Robot - motor of automation

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updated on 11.05.2020 - 14:54:58

Robots are programmable machines that are controlled by software and are classified under the area Robot technology. Among other things, they are equipped with scanning capabilities and are widely used in industrial production environments. Robots enable fully automatic assembly, handling and processing of workpieces.

Question/Definition: What is/are Robots?
Also often searched: industrial robots, industrial robots, engl. robot

Structure and functions

Robots consist of the following components:

  1. Manipulator (robot arm): The manipulator consists of several rigid links that are connected to each other by a certain articulation technique. The joints in turn are changed in position by controlled drives. At the end of this link chain is the base, while the free end ends with a movable gripper that can carry out the production work. In order to be able to carry out the tasks and to realize the spatial assignment of workpiece and device, the kinematics usually consist of three degrees of freedom. These three degrees of freedom require three axes of movement, i.e. robot arms.
  2. Control: It specifies the movement of the robot and monitors it. In order for this to work, it must be programmed in advance for the specific issue. Here is more information about robot controller and its programming.
  3. Drives: It consists of gear, motor and control and can be done electrically, hydraulically or pneumatically.
  4. Effektor (gripper, tool etc.): The gripping system represents the unimpeded connection between the workpiece and the industrial robot. To determine the exact position of the end effector, various [[industrial robots # coordinate systems |coordinate systems] ] used.
  5. possibly. internal & external sensors: Internal sensors provide information on the position of the manipulators and compare the respective actual and target positions. External sensors provide information from the environment so that unplanned changes can be reacted to.

Once the robot has been programmed, it can carry out work processes autonomously or vary them based on the sensor information provided.

For more information about robots, see the wiki Industrial Robots.

robot types

Robots can be divided into:

  • Construction method / kinematics
  • Intended use, such as welding robots, painting robots and palletizing robots
  • other robots
Construction method Usage Other
stationary robots, like Industrial Robots: service robot, like household helpers
autonomous mobile robots:
  • Walking robot
  • Working robot
  • flying robots
  • robots floating and diving
  • Toy robot
  • Combat robot
  • Rescue robot
  • Exploration robot
  • Transport robot
  • bionic robots
  • Swarm robot
  • Nanorobots
cognitive robots medical robots
humanoid robots

Important parameters

The load capacity is an important factor. It specifies the maximum mass that can be attached to the manipulator. Articulated arm robots can withstand loads from 2.5 to 1300 kg, for example. In addition to the payload, the precision and dynamics are relevant parameters.

Above all, the collaborative robot offers a capability that is of great benefit in today's production: it can work directly with a person without a protective device. On the one hand, this results in new and versatile application options. On the other hand, of course, they also result in a restricted cycle time and payload for safety reasons.

Areas of application and application

In an industrial context, robots can be used in almost all areas of production. For example, for gluing and sealing, for palletizing, assembling and packaging, for painting, measuring and grinding, as well as for cutting and welding.

Robots are also used where work is life-threatening for people and / or the environment is life-threatening.

  • when looking for mines
  • in military operations
  • in toxic fumes

Current information on the subject of robots can be found on Heise, in the Technology Review magazine or on the induux portal - for all new news on this topic.


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