Doubling Up: Parallel Robots

Sep 1, 2013

​Parallel robots have lightweight arms between a fixed base and move-able part. Parallel robots are different than serial robots as each arm is controlled by its own motor; the coordination of movements occurs through a computer. All of the attributes of a parallel robot help to create a rigid arm with fast cycle times.


Par­al­lel robots, as opposed to ser­i­al robots, have sev­er­al sim­ple light­weight arms between the fixed base and move-able part. Each arm is con­trolled by its own motor and its move­ments are coor­di­nat­ed by a com­put­er. The arms are placed as close as pos­si­ble to the robot base, and the inde­pen­dent link­ages work togeth­er inde­pen­dent­ly of the posi­tion of oth­er link­ages. This allows for increased sta­bil­i­ty and arm rigid­i­ty with faster cycle times than ser­i­al automa­tion.

Most med­ical appli­ca­tions use ser­i­al robots, but dis­ad­van­tages can occur due to the typ­i­cal­ly large and heavy ser­i­al robot. Par­al­lel robots are promis­ing for use in med­ical appli­ca­tions due to their com­pact and light­weight archi­tec­tures, easy ster­il­iza­tion, and safe behav­ior near singularity.

The aero­space indus­try is uti­liz­ing par­al­lel robots, specif­i­cal­ly Tri­cept machines. The T9000 is the most recent­ly released mod­el, and the T605 and T805 are also ade­quate for aero­space oper­a­tions. All mod­els have been used for struc­tur­al machin­ing aero­space, as well as oth­er oper­a­tions such as debur­ring, weld­ing, and part assem­bly. Tri­cept is a 5 or 6 DOF hybrid PKM con­trolled robot. Its three actu­a­tors are exact­ly equal, and it has a direct mea­sur­ing sys­tem. The Tri­cept pro­motes redun­dan­cy and flex­i­bil­i­ty, and helps save time between operations.

Par­al­lel robots can be used in a vari­ety of indus­tries. The Adept Quat­tro s650H par­al­lel robot is designed for high-speed appli­ca­tions in mate­r­i­al han­dling, pack­ag­ing, and assem­bly. At 240 cycles per minute, it is the industry’s fastest pick-and-place robot. It fea­tures a four-arm design and advanced con­trol algo­rithms. Its large work enve­lope encour­ages high through­put and smooth motion. 

The Fanuc F2000i par­al­lel kine­mat­ic robot has a hexa­pod con­struc­tion that enables accu­ra­cy. It is used for machin­ing, part manip­u­la­tion, and laser pro­cess­ing. The hexa­pod design is the most pop­u­lar type of par­al­lel kine­mat­ic robot, and is also referred to as the Stew­art platform. 

Delta robots are anoth­er type of par­al­lel robot, with three actu­a­tors con­trol­ling all three trans­la­tion­al degrees of free­dom of the mobile plat­form. It is usu­al­ly used as a pick-and-place robot. SIG Robot­ics offers the XR Delta.

Oth­er pop­u­lar par­al­lel robots are the NanoS­tage Six from Adept Robot­ics, Sur­giS­cope from Elek­ta IGS, and Quick­step from Krause & Mauser Group.

Robots​.com can help any com­pa­ny decide and inte­grate a par­al­lel robot­ic set­up into their fac­to­ry floor. If you are inter­est­ed in learn­ing more on how to choose the right robots and work­cell, con­tact Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

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