Industrial Robot


This chapter provides various aspects of industrial robots. The various aspects which have been discussed are history of industrial robots, various application areas of industrial robots, general characteristics, and essential components of industrial robots. After this, concepts of robot motion, type of joints of industrial robots, various power sources for the robots are discussed. Next, the characteristics of various types of industrial robots are presented, followed by a list of leading manufacturers and research studies on industrial robots, along with the research studies on the performance of robots in various uncertain environments.
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1. Introduction

This chapter is entirely focused on different types of industrial robots. Industrial robot is a programmable, multi-function automated device which is used for material handling, machining, tooling and many other operations in various industrial applications. Industrial robots basically indicate robotic arms required for various types manufacturing purposes. A robot is a combination of various mechanical devices triggered by sensors and computer software. The languages which are generally used for robot programming can be done on any of the following levels.

  • Microcomputer machine language

  • Point-to-point level

  • Primitive motion level

  • Structured programming level

  • Task-oriented level


2. History Of Industrial Robots

Before proceeding to the discussion on industrial robots, let us take a look at the history of industrial robot in brief. The history of industrial robot should provide a glance towards the chronological development of various types of robots. Therefore, Table 1 provides a brief chronological order of the advent of the world of robots.

Table 1.
Chronological history of industrial robots
1937Earliest industrial robot invented by Bill Griffith P. Taylor
1954First programmable industrial robot by George Charles Devol
1956First robot company “Unimation” by George Charles Devol and entrepreneur Joseph F. Engelberger
1960Condec Corporation purchases Unimation company; American Machine and Foundry developed a robot called Versatran designed by Harry Johnson and Veljko Milenkovic.
1961First programmable industrial robot developed by George Charles Devol was granted
1962First industrial robot developed by General Motors for spot welding and die casting
1963Six-jointed Rancho Arm was developed to help handicapped
1969Nachi started the business on Robotics; Standford Arm started robot arm production
1973A robot named Famulus with 6 electromechanically driven axis was developed by German Robotics Company, Kuka
1974Production of DC Servo motors were started; Fanuac factory started developing industrial robot
1977Development of electrically powered industrial robot was started by an European robot company ASEA; Motoman L10 robot with 5 axes and 10 kg. maximum workload was developed
1978Programmable University robot was developed by General Motors
1979First motor-driven robot for spot welding; First arc welding robot was developed by OTC Company, Japan
1980Several robot companies were introduced.
1981First direct drive arm was developed
1985First Miller robot was developed
1992First intelligent robot was developed by Fanuc Robotics
1996Cutting tool, bearing product ranges started to be developed
2003Arc welding and handling robots
2004Articulated and Cleanroom robots’ development started.
2010Huge acceleration of demand for various types of robots
201429% increase in the sale of robots throughout the entire world.

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