When most people think about robots, they think of machines that look and behave like human beings. In the industrial world, a robot brings to mind a machine that boosts productivity in the production or assembly line. Industrial robots are classified by their specific applications such as palletizing robots, packaging robots, or handling robots.
A more comprehensive definition of the types of robots is narrowed to five different models, which have particular elements that make them ideal for various applications. They are differentiated by their size, workspace, and speed. The five types include:
Cartesian is the most common type of industrial robot for most industrial applications. Most plant operators choose to use the Cartesian for their ease of use and programming. The robot’s linear movements ensure the robot has a cube-shaped workspace that is a perfect fit wit pick and place tasks that are between 100mm and more than 10 meters.
The Cartesian robots are customizable, and the plant operators can choose the robot’s length of strokes, precision, and speed. The parts are sent separately, and the machine builders assemble them accordingly. A significant drawback of Cartesian robots is their assembly complexity. They are mainly chosen for the configuration flexibility that allows them to meet the specific task needs.
Cylindrical robots are simple and very alike to the Cartesian in their motion axis. The Cylindrical robots consist of two elements that are in motion, i.e., linear and rotary actuators. The Cylindrical robots include a cylindrical work envelope and are chosen by machine designers for their space economy.
You can place the cylindrical robot in the center of a workspace because its rotation element allows it to work anywhere around the workspace. The best applications for the cylindrical robots are those that involve picking, rotation, and placing. Installation and use of the Cylindrical robots are simple, and they have a minimal assembly process.
Scara robots are an all-in-one solution type of robots. The SCARA robot has x, y, z, and rotary motion in a single package that comes already assembled, except the industrial robotic arm. The SCARA work envelope is very similar to a Cylindrical robot. In an arch-shaped or radius space, the cylindrical robot has more degrees of motion. A SCARA is faster than Cartesian and Cylindrical robots, and its application is very similar to the two. SCARA robots are ubiquitous in Biomed applications because they need a small workspace.
The 6-Axis robots are giant, but can also be very small. They are used for significant assembly applications such as installing seats in a car assembly line. The 6-axis robots work like large human hands and can move materials from one place to another; actions the other robots cannot easily accomplish. However, the 6-Axis is more sophisticated in their programming. The 6-Axis robots are so giant, with such fast movements that if you attached roller coaster seats to them, the robots could easily mimic a roller coaster ride. They are chosen for the movement ability the others do not possess.
Delta robots are the fastest and most costly of all the robots. Their work envelope is dome-shaped and in which they can achieve very high velocities. These robots are ideal for pick and place or for transferring items such as moving parts form one conveyor belt to another, or putting them into boxes. They are more complicated in usage than the SCARA or 6-Axis robots, and the significant advantage is their speed and precision.
While considering an industrial robot, you must find the load, speed, precision, travel, duty cycle, and the environment or workspace. These factors will enable you to choose the best robot for your particular application