How do they do that? Putting together the robotic arm

Jun 30, 2013

Engineers design robot arms with a very specific job and function in mind. Robot arms use automation scientists that combine their knowledge of machines and computers to learn and/or perform operational tasks. These engineers will create a robot that has the perfect speed, accuracy, and ability to tackle other variables in the environment they are designed to work in.


Indus­tri­al robot­ic arms have been assist­ing humans in man­u­fac­tur­ing for decades. The idea of using indus­tri­al robot­ics for appli­ca­tions, in place of man­u­al process­es, took off in the 1980s, and man­u­fac­tur­ers haven’t looked back.

But, how are these machines put togeth­er? How are these com­plex arms that oper­ate with such speed and accu­ra­cy built?

Robot­ic arms are asso­ci­at­ed with automa­tion sci­ences, a part of sci­ence that uses machines and com­put­ers that can learn or per­form oper­a­tional tasks. These robot arms start much like any­thing else – a design.

Dur­ing the design process, engi­neers must decide which job the robot will per­form, as well as what speed and accu­ra­cy it will per­form this task with, along with oth­er vari­ables like envi­ron­ment, types of mate­ri­als involved in the process, etc.

After the design process, the entire design is fab­ri­cat­ed with met­als like steel, alu­minum and cast iron. While the com­po­nents used to fab­ri­cate the robot are fair­ly com­mon, the process of assem­bling the robot is not. Many com­pa­nies, like Fanuc Robot­ics, actu­al­ly use indus­tri­al robots to build parts of the indus­tri­al robot­ic arms and con­trollers, as well as using their accu­ra­cy for the assem­bly process.

Once pieces are fab­ri­cat­ed and machined, the engi­neers and tech­ni­cians assem­ble robots from the base, which is the heav­i­est, to the wrist (typ­i­cal­ly the light­est part of the robot­ic arm). The fab­ri­cat­ed met­al pieces are com­bined with pur­chased elec­tric motors, cables and sen­sors to cre­ate an arm that oper­ates much like a human arm with a shoul­der, elbow and wrist. These robot arms can have from 4 – 6 joints, and have sev­er­al degrees of freedom.

Final­ly, the robot is wired to the con­troller – the fin­ish­ing step. All the wires are rout­ed back to the con­troller cab­i­net, the brains of the robot. This is where the robot arm will be pro­grammed to do what the engi­neers designed it to do.

Once the robot­ic arm is built, it is run through a rig­or­ous qual­i­ty con­trol process to test the speed and accu­ra­cy of the unit. It is then sent out for instal­la­tion at the consumer’s facility.

While Robots​.com does not build robot arms from scratch, this robot­ic inte­gra­tor does refur­bish old sys­tems from the ground up, as well as cus­tomiz­ing refur­bished and new robots to fit our cus­tomers’ needs. We have a team of high­ly-trained indi­vid­u­als that work with our cus­tomers to design the per­fect lay­out and sys­tem for their facility.

Robots​.com will build a robot­ic sys­tem that is right for your facility’s automa­tion con­ver­sion. Call us today at 8777626881 for more infor­ma­tion about how to get this process start­ed or get in touch with a sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive online.

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