Online Safety Community

The Functions of Robotic Arms in Manufacturing

A robotic arm is also referred to as a mechanical arm. It functions much like a human arm, but has multiple joints that can rotate in different directions or move along the axis. Some robots have anthropomorphic qualities and can almost imitate the precise movements of human arms.

Robotic arms are programmed to perform specific task. They are extremely convenient in manufacturing, fabrication, assembly and many other industrial applications. They range from small machines build for intricate and delicate tasks to humongous contraptions that can construct an average building. A robotic arm with such a reach must be massive indeed.

Originally, robotic arms were meant to:

  • Aid in mass production of products in factories especially in the manufacturing of motor vehicles.   
  • Mitigate the risk of injury for human workers who performed dangerous tasks.
  • Take over simple, repetitive tasks such as welding.
  • Free workers to take up the more complex tasks involved in production.

The role robotic arms play in manufacturing keeps changing with the changing technology especially robotic vision and sensor technology. Let us look at a little bit of history in robotic arms manufacturing.

History

The first robotic arm was designed in 1954 by George Devol in collaboration with Joseph Engelberger. In 1962, General Motors incorporated a robotic arm in its assembly line to enhance its production of vehicles. Then Victor Scheinman who was a mechanical engineer at the Stanford University developed the first robotic arm to be completely controlled by a computer in 1969. This one was christened the Stanford Arm. It was the first six axes robotic arm and other commercial robots followed soon after. Japan developed their first hydraulic industrial robotic arm in the same year and Germany produced their first commercial six axes robotic arm in 1973.

These robots were used for tasks such as spot welding in manufacturing plants. However, as technology advanced, more tasks were added to the robotics resume. Robotic development includes increasing the varieties of in end-of-arm tooling which allows a robot to perform other tasks in addition to welding. These tasks depend on the tools attached to the end of the robotic arms.

 

Some of the current end-arm tooling includes:

  • Heating devices for molding and bending materials
  • 3D printing tool heads
  • Suction devices for folding sheet metal

Development in Vision Robotics and Sensors

Robotic sensors have greatly impacted on the tasks that robots can safely perform. One of the most important advancements is the development of robotic sensors. Early robots were fitted with sensors whose main function was to measure the joint angels of the robot. Some of the sensors and their applications include:

  • 2D Vision Censors: they incorporate a video camera through which the robot can espy movement in a given location. The robot may then brake and change direction if it was in motion to avoid a collision.
  • 3D Vision Sensors: these ones are a relatively new technology that is able to aid the robot in making complex decisions. The robot uses two cameras at different angles or a laser scanner that provides 3 dimensional images for the robot.
  • A Force Torque Sensor: it aids the robotic arm in understanding how much force it is applying and if it should adjust it accordingly.
  • Collision Detection Sensors: they make the robot aware of its environment.
  • Safety Sensors: these are meant for the safety of the humans who are working in close proximity of the robots. They help the robots to sense the presence of humans close to them so that they can move away or stop operating. This way, chances of causing harm to the humans are reduced.

There are other sensors including tactile or heat sensors. All these different types of sensors for robotic arms equip them with detailed and different information dependent on the robot’s current situation so that the robot can make the necessary decisions. The robot’s ability to make complex decisions is dependent on the amount of information that is availed to it.

Views: 10

Comment

You need to be a member of Online Safety Community to add comments!

Join Online Safety Community

Take our poll!

Take our poll!

Latest Activity

Profile IconLaticia Gibson and Adrian Willson joined Online Safety Community
18 minutes ago
HrishikeshRam posted blog posts
5 hours ago
Russel Stuart posted a blog post

The Core Challenges of Leadership

It is a given that leadership is indispensable for organizations. Why? Because it is leadership that takes the organization to its intended, charted out destination. Since it is leadership that is the organization's anchor; it is but natural that leadership faces challenges. The challenge associated with leadership is so inherent within it that it is right to say that if the challenge of leadership did not exist; there would be no need for leadership at all.The major challenges of…See More
5 hours ago
Mark Nilson posted an event

Online Webinar on Manage a Multi-Generation in Today’s Workplace – Training Doyens at Training Doyens 26468 E Walker Dr,Aurora, Colorado

October 23, 2018 from 1pm to 2pm
OVERVIEW A multi-generational workforce requires many moving parts and also leads to generational differences in the workplace. Join our upcoming webinar to learn how to manage generational differences in the workplace and make the organization productive and profitable.Key points to be covered in the webinar:Overview of the different generationsWork expectations of different generationsThe challenges faced due to generational…See More
6 hours ago

Forum

Road Safety

What can be the best measures for Road Safety?Continue

Started by Jen McDade Sep 27.

safety equipments in breweries 4 Replies

safety equipments in breweries -- kindly provide detailsContinue

Started by ajit. Last reply by Jen McDade Sep 24.

Unusual Safety Tips 10 Replies

Please share some unusual but genuine safety precautions.My unusual safety tips - Don't drink sweet fruity juice while driving in the night as it contains sugar and sugar slows down your blood…Continue

Started by Arnold Brame. Last reply by Jen McDade Sep 24.

Safety products 9 Replies

While working or at some work stations, employees are exposed to threats or at times suffer severe injuries. The safety of the employee should be the foremost priority. Safety equipment aids help in…Continue

Tags: equipments, and, products

Started by Enna Henry. Last reply by Jen McDade Sep 24.

Talend Application Integration

APPLICATION INTEGRATION:Talend ESB and Application Integration delivers agile real-time integration of applications and data.Heterogeneous Application and Data IntegrationTalend’s open source ESB…Continue

Tags: york, new, certification, training, talend

Started by nicolewells Sep 21.

Badge

Loading…

© 2018   Created by Safety Community.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service