Abstract: This paper deals with the history of industrial robots, there basic structure, types, present status and future advances with applications. As we know Modern industrial robots are true marvels of engineering. An industrial robot is officially defined as an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. Industrial robots have a formidable place in any type of industry now. Automation systems along with industrial robots today are performing motion control and real time decision making tasks that were considered impossible 40 years ago. The most obvious anthromorphic characteristic of an industrial robot is its mechanical arm that is used to perform various industrial tasks. Industrial robots have a wide 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 also includes 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 purpose reprogrammable machine possessing certain anthromorphic characteristics like mechanical arm, capability of responding to sensory inputs, to communicate with other machines, and make decision.
Beginning with the origin of robotics, Leonardo Davinci in 1495 designed the first robot and he made the following design. Fig (1)

fully control the orientation of the end of the arm (i.e. the wrist) three more axes are required. Some designs (e.g. the SCARA robot) trade limitations in motion possibilities for cost, speed, and accuracy. Links and Joints - Links are the solid structural members of a robot, and joints are the movable couplings between them.

Fig (1) While discussing the origin of industrial robots we must mention the two real inventors who made original contributions to the technology of industrial robotics. The first was Cyrill W. Kenward, a British inventor who devised a manipulator that moved on an X-Y-Z system. In 1954 he applied for British patent and got it in 1957. [1] The second inventor was an American named George C. Devol has two inventions to his credit. The first was a device for magnetically recording electrical signals so as to play them back to control the machinery operation. The second invention was 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 met a person Joseph Engelberger who was a graduate in Physics. He had a great passion about robots. In 1962 they both founded the first industrial robot producing company “Unimation, Inc”. The first product of the company was “Unimate”, which was a polar configuration robot. The first practical application of Unimate was for the unloading of die casting machine at Ford Motor Company’s plant. [1] Interest in robotics swelled in the late 1970s and many US companies entered the field. In 1973 KUKA Robotics built its first robot, known as FAMULUS, this is the first articulated robot to have six electromechanically driven axes. This was the beginning of the industrial robotics. The industries came to know that the use of industrial robots in the manufacturing plants will be very useful and economical. Thus the 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. To There are five types of joints 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) linear joint [type L]


orthogonal joints [type O] rotational joint [type R] twisting joint [type T] revolving joint [type V]

Degree of Freedom -Each joint on the robot introduces a degree of 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 3D space, while the other 2or 3 are used for orientation of the end effector. 6 degrees of freedom are enough to allow the robot to reach all positions and orientations in 3D space. 5 degrees of freedom requires a restriction to 2D space, or else it limits orientations. 5 degrees of freedom robots are commonly used for handling tools such as arc welders. It is usually the same as the number 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 axes used. Looking at the figure below it will be obvious that the tool can be positioned at any orientation in space.


Fig (3) Position Axes - The tool, regardless of orientation, can be moved to a number of positions in space. Various robot geometries are suited 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 when referring to the robots position, as well as the focal point of the tool. (E.g. the TCP could be at the tip of a welding torch) The TCP can be specified in Cartesian, cylindrical, spherical, etc. coordinates depending on the robot. As tools are changed we will often reprogram the robot for the TCP. Fig (4) Fig (5) Repeatability- The robot mechanism will have some natural variance in it. This means that when the robot is repeatedly instructed to return to the same point, it will not always stop at the same position. Repeatability is considered to be +/-3 times the standard deviation of the position, or where 99.5% of all repeatability measurements fall. This figure will vary over the workspace, especially near the boundaries of the workspace, but manufacturers will give a single value in specifications. Accuracy - This is determined by the resolution of the workspace. If the robot is commanded to travel to a point in space, it will often be off by some amount, the maximum distance should be considered the accuracy. This is an effect of a control system that is not necessarily continuous. Settling Time - During a movement, the robot moves fast, but as the robot approaches the final position is slows down, and slowly approaches. 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 be measured by the feedback sensors, or caused by the actuators, whichever is larger. If a rotary joint has an encoder that measures every 0.01 degree of rotation, and a direct drive servo motor is used to drive the joint, with a resolution of 0.5 degrees, then the control resolution is about 0.5 degrees (the worst case can be 0.5+0.01). Coordinates - The robot can move, therefore it is necessary to define positions. Note that coordinates are a combination of both the position of the origin and orientation of the axes. These are some terms or literally basic terms related to the industrial robot, in order to study the basic structure and configuration 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 is also 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 are 5*5*5=125 different configurations are there. But there are only five basic configurations commonly available in commercial industrial robots. Which are also the types of arms. Cartesian or rectilinear configuration- Positioning is done in the workspace with prismatic joints. This configuration is well used when a large workspace must be covered, or when consistent accuracy is expected from the robot. Fig (6)

Work envelope/Workspace - The robot tends to have a fixed and limited 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 that looks 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 accurate in most robots, and will vary over the workspace as the geometry of the robot changes (and hence the dynamic effects). The number 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 robot can lift before either failure of the robots, or dramatic loss of accuracy. It is possible to exceed the maximum payload, and still have the robot operate, but this is not advised. When the robot is accelerating fast, the payload should be less than the maximum mass. This is affected by the ability to firmly grip the part, as well as the robot structure, and the actuators. The end of arm tooling should be considered part of the payload.


Fig (9) SCARA configuration- SCARA is the acronym for Selective Compliance Robot Arm. This is similar to the joint arm or articulated arm configuration except that the shoulder and elbow axes are vertical, which means that the arm is very rigid in vertical direction, but compliant in the horizontal direction. Fig (10)

Fig (6) Cylindrical configuration- This robot configuration consist of a vertical column, relative to which an arm assembly is moved up and down. The robot has a revolute motion about a base, a prismatic joint for height, and a prismatic joint for radius. This robot is well suited to round workspaces. The arm can be moved in and out relative to the axis of the column. Fig (7) Fig (10) This permits the robot to perform insertion tasks for assembly in vertical direction, where some side-to-side alignment may be needed to mate the two parts properly. Wrist configurations- the robots wrist is generally for the orientation of the end effector. This usually consists of two or three degrees of freedom wrist assembly. The three joints are defined as ROLL, PITCH and YAW. Roll is used to accomplish rotation about the robots arm axis, whereas pitch involves up and rotation and yaw serves the purpose of right and left rotation. Sensors in industrial robotsSensors and actuators are used as control system components in industrial robots. There are two typesInternal sensors- are those which are used for controlling position and velocity of various joints. These sensors form a feedback control loop with the control system. For examplepotentiometers, optical encoders, tachometers. External sensors- are used to coordinate operation of the robot with other components in the cell. They are of following typesFig (8) Articulated or joint spherical configuration- The robot uses 3 revolute joints to position the robot. Generally the work volume is spherical. This robot most resembles the human arm, with a waist, shoulder, elbow, wrist. Fig (9) Tactile sensors- used to determine whether contact is made between the sensor and the other object or not. Proximity sensors- these indicate the distance of the object from the sensor. It is also called Range sensor. Optical sensor- used to detect presence or absence of objects. Also used for proximity detection. For example- photocells. Machine vision- used for inspection and part identification. Other sensors- these include measuring sensors of temperature, pressure, fluid flow, current, voltage, etc. End effectors-

Fig (7) Polar or spherical configuration- Two revolute joints and one prismatic joint allow the robot to point in many directions, and then reach out some radial distance. Fig (8)


These enable the robot to perform specific tasks and are attached to the wrist of robot. There are two typesGrippersAre the end effectors used to grasp and manipulate objects during work cycle. The objects are usually work parts that are moved from one place to another.

Fig (12) CASE STUDY: COMPARISION BETWEEN CARTESION AND SCARA ROBOTS-[3-4] As a case study we have compared Cartesian and SCARA robots on different aspects such as compatibility with different size of work parts, structural differences, work envelope, assess movements and the most important protection needs or safety, and finally applications. Let’s discuss one by one. Compatibility with different size of work partsCartesian robots work from a grid, so their payload is larger and fully supported resulting in good accessibility in larger work parts. On the other hand all the joints on a SCARA robot are located at the end of the arm, limited payload capacity. SCARA robots are best for smaller sized parts. Structural differencesThe most visible structural difference between SCARA and Cartesian robots is in the wrist configuration. The SCARA robot does not have a separate wrist assembly as the orientational requirements are minimum; on the contrary Cartesian robot is capable of movement in X, Y, Z-direction only. So the orientation must be perfect.

Fig (11) There are different types of grippers according to the shapes, sizes and weights of parts to be held. For ex- mechanical grippers, vacuum grippers, magnetized grippers, dual, sensory multiple fingered grippers are used according to the application. ToolsThese are used in applications where the robot must perform some processing operation on the work part. Therefore the robot manipulates the tool relative to stationery or slowly moving objects. e.g.- Fig (12) Spot welding gun, arc welding tool, spray painting gun, assembly tool, water jet cutting tool, heating torch. In each case, the robot not only controls the relative position of tool with respect to work piece but also controls the operation of tool. In some applications, multiple tools are also used by the robots during the work cycle. For ex- Several sizes of drilling bits applied to the work part.


The Cartesian style robot is capable of X, Y, Z directional movements. Its rigidity allows for more precision. Easy to program and ideal for applications that require movements such as straight line insertions, the Cartesian robot is a strong, dependable mover. Protection needs and safetyScara robots can be safeguarded from hazardous environments. All their joints can be protected and they can be sealed for underwater applications. Cartesian robots, on the other hand, require special covering when working in hazardous environments. They are not able to work underwater. ApplicationsBoth styles provide excellent solutions for pick and place assembly, and packaging applications. SCARA robots are specifically used for insertion type assembly operations whereas Cartesian robot is an accurate and quick solution for material handling. Fig (13) Comparison: Choosing between SCARA and Cartesian robots can be difficult as each robot has unique features and advantages. But SCARA robot holds the edge in its compact wrist assembly and property of working in any type of environment. Though Cartesian robots can work larger work parts with more ease their directional movements are restricted. APPLICATIONS OF INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS [6-7] As this is the era of automation and computer aided manufacturing, industrial robots play a significant role in every aspect of manufacturing. There are some properties of industrial robots which give them the flexibility to work in any environment such as accuracy, repeatability, multishift operation, easy assessment of infrequent changeovers in work cycle. Material handlingFig (14) Work envelopeThe SCARA robot provides a circular work envelope. This broad movement range allows for added flexibility. Scara robots have a small footprint and can be built on a smaller scale. Cartesian robots work from an overhead grid. Its work envelope is rectangular. The work envelope is determined by the grid - so it can be quite large. The Cartesian robot's overhead grid can take up overall room, but does free up floor space. Assess movementThe Scara robot provides more flexibility than the Cartesian robot. Its circular work envelope is created by 4-axis motions. While rigid, the Scara robot can move with more flexibility in a horizontal plane. Depending on the application, a Scara can perform with more speed than a Cartesian robot. In this the robot moves material or parts from one place to other. To perform this transfer it is equipped with a gripper type end effector. The gripper design must be customized as per the requirement. There are two cases included in this application namely material transfer and machine loading and unloading. Material transferThe basic application in this category is pick-and-place operation. Low technology robots such as pneumatically powered are sufficient. For ex- palletizing, stacking, insertion. Fig (15)


assembly is where a mixture of similar products are produced in the same work cell or assembly line.

Fig (15) Fig (16) Machine loading and/or unloadingIn this the robot transfers parts into and/or from a production machine. The three possible cases are- machine loading in which robot loads parts of the production machine. Second is machine unloading in which the raw materials are fed to the machine without using robot and it is used to unload finished products. While the third case is machine loading and unloading in this both loading of the raw product and unloading of finished work parts is done by robots Industrial robot application of machine loading and/or unloading included in following processes: Die casting- the robot unloads parts from the die casting machine. Same is done in plastic moulding. Metal machining operations- here robots are used to load raw work piece material to the machine tool and to unload the finished product. Similar kind of work is done by robots in forging, press working, heat treating and many more. Assembly and inspectionThis application may involve either the handling of material or the manipulation of tool. These two are the labor intensive activities traditionally and also boring and highly repetitive. Due to these reasons, above activities are logical candidates for robotic applications. AssemblyIt involves the addition of two or more parts to form a new entity. This is made secure by fastening two or more parts by different mechanical fastening techniques. Because of the economic importance of assembly, automated methods are often applied. The most appealing application for industrial robots for

InspectionThere is often need in automated plants and assembly systems to inspect the work that is supposed to do. This performs following functionsMaking sure that the given process is complete. Ensuring that the parts have been added in assembly line as specified. Identifying defects in raw material and the end products. The robot performs loading and unloading tasks to support an inspection or testing machine. The robot also manipulates an inspection device, as mechanical probe, to test the product. To perform testing, the part must be presented at the workstation in the correct position and orientation, and the robot automatically manipulates the device as required. Processing applicationsThis application includes the use of industrial robots in different categories like different types of welding techniques, spray painting, various machining and other rotating spindle processes. WeldingPerhaps the most popular applications of robots is in industrial welding. The repeatability, uniformity quality, and speed of robotic welding is unmatched. The two basic types of welding are spot welding and arc welding, although laser welding is done. Some environmental requirements should be considered for a successful operation.


Fig (17) Robots used in spot welding are usually large, with sufficient payload capacity to hold the heavy welding gun. Five or six axes robots are preferred. Industrial robots are also used to automate the continuous arc welding. Spray CoatingIt makes use of spray gun directed at the object. The robots used for this application must be capable of continuous path control. Jointed arm robots most commonly used. The spray painting applications seems to epitomize the proper applications of robotics, relieving the human operator from a hazardous, albeit skillful job, while at the same time increasing work quality, uniformity, and cutting costs. Other processing applicationsDrilling, Routing and other machining processes, grinding, wire brushing, water jet cutting, laser cutting, riveting are some other processing applications which are performed by the industrial robots in manufacturing plants. Other than these applications there are many purposes served by the industrial robots. Recent DevelopmentsAs of 2005, the robotic arm business is approaching a mature state, where they can provide enough speed, accuracy and ease of use for most of the applications. Vision guidance (aka machine vision) is bringing a lot of flexibility to robotic cells. So we have the arm and the eye, but the part that still has poor flexibility is the hand: the end effector attached to a robot is often a simple pneumatic, 2-position wrench. This doesn't allow the robotic cell to easily handle different parts, in different orientations. Hand-in-hand with increasing off-line programmed applications, robot calibration is becoming more and more important in order to guarantee a good positioning accuracy. Other developments include downsizing industrial arms for consumer applications (micro-robotic arms), manufacture of domestic robots and using industrial arms in combination with more intelligent automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to make the automation chain more flexible between pick-up and drop-off.

Advancements in the fields of robotic and machine vision led to the development of various new robots for use in diversified sectors such as consumer electronics, military applications, entertainment and personal assistants. These robots, including pet dogs, automated vacuum cleaners, robotic fish, reconnaissance robots and humanoid robots are capable of recognizing, understanding and performing human actions. Demand for industrial robots is expected to be nearly 149 thousand units by 2012. Welding robot markets account for a major share of industry in all the major regions of the world, except for Japan and Asia-Pacific markets, where assembly robots lead the pack. Robot requirement continues to increase in machine loading applications, particularly in applications entailing integrated in process inspections. As customers look out for high precision, high flexibility and more design life, industrial robots are also found essential in laboratoryautomation robotics market is poised to grow with increasing applications of material handling, a major demand driver for robots in industries. Even palletizing applications drive growth for robots, as product mix demands highly flexible automation systems compared to hard automation palletizers prevailing in the market. In the US, welding and material handling represent the major applications for robots. Future Scope:[5] Robotic industry is poised to grow with declining costs and increasing requirements for automation. Even the testing and debugging times to solve system problems are highly reduced. With the introduction of PC platforms, maintenance of robotic systems on the factory floor has become an easy and simple task. CONCLUSION: The extensive study of SCARA and Cartesian robots and their applications results in simple design and high productivity with a better working environment. The solution for improvement of machining techniques lies in the improvement of industrial robots. With this we conclude that “FUTURE LIES HEREROBOTICS.” REFERENCES[1] GOLDMAN S, and K. PREISS, Century Manufacturing enterprise strategy- An Industry Led View, volume 1 Lehigh University,1991 [2] GOLDMAN S, “Agile Manufacturing- A new production paradigm for society” Lehigh University, 1993 [3] Shimon Y. (editor) (1999). Handbook of Industrial Robotics

[4] Abo-Hammour Z.S., Mirza N.M., Mirza S.A. & Arif M. (2002) Cartesian Path Generation of Robot Manipulators. [5] School Net Robotics (2001). “Future Projects.” [6] Anderson D, Agile Product development for Mass Customization, Irwin, 1997. [7] Womack K., D Jones and D. Roos, The Machine that Changed the World, MIT Press, 1996



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