2. Servo Robot
    • A more sophisticated level of control can be achieved by adding servomechanisms that can command the position of each joint.
    • The measured positions are compared with commanded positions, and any differences are corrected by signals sent to the appropriate joint actuators.

Main Components of an Industrial Robot

  • Arm or Manipulator
  • End effectors
  • Drive Mechanism
  • Controller
  • Custom features: e.g. sensors and transducers

Physical Configuration of an Industrial Robot

1)Cartesian Industrial Robot

cartesian robot

Cartesian industrial Robot

2) Cylindrical Industrial Robot

cylindrical industrial robot

cylindrical industrial robot

3) Polar (Spherical) Industrial Robot

spherical industrial robot

Spherical Industrial Robot


4) Jointed Arm industrial Robot

jointed arm industrial robot

Jointed arm Industrial Robot


Various Programming modes of an Industrial Robot:

  • Manual 

    • Cams, stops etc
  • Walkthrough (Lead-through) 
    • Manually move the arm and record to memory
  • Manual teaching
    •  Teach pendant
  • Off-line programming
    • Similar to NC part programming , VAL, RAPT

Applications of Industrial Robots

  •  Material Handling/Palletizing
  •  Machine Loading/Unloading
  •  Arc/Spot Welding
  •  Water jet/Laser cutting
  •  Spray Coating
  •  Gluing/Sealing
  •  Investment casting
  •  Processing operations
  •  Assembly
  •  Inspection

Performance Specifications of Industrial Robots

  • Size of the working envelope
  • Precision of movement
    • Control resolution
    • Accuracy
    • Repeatability
  • Lifting capability
  • Number of robot axes
  • Speed of movement
    • Maximum speed
    • Acceleration/deceleration time
  • Motion control
    • Path control
    • Velocity control
  • Types of drive motors
    • Hydraulic
    • Electric
    • Pneumatic

Robot Applications (Configurations/Characteristics)

1)SCARA  ROBOT(Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm)


        • Repeatability: < 0.025mm (high)
        • No. of axes: min 4 axes
        • Vertical motions smoother, quicker, precise (due to dedicated vertical axis)
        • Good vertical rigidity, high compliance in the horizontal plane
        • Speed: fast 1000-5000mm/s 


        • Precision
        • High speed
        • Light assembly
SARA industrial robot

SARA industrial robot

2) Cylindrical Coordinates Robot


      • Wide range of sizes 
      • Repeatability: vary 0.1-0.5mm
      • No. of axes: min 3 arm axes (2 linear)
      • Working envelope: typically large (vertical stroke as long as radial stroke)
      • The structure is not compact
      • Payload: 5 – 250kg
      • Speed: 1000mm/s, average
      • Cost: inexpensive for their size and payload


      • Small robots: precision small assembly tasks 
      • Large robots: material handling, machine loading/unloading.
cylindrical coordinate industrial robot

cylindrical coordinate industrial robot

3) Vertical Articulated Arm Robot


      • Repeatability: 0.1-0.5mm (large sizes not adequate for precision assembly) 
      • No. of axes: 3 rotary arm-axes, 2-3 additional wrist axis (excellent wrist articulation)
      • Working envelope: large relative to the size, Structure compact, but not so rigid
      • Payload: 5-130kg
      • Tool tip speed: fast 2000mm/s


      • Welding, painting, sealing, deburring, and material handling 
vertical articulated robotic arm

vertical articulated industrial robotic arm

 4)Spherical Coordinate Robot


      • Repeatability: poor 0.5-1mm 
      • No. of axes: 3 arm-axes (1 linear radial), 1-2 additional wrist-axes
      • Working envelope: large vertical envelope relative to the unit size
      • Payload: 5-100 kg
      • Speed: low (linear motions are not smooth and accurate- require coordination of multiple axes)


      • Material handling, spot welding, machine loading
Spherical coordinates robot

Spherical coordinates industrial robot


5) Cartesian Coordinate Robot


      • Repeatability: high (0.015-0.1) 
      • No. of axes: 3 linear arm-axis,
      • Working envelope:relative large •Payload:5- 100kg
      • Speed: fast


      • Precise assembly, arc welding, gluing, material handling
cartesian coordinate industrial robot

cartesian coordinate industrial robot

6) Gantry Robot


      • Repeatability: 0.1-1mm 
      • No. of axes: 3 linear traverse-axes, 1-3 additional wrist axes
      • Working envelope: very large
      • Payload: vary function of size, support very heavy 10-1000kg
      • Speed: low for large masses


      • Handling very large parts, moving material on long distances, welding, gluing.
Gantry robot

Gantry industrial robot


Finally have a look at robots used across the globe for industrial automation.

use of robots in each country


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