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4 Basic Classifications of Robots and their Elements

the elements in a robot

Classifications of Robots and their Elements

Robots are not just an integral part of a modern automated system, they form the vital unit in every automated system.

The concept of robotic engineering had been a welcomed idea for the majority who want to see their job carried out smoothly, effortlessly, and automatically.

There are over one thousand types of robots existing today and their classification and categorizing had been based on so many factors including the parts that make up their entire body.


The various units in a single robot have their specific function which synchronizes with another unit’s function to form complex functionality based on a careful arrangement of each unit and sequential functions of them all.

4 Basic Classifications of Robots and their Elements

Every unit of a single robot comprises elements. The basic elements of a robot system comprising of the following; manipulator, controller, effectors, sensors, and energy source. The manipulator comprises the base, the arm, the wrist, the shoulder, the elbow, and the end effectors.

These elements are common in industrial robots and surgical robots used in hospitals. As such, movements are executed by the mechanical part like links, power joints, and transmission system along with an internal sensor housed within the manipulator.

The controller acts like a brain to the robot. It performs the functions of storing and sequencing data in memory, initiating and stopping the motion of the manipulator, and interacting with the environment.

The end-effector is like a tool, a sort of gripper, which directly interacts with the job. Grippers are being designed to handle a wide range of part configurations. The sensors sense the change in the work environment of the robot. They are found in intelligent robots such as modern artificial intelligence robots.

The energy source is required to cause movement of the manipulator’s arm. They may take the term electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or electro-hydraulic devices.

The manipulator found in industrial robots can be constructed out of a series of joints and links. Robots’ anatomy deals with the types and size of the joint and links that make up the manipulator and other aspects of the manipulator’s physical constructions.


Based on the classification, the motion of a robot defines its name when classified according to the motion. For instance, the following names had been given to some industrial robots based on the working motion:

Stop-to-stop robots

animated industrial robot
animated industrial robot

These types of robots perform simple translational motion tasks. In other words, they carry out tasks that involve only two axes of motion like the pick and place robots. Stop to stop robot is the simplest form of the robot based on simplicity.

The simplicity makes it easier to manufacture and consequently sells cheaper than others.

Continues path robots

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This type of robot works in a variety of motions which could be in any direction. It is the type used in making most of the multiple tasks robots.

The ideal feature of this type of robot is the ability to work at different part axis without having the limit to where and how to move its arms.

The major limitation of this robot type is the technical malfunctioning found in them frequently and most of those malfunctions can be attributed to wrong programming.

Point-to-point robots

cable robot in action
cable robot in action

This type of robot is used for pick and place operations in the industries. In the hospital or pharmaceutical industries, such robots could be used for parking cartons of drugs produced from the packaging unit. Point-to-point robots are restricted by the distance and direction of their functions.

Controlled path robots


Controlled part robots are restricted to a single axis of movement. They have the most restricted axis of rotation because their path is determined by the direction they are taking in every instance.

Belt conveyors and good moving robots operate with this principle of path control, hence the majority will have their path fully controlled to correspond to the desired path of the user.


Having known the four Main Classifications of Robots and their Elements, use the comment section to give us your feedback.

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