Structure of Industrial Robots or Manipulators
Robotic arms are used in assembly lines to pick the components of products to be assembled and place and fit them at the right place. Such as in a production line of canned food, lids are placed, cans are picked by robotic arms and placed in the container packets or like in the assembly line of cars, the frames of cars move on the conveying system one by one and robotic arms or manipulators working around the frame fit different components on to it and finally completed cars come out of the assembly line.
The functions that can be performed by a manipulator, the reach of its end effectors, the orientation in which it can work and the overall working space for a manipulator is determined by the structure of the body of the manipulator. Also the types of joints used to connect different members of the manipulator along with the basic Body of the robot determine the overall degrees of freedom of the manipulator in its motion.
The body of the manipulator moves the end effectors to the target point where the object is grasped by the gripper fitted to the wrist. Wrist orients the object in the required direction. The wrist is fitted on the end point of the manipulator. The base Body, wrist and gripper constitute the basic structure of a manipulator.
Types of Base Bodies of Manipulators
Based on the working space, axes of movements and degrees of freedom of the manipulator as whole the Base Bodies can be classified into different types.
Linear: This type of manipulator arm as the name suggests can move along only a single direction. Linear manipulator base body comprises of one prismatic joint, that is, a slider which can move only along an axis. Such robots can only perform simple tasks like picking and placing objects from one spot to other. This can be the most basic type of manipulator possible. The range of this manipulator arm is limited by the length of the prismatic joint. The motion of the linear base body can be defined by a single variable and can be obtained by one linear actuator.
This is a very basic body type of the robots. In the next article I will list some more Base Body types of Industrial Robots or Manipulators.