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A manual robot is a type of manipulation robotic system that requires complete human intervention for its operation. The manual type of robotic system requires a particular kind of human control, a system seldom found in any other type of robotic systems. Manual manipulators comprise a range of robotic systems, from basic to highly advanced, each having a specific control system according to its application.
Manual type robots can be divided into two main types:
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Articulated robot, as the name suggests, consists of a balanced manipulator consisting of various joints with a separate actuator for each one of them. One of the joints with a grip or tool will hold the load, within a particular range, and will move according to signals fed to the control system for each of the individual joint’s actuator. A proper synchronization of all these joints will move a load from one point to another. Generally used for handling heavy materials, articulated type robots are easy to use but require good handling skills. The control signals given to each of the actuator should be precise in comparison to the signals fed to the actuators of other joints. Thus, functioning and controlling of an articulated robot mainly consists of feeding the right signal to the right actuator at the right time.
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An exoskeleton manipulator consists of a peculiar type of robot mechanism wherein each joint of the manipulator control system corresponds with that of a human arm or leg. When a particular joint of the operator is moved, the manipulator joint which corresponds to that particular human joint also moves. The motion of the human joint generates a control signal that moves the corresponding manipulator accordingly. The joints are connected to drives that are again connected to tools that do the needed job. This type of manipulator is generally used for doing arduous assignments such as lifting heavy weights or moving across a rugged terrain. Presently exoskeleton manipulator system are extensively used in the entertainment industry.
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An apt example of a manual manipulator is the high power mechanism used for rock drilling and breaking down concrete structures. This mechanism is also a multiple joint system which carries a heavy hydraulically operated drilling tool used for breaking the rock or concrete by frequent impacts. The drilling tool is held by a fully automatic manipulator that controls the movement and position of the drill by analyzing and sensing the motion of the truck on which the whole system is mounted. Also, according to the quality and state of the rock, the manipulator automatically adjusts the drilling tool’s speed and hydraulic system.