Types Of Industrial Robots And Their Features
When it comes to classifications of robots, the industrial robots can be found as a major classification from all the existing types of robots.
Ever since robotic engineering started springing up, the engineers had been looking for ways that works could be done safer to reduce the risks that workers are always exposed to in their everyday industrial activities.
Before now, lots of industrial jobs do render serious injury to humans arising from accidents or after job effect.
In the case of metallurgical industries, handling molten metals and their transferring means into the molds had never been easy.
The operations in such industry had been referred to as the most tedious because of the hazard and accident records coming from them.
However, the introduction of robotic engineering has not only helped the metallurgical industries immensely, it has also brought revolutions to most industrial manufacturing sectors.
The robotic engineering is the field of engineering that brought the idea of industrial robots into reality through the making of robots that are programmable and capable of movement on two or more axes.
Initial industrial robots had limitations in terms of the axes of their movement, their angles of operations were limited included their total flexibility found in the modern industrial robots.
Industrial robots now have complex functionalities that made their use for specific jobs possible.
Instead of having industrial robots that only lift and place objects while in stationery position, the modern robots used for industrial operations can weld a full length of 5mm thick steel plate in a factory, paint the interior and exterior of the factory building, carry out assembling of engine parts, and packaging and labeling operations, etc.
Based on the improved flexibility and its axes of rotations, industrial robots can carry out the following operations effectively for the manufacturing and construction industries:
Industrial robots can now work as a quality control officers using a pre-determined values used for identification quality to accept or reject a particular product that is meant to pass through its interface for approval.
Operations of various industrial machines had been made easier using the industrial robotic engineering. The idea has made almost all the modern industrial machines to operate autonomously. Such that the functions obtainable from modern robotics appear to be unlimited.
Industrial robots had been extended to the level of carrying full tasks peculiar to human operations, such are; conveying of tools and products, security control system in the industries, emergency rescue robots, and manual printing robots, etc.
As it stands currently, there is no limit to what industrial robots could do when it comes to the whole industrial activities.
FEATURES OF INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS
The use of robotic arms with varying or similar degrees of movement configurations had been the major feature of industrial robots.
The robots always exhibit varying degrees of autonomy based on the operations the robot were meant to carry out, few degree of movement configurations mean less tedious or less task job for the robot.
While complex degree of movement configuration could mean multiple task and tedious job ability for the robot.
As a programmable machine, the programs of robots will always consider the arms degree of freedom, and other moving parts of the robot.
Some robots are programmed to faithfully carry out specific operations continuously i.e. repetitive actions. Such robots will have programs that are accurate and the degree of freedom must perfectly suited the nature of repetitive tasks expected from the robots.
A properly programmed industrial robot must specify the entire actions of the robots to determine its routines, directions, acceleration, velocity, deceleration, and distance of a series of coordinated motions.
Robots with multiple flexibility and degrees of freedom are meant to carry out varying operations by adjusting or changing its written programs. For example, for more precise guidance, robots often contain machine vision sub-systems acting as their visual sensors, linked to powerful computers or controllers.
TYPES OF INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS
Industrial robots can have numerous types when classified extensively, but based on research for this article only four seem to be the major types of industrial robots based on functions, designs, degrees of freedom, control mechanisms, etc. the following are the simplified classification of industrial robots:
1. ARTICULATED INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS: they are special industrial robots with rotary joints which can aid their movement in a rotary directions up to 360 degrees.
At their simple design, such robots could have only two-jointed structures, while at complex design, they can have about 10 or more interacting joints to enable more tasks and flexibility. The joints are usually equipped with an electric motor for their motions.
This type of industrial robots use its three revolute joints to access its work space. The joints are arranged in a ‘chain’ format such that one joint will support another further joint in the chain format.
With the manipulative joints associated with this type of robots, their path can be controlled by a coordinated motion because there is a control scheme where inputs or commands can be specified in every point along a desired path of motions.
When it comes to the degrees of freedom (DOF), there are number of independent motions in which the end effector can move, define by the number of axes of motions of the manipulator.
The program of this type of industrial robots can be stored in a disk, memory cards, or directly from any computer using a suitable software and meant to control the various units of flexibility independently which enables the robots to have high level of arms flexibilities.
2. DELTA INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS: they are referred to as “parallel robots” consisting of three arms connected to universal joints at the base. The robots operate with the principle of parallelograms when it comes to the arms design features.
The principle enables the robot maintain the orientation of the end effector. They are type of industrial robots mainly used for the purpose of picking and packaging in factories because they can be quite in executing actions and are used mostly for similar and repetitive functions.
The parallel robots consist of multiple kinematic chains connecting the base with the end-effector. The robots’ movement is restricted to the X, Y, or Z directions with no rotation.
When used for a particular operation design, the base is mounted above the workspace and all the actuators are located on it.
From the base, three middle jointed arms extend and the ends of these arms are connected to a small triangular platform. Actuation of the input links will move the triangular platform along the X, Y, or Z direction.
3. CARTESIAN COORDINATE INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS: they are known as linear robots, the industrial robots are known with their straight-line movement rather than rotational movement peculiar with the articulated industrial robots. The three principal axes of the robots are usually at right angle to each other.
The three sliding joints of the robots correspond to the movement of the up-down, in-out, and back-fourth of the wrist. They have advantage of simple mechanical arrangement and sometimes resemble gantry cranes but usually smaller in size.
4. SCARA (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm): they have parallel-axis joint layout, the arm is rigid in the Z-axis but flexible or movable towards the X and Y axes.
Therefore, the robots had been found to work perfectly in only the X,Y axes configurations, by virtue of the SCARA’s parallel-axis joint layout, the robots have advantages for many types of assembly operations such as inserting a round pin in a round hole without binding.
Another feature of this type of industrial robots is that their jointed two-link arm layout is similar to human arms which makes it easy for the robots’ arm to extend into confined areas and then retract or fold up out of the way.
These industrial robots have more features and advantages than the few mentioned in this post, however; the highlight will enable us understand the various available industrial robots currently in use. If you have a contribution or other idea regarding the topic, use the comment form to air your view.