Classification of Industrial Robots

Industrial Robots may be categorized by their geometries or by their capabilities. The degree of flexibility of control like most other capabilities of robots is directly related to the sophistication of the software within the controlling computer.

It is classified into three categories-

I. Mechanical Stop Control Robots
II. Servo Controlled Robots
III. Continuous Path Control Robots

(I) Mechanical Stop Control Robots

Here an actuator moves a joint until the joint runs up against a mechanical stop. Programming of such robots is typically done with a screw driver although some flexibility may be built in by using several selectable stops on each axis.

A Typical example is the older programmable sewing machine where the motor slowly rotates the complex cam into the machine and the eccentricity of the cam displaced the needle the appropriate amount.

(II) Servo Controlled Robots

It is a point to point programming in which the actuator may be controlled in such a way that it can stop at any point along its path. It is commonly used in industrial environments in which the working volume is relatively empty and in which the co-ordination with external moving objects such as conveyors is not required.

(III) Continuous Path Control Robots

Here the robot may be required to interact continuously with its environment in more complex work environment. Some typical examples are welding, spray painting and performing operations along a moving conveyor.