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November 20, 2019

Characteristics, Types and Applications of Industrial Robot Arms

Unlike in the past where many large industries used traditional industrial robots, today many of these and others use the same kind of robots but with many modifications. Today’s robots are more flexible and can perform more than one task as compared to the traditional ones this is because they metal arms attached to the main body of the robot. The arms, made up of four to six axes can carry out several applications just like a human arm can. The only difference is they are faster and more accurate as compared to human arms. 

The industrial robotic arm is very popular in the manufacturing world and can take up tasks such as packing, material handling, welding, pick and place and many other applications. The reaction of the industrial robot arm is very similar to how our arms react when we use them for any chores. They also look similar to our arms as they come with a wrist, a shoulder, elbow and a forearm. 

The industrial robotic arms have varying degrees of freedom to move in different directions depending on the number of axis on them. If it is a six axis robotic arm, then it can move six ways and so on. There are different types of industrial robotic arms in the market today. 

Collaborative Robot

Collaborative robot or cobot made by the Universal Robots and other robot manufacturing companies is one of the most popular industrial robot arm preferred by many industries across the globe. . The reason why it is collaborative is that the intention of the robotic arms is to work safely alongside humans in a collaborative manner and without causing any harm. 

Universal Robots has three different sizes of cobots. They also come in different payloads and you can choose between 3, 5 and 10 kgs they have six joints or articulation points that gives them more flexibility and precision. They mimic the human arm perfectly and whether you have a large industry or a medium one, you will find the perfect size for all the applications you need the industrial robot arm for. 

Scara Robot

A Scara robot comes with two rotary joints that are parallel to one another. Mostly used for pick and place, packaging assembly and material handling, the joints, allow the robot to have full movement throughout the plane.  Just like the six axis robotic arms, a Scara robot is also very fast, precise, small and compact, lightweight and flexible. 

Cartesian Robot

Also referred to as recliner robots or gantry robots, Cartesian robots have only three joints. Unlike many other robots, the Cartesian has better accuracy in placing and have the advantage of large work areas. They use a special coordinate system known as Cartesian X, Y, Z coordinate system that allows for easier programming. The robots best applications are pick and place, arc welding, sealing, machine tool operations and assembly work among others. 

Cylindrical Robot

Mainly used for assembly work, spot welding and machine tool operations, cylindrical robots have three axes of movement. Of the three, two of them are translational while one is rotary. One of the translational joint moves in a linear motion while the other joint moves in an orthogonal motion. The rotary joint moves in a twisting motion. 

Articulated Robot

Though this robot has 10 axes, only six of them are easily visible. This is also one of the robots in the market today with more degrees of freedom as compared to all others. Its versatility is appealing especially in large industries. The best applications for this robot are welding, material handling, removal, and dispensing. Every axis of the robot has its own joint that allows it to perform better than the rest. 

Spherical Robot

Also referred to as polar robots, spherical robots have arms that work within spherical work. Compared to the cylindrical and Cartesian robots, this one is more complicated to use. It is however popular with many modern industries that use it for gas, arc and spot welding, die casting, fettling machines, machine tools and assembly work. 


There are many other types of robots with varying characteristics but the ones listed above are some of the most popular industrial robot arms used by many industries. Though they have different characteristics, they are all fast, precise and flexible. They help to boost production and streamline the processes.  


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