#13 Robot Manipulator

Robotic arm

Robotic arm

Robots are computer-controlled devices which perform tasks usually done by humans.  An industrial robot is comprised of a robot manipulator, power supply, and controllers. Robotic manipulators can be divided into two sections, each with a different function:

  • Arm and Body – The arm and body of a robot are used to move and position parts or tools within a work envelope. They are formed from three joints connected by large links.
  • Wrist – The wrist is used to orient the parts or tools at the work location. It consists of two or three
    compact joints.

Robot manipulators are created from a sequence of link and joint combinations. The links are the rigid members connecting the joints, or axes. The axes are the movable components of the robotic manipulator that cause relative motion between adjoining links. The mechanical joints used to construct the robotic arm manipulator consist of five principal types. Two of the joints are linear, in which the relative motion between adjacent links is non-rotational, and three are rotary types, in which the relative motion involves rotation between links.

The arm-and-body section of robotic manipulators is based on one of four configurations. Each of these anatomies provides a different work envelope and is suited for different applications.

  • Gantry – These robots have linear joints and are mounted overhead. They are also called Cartesian and rectilinear robots. 
  • Cylindrical – Named for the shape of its work envelope, cylindrical anatomy robots are fashioned from linear joints that connect to a rotary base joint.   
  • Polar – The base joint of a polar robot allows for twisting and the joints are a combination of rotary and linear types. The work space created by this configuration is spherical. 
  • Jointed-Arm – This is the most popular industrial robotic configuration. The arm connects with a twisting joint, and the links within it are connected with rotary joints. It is also called an articulated robot.

The basic  industrial robot in wide use today is an arm or manipulator which moves to perform industrial operations. Tasks are specialized and vary tremendously. They include :

–        Handling                : loading and unloading components into machines

–        Processing             : machining, drilling, painting and coating

–        Assembling           : placing and locating a part in another compartment

–        Dismantling          : breaking down an object into its component parts

–        Welding                  : assembling objects permanently by arc welding or spot welding

–        Transporting       : moving material and parts

–        Painting                 : spray painting parts

–        Hazardous tasks : operating under high levels of heat, dust, radioactivity, noise, and noxious odors.

Source :

–        Robots web. “What is Robot Manipulator?”. 24 Mei 2014. http://www.robots.com/faq/show/what-is-a-robot-manipulator

–        Petruzella, Frank D. Industrial Electronics. 1996. McGraw-Hill International Editions. pg. 389.

–        Picture : http://reset.etsii.upm.es/en/uploads/pool__projects_robotic-arm_robotic_arm.jpg/

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