What Are Six Axis Robots?

Jul 11, 2023

Industrial robots have various axis configurations. The vast majority of articulated robots, however, feature six axes, also called six degrees of freedom. 6-axis robots allow for greater flexibility and can perform a wider variety of applications than robots with fewer axes.

FANUC R 2000iB 165F

Indus­tri­al robots have var­i­ous axis con­fig­u­ra­tions. The vast major­i­ty of artic­u­lat­ed robots, how­ev­er, fea­ture six axes, also called six degrees of free­dom. 6‑axis robots allow for greater flex­i­bil­i­ty and can per­form a wider vari­ety of appli­ca­tions than robots with few­er axes.

6‑Axis Robot Applications

Six axis robots allow a high lev­el of pre­ci­sion with increased motor con­trol. Robot appli­ca­tions include:

What does each axis do?

Axis 1

This axis, locat­ed at the robot base, allows the robot to rotate from left to right. This sweep­ing motion extends the work area to include the area on either side and behind the arm. This axis allows the robot to spin up to a full 180 degree range from the cen­ter point. This axis is also known as the Motoman: S and Fanuc: J1.

Axis 2

This axis allows the low­er arm of the robot to extend for­ward and back­ward. It is the axis pow­er­ing the move­ment of the entire low­er arm. This axis is also known as the Motoman: L and Fanuc: J2.

Axis 3

The axis extends the robot­’s ver­ti­cal reach. It allows the upper arm to raise and low­er. On some artic­u­lat­ed mod­els, it allows the upper arm to reach behind the body, fur­ther expand­ing the work enve­lope. This axis gives the upper arm the bet­ter part access. This axis is also known as the Motoman: U and Fanuc: J3.

Axis 4

Work­ing in con­junc­tion with the axis 5, this axis aids in the posi­tion­ing of the end effec­tor and manip­u­la­tion of the part. Known as the wrist roll, it rotates the upper arm in a cir­cu­lar motion mov­ing parts between hor­i­zon­tal to ver­ti­cal ori­en­ta­tions. This axis is also known as the Motoman: R and Fanuc: J4.

Axis 5

This axis allows the wrist of the robot arm to tilt up and down. This axis is respon­si­ble for the pitch and yaw motion. The pitch, or bend, motion is up and down, much like open­ing and clos­ing a box lid. Yaw moves left and right, like a door on hinges. This axis is also known as the Motoman: B and Fanuc: J5.

Axis 6

This is the wrist of the robot arm. It is respon­si­ble for a twist­ing motion, allow­ing it to rotate freely in a cir­cu­lar motion, both to posi­tion end effec­tors and to manip­u­late parts. It is usu­al­ly capa­ble of more than a 360 degree rota­tion in either a clock­wise or coun­ter­clock­wise direc­tion. This axis is also known as the Motoman: T and Fanuc: J6.

Con­tact Us Today

Need a Six Axis Robot? The most pop­u­lar six axis robots are man­u­fac­tured by Yaskawa Motoman and Fanuc. To pur­chase a six axis robot, con­tact our sales depart­ment or call 8777626881.

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