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A programmable, multifunction manipulator designed to move materials, parts, tools or

special devices through programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks

Accuracy: how closely the robot arm is able to move to a specific coordinate in the
workcell
*Accuracy is not constant; it tends to decline when the arm is in the outer range of the
work envelope and increase as the arm moves closer to the base; heavier workloads can
also cause deflection that degrades the accuracy

· Repeatability: degree to which the robot is able to return to a previously taught position

· Compliance: displacement of the wrist end in response to a force or torque exerted


against it; high compliance - "springy", low compliance - "rigid"; compliance can reduce
the robot's precision under load

· Work envelope: space defined by the geometry of the robot; Cartesian, cylindrical,
spherical, revolute
· Position axes: move robot arm to the desired location; arm, shoulder, elbow joints
· Orientation axes: allow robot arm to move into position for part handling or tool
positioning; pitch, yaw, roll

· Degree of freedom: every joint or moveable axis on the robot arm is one degree of
freedom

· Offset: point of action for the tool mounted to the robot tool plate (or tool center point -
TCP); consider offset in computer programming of the robot

· Velocity: rate at which robot can move each axes under program control

· Duty cycle: ratio of run time to total operational time that a robot can continuously work
at the rated payload without overheating or degrading the robot specifications

· Payload: mass that the robot is designed to manipulate under the manufacturer's
specifications (speed, acceleration/decceleration, duty cycle, etc.) over the entire work
envelope
Payload = end effector weight (or tooling weight) + part weight

Control Techniques
· nonservo (open loop) control
· servo (closed loop) control
nonservo: no position or rate-of-change sensors; on each axis, there is a fixed mechanical
stop to set the endpoint of the robot; also called "stop-to-stop" or "pick-and-place"
systems

advantages: simple system, high reliability, low initial cost, precise


disadvantages: not able to handle complex tasks
applications: machine loading/unloading

servo: position of robot arm is monitored by a position sensor; power to the actuator is
altered so that the movement of the arm conforms to the desired path in terms of direction
and/or velocity; errors in positioning are corrected

advantages: capable of performing a wide variety of complex tasks, flexible


disadvantages: high capital investment, highly skilled personnel required
applications: welding, assembly

Robot Components

· controller
a. activates the robot actuators, which converts power into movement
b. 3 levels of control
Level 1: actuator control - elementary control of X, Y, and Z axes
Level 2: path control - movement in X, Y, Z planes are coordinated to control the path of
the robot arm
Level 3: main control - link between program and level 2; interpretor

· manipulator
robot arm - joints provide either linear or rotary movement; driven by linear or rotary
actuators

· actuator drives
a. electric drives: ac servomotors, dc servomotors, stepper motors
advantages: quiet, less floor space, electric power readily available, clean-air
environments, precision
disadvantages: conventional gear-driven create backlash, friction, compliance and wear
problems causing inaccuracies, poor dynamic response, output power relative to weight is
low; to increase torque, a larger and heavier motor must be used which is costly
b. hydraulic drives: electric pump connected to a reservoir tank and a hydraulic actuator
advantages: precise motion control over a wide range of speeds and loads; robust
disadvantages: expensive, high maintanance, not energy efficient, noisy, not suited for
clean-air environments
c. pneumatic drives: air-driven actuators
advantages: economical, easy installation, less costly than hydraulic drives, good speed
and accuracy
disadvantages: precision is less than electric drives (air is compressible), air needs
conditioning, noisy, vibration

· power supply: drives the controller and actuators; electric, hydraulic or pneumatic
power is converted into the form and amount required by the robot

· end effector: end-of-arm tooling, gripper; the end effector is attached to the wrist of the
robot arm for the purpose of loading, unloading, transporting parts or performing an
operation on a workpiece

degrees of freedom:
rotational transverse - movement about a vertical axis
radial transverse - extension and retraction of arm
vertical transverse - up and down motion
pitch - up and down movement of the wrist
yaw - side to side movement of wrist
roll - rotation of wrist

· work envelope: the shape of the reachable work area of the robot; defined by the type of
joints and degrees of freedom

Robot Components

· controller
a. activates the robot actuators, which converts power into movement
b. 3 levels of control
Level 1: actuator control - elementary control of X, Y, and Z axes
Level 2: path control - movement in X, Y, Z planes are coordinated to control the path of
the robot arm
Level 3: main control - link between program and level 2; interpretor

· manipulator
robot arm - joints provide either linear or rotary movement; driven by linear or rotary
actuators

· actuator drives
a. electric drives: ac servomotors, dc servomotors, stepper motors
advantages: quiet, less floor space, electric power readily available, clean-air
environments, precision
disadvantages: conventional gear-driven create backlash, friction, compliance and wear
problems causing inaccuracies, poor dynamic response, output power relative to weight is
low; to increase torque, a larger and heavier motor must be used which is costly
b. hydraulic drives: electric pump connected to a reservoir tank and a hydraulic actuator
advantages: precise motion control over a wide range of speeds and loads; robust
disadvantages: expensive, high maintanance, not energy efficient, noisy, not suited for
clean-air environments
c. pneumatic drives: air-driven actuators
advantages: economical, easy installation, less costly than hydraulic drives, good speed
and accuracy
disadvantages: precision is less than electric drives (air is compressible), air needs
conditioning, noisy, vibration

· power supply: drives the controller and actuators; electric, hydraulic or pneumatic
power is converted into the form and amount required by the robot

· end effector: end-of-arm tooling, gripper; the end effector is attached to the wrist of the
robot arm for the purpose of loading, unloading, transporting parts or performing an
operation on a workpiece

degrees of freedom:
rotational transverse - movement about a vertical axis
radial transverse - extension and retraction of arm
vertical transverse - up and down motion
pitch - up and down movement of the wrist
yaw - side to side movement of wrist
roll - rotation of wrist

· work envelope: the shape of the reachable work area of the robot; defined by the type of
joints and degrees of freedom

Robot Configurations

Cartesian
· all arm joints are linear; Fig 2-33, p. 51 (Robotics Technology)
· movement along all three axes can occur simultaneously
· work envelope is rectangular
· advantages: simple controls, high degree of mechanical rigidity, good accuracy and
repeatability, consistent payloads throughout work envelope
· disadvantages: limited in movement
· applications: assembly, surface finishing, inspection

Cylindrical
· two linear joints and one rotary joint, Fig 2-38, p. 55 (Robotics Technology)
· work envelope is cylindrical
· advantages: larger work envelope than Cartesian configuration, suitable for pick-and-
place operations
· disadvantages: lower mechanical rigidity, repeatability and accuracy lower in direction
of rotary movement, more sophisticated control system required than Cartesian
· applications: load/unload, conveyor pallet transfers, material handling
Spherical
· one linear joints and two rotary joints, Fig 2-41, p. 57 (Robotics Technology)
· work envelope is spherical
· advantages: larger work envelope than Cartesian or cylindrical, simple design, high
payloads
· disadvantages: lower mechanical rigidity, more sophisticated control system than
Cartesian or cylindrical, limited vertical movement
· applications: injection molding, forging, machine tool loading, material transfer

Revolute "jointed arm"


Two types:
· vertically articulated, Fig 2-29, p. 47 (Robotics Technology)
three rotary joints, horizontal movement small relative to vertical movement, long reach
makes it suitable for painting applications
· horizontally articulated, Fig 2-31, p. 49 (Robotics Technology)
one linear and two rotary joints, vertical movement small relative to horizontal
movement, SCARA (selective compliance articulated robot arm), applications: automatic
assembly, in-process inspection, machine vision, painting, welding
· advantages (revolute): versatile configuration, larger work envelope, flexible reach
· disadvantages (revolute): sophisticated controller, complex programming, different
locations in work envelope determine accuracy, payload and repeatability; less stable as
arm approaches maximum reach