The robot arms are used in various industrial applications, including material handling, welding, painting, thermal spraying, and drilling. It has a human-like dexterity in various environments like repairing pipelines on the ocean floor, servicing nuclear power stations, and radioactive cleanup waste. The most common application of the robot arm is in the automotive industry, where it for car assembly.
A robot arm is preferred to humans because it is precise and fast. Using a robot arm in manufacturing has also reduced the repetition of monotonous tasks, work injuries, and fatigue-related downtime. The robot arm is preferred to a human worker because of its high precision and product quality.
The Types of Robot Arms
Usually, robots perform various human-like industrial functions through six joints. Most robot arms have seven sections while six joints are connected. Stepper motors drive these joints and computer programs control them. The programs and stepper motors make the robot arm precise in its functions.
There are different types of robot arms. The critical difference between them lies in how the joints are to function, the footprint required for installation, and the type of framework supporting the robot. The most common types of robot arms are the Cartesian robotic arm, cylindrical robotic arm, spherical robotic arm, and SCARA robotic arm.
Cartesian Robotic Arm
Cartesian robot arms are gantry or rectilinear robot arms. Their name are after the Cartesian coordinates to map geometric curves on the graph by using algebraic equations. The mechatronic gantry or Cartesian robot has three joints using the x, y, and z coordinates. These coordinates specify the linear movement of the joints in three dimensions along the axes.
A Cartesian robot arm uses various linear actuators and motors to position an end effector in three directions and manipulate the tool through a series of movements when switching positions. This robot arm can be mounted vertically, horizontally, or overhead. They are for various applications, including picking and placing alongside conveyor belts.
Cylindrical Robotic Arms
Unlike the Cartesian robot arm, the cylindrical robot arm’s axes form a cylindrical system where the end effector moves up, down, and round in a cylindrically shaped space. The cylindrical robot arm is for spot-welding, assembly operations, and machine tool handling. The axes of the cylindrical robot arm rotate to give the robot a cylindrical and linear motion.
SCARA robotic arm
Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm or Articulated Robot Arm is a type of robot arm that can tolerate flexibility in some axes and remain rigid in others. It is a high-tech tool for specific placement and assembly tasks where it requires a degree of flexibility in a particular direction and rigidity in another direction. This ability is advantageous for tasks that require the insertion of things in tight-fitting spaces without damaging or binding any of the parts involved.
Spherical Robotic Arm
A polar or spherical robot arm operates a locus movement through a combination of rotational joints, a linear joint, and two rotary joints. a twisting joint connects the polar robotic arm to the base. This twisting joint and the robot arm’s spherical workspace make it helpful in executing roles that are similar to cylindrical robotic arms. Therefore, they can perform arc welding, spot welding, die-casting, and handling machine tools.
The Uses of Robot Arms
A wide range of industrial applications can use robot arms. They are for the processing, production, and manufacturing goods where there is a need for extreme precision or fast repetitive movements . They are also used for detailed assembly work, such as manufacturing circuit boards, producing large volume goods, and assembling cars.
Hence before you get a robot arm, you need to understand which type suits for the task you need it for. When selecting the type of robot arm to purchase, you should consider the following requirements:
All robot arms have a specified load capacity. Often the manufacturers specify a load capacity that exceeds the total weight of the payload of the task. This payload capacity also includes the tools attached to the end of the robot arm. It’s important to note that different kinds of robot arms have different frameworks which can increase or decrease the overall load capacity.
Its mounting position and footprint define the orientation of the robot arm. It would be best if you were keen on how well it fits alongside other equipment in your production line because this orientation will influence the range of movement and applications it performs. Different types of robot arms require different types of pedestals and physical clearance depending on the space they need to perform their functions. These factors may influence the position of other workers in the vicinity.
You should also consider the speed at which the robot arm operates. You should check the manufacturer’s rating for speed, especially when choosing robotic arms for picking and placing objects. Although you can adjust speed in some robot arms, it is impossible to tweak the speed ratings in some robot arms as changes to speed also affect the belts, actuators, and motors in use.
It’s essential to consider precision as well. Some robot arms are designed to be more precise than others. They are designed to perform tasks that require a high level of accuracy and precision, and hence they may come at a higher cost. So, if the task you need a robot arm does not need great attention to detail, you should consider getting a robot arm with less precision.
Robot arms are ideal for industrial tasks that require consistency, repetition, or a high degree of accuracy. They are also ideal for tasks that are too challenging or unsafe for human workers. Robot arms are fast, reliable, and accurate. They are designed to be used in any industrial setting, including manufacturing, laboratories, automation, testing, sample handling, and machine access for various tasks.