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Past, Present and Future of Industrial Robotics

Past, Present and Future of Industrial Robotics

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Published by: myseminar on Jul 11, 2009
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Abstract:This paper deals with the history of industrial robots, there basic structure, types, present status and future advances withapplications. As we know Modern industrial robots are true marvels of engineering. An industrial robot is officially defined as anautomatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. Industrial robots havea formidable place in any type of industry now. Automation systems along with industrial robots today are performing motioncontrol and real time decision making tasks that were considered impossible 40 years ago. The most obvious anthromorphiccharacteristic of an industrial robot is its mechanical arm that is used to perform various industrial tasks. Industrial robots have awide range of applications in industry manufacturing anything.In this paper, an effort is made to answer the questions about the origin and fundamentals of industrial robotics. It alsoincludes the basic assembly of SCARA robots and comparison between Cartesian and SCARA robots as a case study.Keywords: Industrial Robots, SCARA Robots, Multipurpose Manipulators, Anthromorphic Characteristics, Mechanical Arm
An industrial robot is a general purposereprogrammable machine possessing certainanthromorphic characteristics like mechanical arm,capability of responding to sensory inputs, tocommunicate with other machines, and make decision.
Beginning with the origin of robotics, LeonardoDavinci in 1495 designed the first robot and he made thefollowing design. Fig (1)Fig (1)While discussing the origin of industrial robots we must mentionthe two real inventors who made original contributions to thetechnology of industrial robotics. The first was Cyrill W.Kenward, a British inventor who devised a manipulator thatmoved on an X-Y-Z system. In 1954 he applied for British patentand got it in 1957. [1]The second inventor was an American named GeorgeC. Devol has two inventions to his credit. The first was a devicefor magnetically recording electrical signals so as to play them back to control the machinery operation. The second inventionwas a robotic device developed in 1950s, which he called“Programmed Article Transfer”. This device was intended for  part handling. He got patent for this in 1961. In 1956 Devol meta person Joseph Engelberger who was a graduate in Physics. Hehad a great passion about robots. In 1962 they both founded thefirst industrial robot producing company “Unimation, Inc”. Thefirst product of the company was “Unimate”, which was a polar configuration robot. The first practical application of Unimatewas for the unloading of die casting machine at Ford Motor Company’s plant. [1]Interest in robotics swelled in the late 1970s and manyUS companies entered the field. In 1973 KUKA Robotics builtits first robot, known as FAMULUS, this is the first articulatedrobot to have six electromechanically driven axes.This was the beginning of the industrial robotics. Theindustries came to know that the use of industrial robots in themanufacturing plants will be very useful and economical. Thusthe era of industrial robotics began. Now let’s move towards the basic structure of industrial robot.Basic terms used for design of industrial robot: Numbers of axes – two axes are required to reach any point in a plane; three axes are required to reach any point in space. Tofully control the orientation of the end of the arm (i.e. the wrist)three more axes are required. Some designs (e.g. the SCARArobot) trade limitations in motion possibilities for cost, speed,and accuracy.Links and Joints - Links are the solid structural members of arobot, and joints are the movable couplings between them.Fig(2)There are five types of joints1)linear joint [type L]2)orthogonal joints [type O]3)rotational joint [type R]4)twisting joint [type T]5)revolving joint [type V]Degree of Freedom -Each joint on the robot introduces a degreeof freedom. Each degree of freedom can be a slider, rotary, or other type of actuator. Robots typically have 5 or 6 degrees of freedom. 3 of the degrees of freedom allow positioning in 3Dspace, while the other 2or 3 are used for orientation of the endeffector. 6 degrees of freedom are enough to allow the robot toreach all positions and orientations in 3D space. 5 degrees of freedom requires a restriction to 2D space, or else it limitsorientations. 5 degrees of freedom robots are commonly used for handling tools such as arc welders. It is usually the same as thenumber of axes.Orientation Axes - Basically, if the tool is held at a fixed position, the orientation determines which direction it can be pointed in. Roll, pitch and yaw are the common orientation axesused. Looking at the figure below it will be obvious that the toolcan be positioned at any orientation in space.
Fig (3)Position Axes - The tool, regardless of orientation, can be movedto a number of positions in space. Various robot geometries aresuited to different work geometries.Tool Centre Point (TCP) - The tool centre point is located either on the robot, or the tool. Typically the TCP is used whenreferring to the robots position, as well as the focal point of thetool. (E.g. the TCP could be at the tip of a welding torch) TheTCP can be specified in Cartesian, cylindrical, spherical, etc.coordinates depending on the robot. As tools are changed we willoften reprogram the robot for the TCP. Fig (4)Work envelope/Workspace - The robot tends to have a fixed andlimited geometry. The work envelope is the boundary of  positions in space that the robot can reach. For a Cartesian robot(like an overhead crane) the workspace might be a square, for more sophisticated robots the workspace might be a shape thatlooks like a `clump of intersecting bubbles.Speed - refers either to the maximum velocity that is achievable by the TCP, or by individual joints. This number is not accuratein most robots, and will vary over the workspace as the geometryof the robot changes (and hence the dynamic effects). Thenumber will often reflect the maximum safest speed possible.Some robots allow the maximum rated speed (100%) to be passed, but it should be done with great care.Payload - The payload indicates the maximum mass the robotcan lift before either failure of the robots, or dramatic loss of accuracy. It is possible to exceed the maximum payload, and stillhave the robot operate, but this is not advised. When the robot isaccelerating fast, the payload should be less than the maximummass. This is affected by the ability to firmly grip the part, aswell as the robot structure, and the actuators. The end of armtooling should be considered part of the payload.Fig (5)Repeatability-
The robot mechanism will have some naturalvariance in it. This means that when the robot is repeatedlyinstructed to return to the same point, it will not always stop atthe same position. Repeatability is considered to be +/-3 timesthe standard deviation of the position, or where 99.5% of allrepeatability measurements fall. This figure will vary over theworkspace, especially near the boundaries of the workspace, butmanufacturers will give a single value in specifications.Accuracy - This is determined by the resolution of theworkspace. If the robot is commanded to travel to a point inspace, it will often be off by some amount, the maximumdistance should be considered the accuracy. This is an effect of acontrol system that is not necessarily continuous.Settling Time - During a movement, the robot moves fast, but asthe robot approaches the final position is slows down, and slowlyapproaches. The settling time is the time required for the robot to be within a given distance from the final position.Control Resolution - This is the smallest change that can bemeasured by the feedback sensors, or caused by the actuators,whichever is larger. If a rotary joint has an encoder that measuresevery 0.01 degree of rotation, and a direct drive servo motor isused to drive the joint, with a resolution of 0.5 degrees, then thecontrol resolution is about 0.5 degrees (the worst case can be0.5+0.01).Coordinates - The robot can move, therefore it is necessary todefine positions. Note that coordinates are a combination of boththe position of the origin and orientation of the axes.These are some terms or literally basic terms related to theindustrial robot, in order to study the basic structure andconfiguration of the industrial robot.Basic robot configurations:A robot manipulator is generally divided into two parts, first is body-and-arm assembly and other is wrist assembly, and it isalso called end effector. This device is either a gripper for holding a work part or a tool performing some process.Body-and-arm configurations: [3]As discussed before there are five types of joints, there are5*5*5=125 different configurations are there. But there are onlyfive basic configurations commonly available in commercialindustrial robots. Which are also the types of arms.Cartesian or rectilinear configuration- Positioning is done in theworkspace with prismatic joints. This configuration is well usedwhen a large workspace must be covered, or when consistentaccuracy is expected from the robot. Fig (6)

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