Understanding Robot Specifications 101


Every industrial robot is defined by certain measurements, payload, and design features. RobotWorx lists robot specifications to help customers determine which model is right for their application and facility. Learn what robot specifications mean, and you'll be able to select the right robot in no time.

Axis Movement Specifications:

Axes - The individual segments of each robot manipulator are connected with mechanical joints - each serves as an axis of movement. The most common industrial robots have six axes of movement. The number and placement of axes determines the flexibility of each model.

Robot Motion Range - Much like the joints between bones, robot axes have limits to each movement. Every axis has a specific scope of motion. On a typical specifications sheet, the degree of movement shows up as positive or negative degree of movement from the center base position of each axis.

Robot Motion Speed - Each axis moves at a different speed. They are listed as degrees traveled per second. Focus on this criterion when you need to match certain speed specifications for your application.

Repeatability - Industrial robots are known for their accuracy. But this ability to return to an exact location again and again,known as a robot's repeatability, can vary with each model. More precision-driven applications will require tighter repeatability figures. Repeatability is listed as a millimeter of alteration plus or minus from the point.

Robot Specifications for Weight:

Payload - The weight capacity of each robot manipulator is its payload. This is a critical specification and includes the tooling weight as well. You can rule out a number of robots with this robot specification category alone.

Robot Mass - Every robot has a specific weight or mass. This number only indicates how much the robot manipulator weighs. It does not include the weight of the robot's controller. This specification may not be quite as important unless you are trying to install your robot on a table or shelf.

Specifications and Work Envelope:

Vertical Reach - How high can the robot go? A robot's vertical reach specification refers to the height of the robot when it extends upwards from the base. Use this to determine whether or not a model is tall enough for your application and location.

Horizontal Reach - How far can a robot reach? The horizontal reach measures the distance of the fully extended arm - from the base to the wrist. Some applications will require a wider work envelope with a big reach, others are satisfied with a contained, short horizontal reach.

Structure - Robots are engineered with different structures. The most common by far is the vertical articulated type, sometimes called a vertical jointed-arm robot. Other structure types include SCARA, Cartesian, and parallel kinematic robots.

If you have a robot specifications question contact RobotWorx at 740-251-4312 or online to reach a robot specialist.

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