Robots have come a long way since Unimate, the first industrial robot invented by George Charles Devol. Since then industrial robots have been defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as “automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulators programmable in 3 or more axes.” This article will look at some of the key facts about robots that are helpful for any current or future robot user to know.
Gantry Robots- These robots have 3 principle axes of control and are linear
There are 3 core components that make up the anatomy of a robot, the manipulator, EOAT, and controller.
Manipulator- This is the long, jointed arm and wrist of the robot. It allows the robot to extend, turn, and reach to different degrees. The movements of the arm are determined by the axes of motion. Most industrial robots work with 3-6 axes.
End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) - This attachment to the robot wrist is what manipulates the specific parts robot applications are designed for. It is a vital part of the robot and may include welding torches, grippers, saws, and many more end devices.
Controller- The controller acts as the brains of the robot and provides its application support. It runs the intricate computations needed by the robot in order to manipulate its EOAT for particular applications. Hand held devices called teach pendants are used to program and store information for the controls.
Industrial robots were first designed to be used for applications such as material handling, spot welding, and spray painting. Due to the technological advances of the 21st century there are a variety of applications robots may be used for today. Some of the most popular ones include:
Spray Painting- Since robots are consistent with high repeatability it makes them ideal for paint applications. Robots create uniform patterns while reducing costs with less wasted materials.
Assembly- Robots are perfect for assembling because they can easily perform monotonous and repetitive tasks with ease.
Palletizing and Material Handling- Many manufacturers have turned to robots for these processes because they are much cleaner than human workers. They do not bring in dust, dirt, or any other foreign substance, which is ideal for handling consumer products that must be kept clean.
It is important to understand the criteria you are looking for when selecting a robot. Some important characteristics to take into consideration include: