CHAPTER-6: What are robotic arms?

Like the human arms, robots also have arms. Robotic arms are mechanical arms which contain numerous parts for resembling the shoulder, an elbow and a wrist. These arms are programmed by machine language. For performing various types of functions like the human, machine language assists these robotic arms. These arms can execute a specific task or job quickly, efficiently, and extremely accurately. Robotics arms are basically motor-driven. They are used for the rapid, consistent performance of heavy and highly repetitive procedures over long periods of time. They are particularly valued in the industrial production, manufacturing, machining and assembly sectors.

A series of joints, articulations and manipulators are used in a typical industrial robot. In terms of mechanical perspective, it works together to closely resemble the motion and functionality of a human arm. A programmable robotic arm can be a complete machine in and of itself. It can function as an individual robot part of a larger and more complex piece of equipment.

In numerous industries and workplace applications, a good number of smaller robotic arms are used which are benchtop-mounted and controlled electronically. Some are floor-mounted and they are constructed from robust and long-lasting metal like steel or cast iron. It contains 4-6 articulating joints. The main joints on a robotic arm are designed like the main parts of the shoulder, elbow, forearm and wrist of a human body. It provides the mechanical structure and strength of the robot.

Industrial robotic arms can work at a specific speed and power. As these arms are preprogrammed by the machine language, they can perform the task within that specified speed and power. That’s why these arms are programmed with a very safety-conscious. An end effector is a device located at the end of a robotic arm. It is designed to interact with the environment in which the robotic arm is to be used. This end effector is like the app which makes the robotic arm perform a variety of functions. The job of the robotic arm is to move the end effector from one location to the other based on the commands that the user sends via a control computer.

The design of the end effector depends on the applications for which the robotic arm is intended to be used. The end effector is also known as a robotic hand which can be designed to perform spinning, gripping, welding, and assembly operations. A robotic arm can be built-in with a variety of end effectors. One of the most commonly built-in end effectors is the one which resembles the human hand. It is used extensively for picking, gripping, and carrying different types of objects.

When robotic arms are deployed properly, they can increase production rates massively and perform the picking and placement tasks accurately. They can also perform lifting heavy-duty and relocation functions which is quite difficult even for groups of multiple human workers to carry out at any kind of pace.

With the technological advancement, the manufacturing costs of robotic components has decreased over the years, the past decade or so has seen a very rapid expansion in the availability and affordability of robots and robotic arms across a very extensive range of industries. Nowadays, they economically viable option for large-scale production lines delivering products with very high volumes of product. So, these robotic arms are significantly contributing in industrial production.

Next Chapter: CHAPTER-7: What is a PLC and how does it work?