Innovative Conveyor Concepts, Material Handling Robots, Perimeters

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Innovative Conveyor Concepts
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Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Phone: (866) 501-6530

Innovative Conveyor Concepts, ICC Robotics, Motoman Palletizing Systems, Robotic Packaging, End Effectors


Robot Perimeters

Defining Perimeters:

Number of axes -
two axes are required to reach any point in a plane; three axes are required to reach any point in space. To fully control the orientation of the end of the arm (i.e. the wrist) three more axes (roll, pitch and yaw) are required. Some designs (e.g. the SCARA robot) trade limitations in motion possibilities for cost, speed, and accuracy.

Degrees of freedom -
which is usually the same as the number of axes.

Working envelope - the region of space a robot can reach.

Kinematics - the actual arrangement of rigid members and joints in the robot, which determines the robot's possible motions. Classes of robot kinematics include articulated, cartesian, parallel and SCARA.

Carrying capacity or payload -
how much weight a robot can lift.

Speed -
how fast the robot can position the end of its arm. This may be defined in terms of the angular or linear speed of each axis or as a compound speed i.e. the speed of the end of the arm when all axes are moving.

Acceleration -
how quickly an axis can accelerate. Since this is a limiting factor a robot may not be able to reach it's specified maximum speed for movements over a short distance or a complex path requiring frequent changes of direction.

Accuracy - how closely a robot can reach a commanded position. Accuracy can vary with speed and position within the working envelope and with payload (see compliance). It can be improved by robot calibration.

Repeatability - how well the robot will return to a programmed position. This is not the same as accuracy. It may be that when told to go to a certain X-Y-Z position that it gets only to within 1 mm of that position. This would be its accuracy which may be improved by calibration. But if that position is taught into controller memory and each time it is sent there it returns to within 0.1 mm of the taught position then the repeatability will be within 0.1 mm.

Motion control -
for some applications, such as simple pick-and-place assembly, the robot need merely return repeatably to a limited number of pre-taught positions. For more sophisticated applications, such as welding and finishing (spray painting), motion must be continuously controlled to follow a path in space, with controlled orientation and velocity.

Power source - some robots use electric motors, others use hydraulic actuators. The former are faster, the latter are stronger and advantageous in applications such as spray painting, where a spark could set off an explosion; however, low internal air-pressurisation of the arm can prevent ingress of flammable vapours as well as other contaminants.

Drive - some robots connect electric motors to the joints via gears; others connect the motor to the joint directly (direct drive). Using gears results in measurable 'backlash' which is free movement in an axis. In smaller robot arms with DC electric motors, because DC motors are high speed low torque motors they frequently require high ratios so that backlash is a problem. In such cases the harmonic drive is often used.

Compliance - this is a measure of the amount in angle or distance that a robot axis will move when a force is applied to it. Because of compliance when a robot goes to a position carrying it's maximum payload it will be at a position slightly lower than when it is carrying no payload. Compliance can also be responsible for overshoot when carrying high payloads in which case acceleration would need to be reduced.


Robot Information
Robot Types
Articulated Robots
SCARA Robots
Gantry Robots
Manipulator/Robot Arm
Parallel Robots
Robotic Perimeters
Robotic Programming and Interfaces
End Effectors (end of arm tooling)
Robotic Movement and Singularities
Robotic Safety
Robot and Robotic Cell Calibration
Robotic Installation and Service
Robotic Training
Customer Care and Warranty Info
Robotic Accessories
Robot Components
Robot Integration
Robotic Palletizers
Packaging Automation