Advantages and Disadvantages of Articulated Robots
Articulated robots are the most common type of industrial robot used for robotic automation. The FANUC M-20ia and other articulated robot manipulators have been installed along factory floors worldwide across numerous industries including the automotive, electronics, and aerospace, among many others. Articulated robots are not only the most common robot type but also the most recognizable. Their design features a single robotic arm that is attached to a rotating base. The robotic manipulator features several connected segments or links that are attached to rotary joints also known as axes. These rotary joints provide articulated robots with a high level of movement and dexterity.
Advantages of Articulated Robots
- • Range of Motion - One of the main advantages of articulated robots is their range of motion, especially those built with six or more axes. Six-axis articulated robots are capable of reaching any angle of space within their work area. The full range of motion of the Yaskawa MH50 allows it to automate just about any task, even those that are complex. Range of motion is one of the reasons articulated robots are preferred when automating processes that were previously performed manually.
- • Greater Versatility - Due to the flexible movement of articulated robots they provide greater versatility in that they can automate just about any production related process. Articulated robots are capable of automating a variety of applications. The FANUC R-2000ic/125L can be used for robotic material handling, automated packaging, and robotic part transfer applications. One articulated robot can automate an entire sequence of tasks and be used for multiple projects throughout its lifetime. Not only can articulated robots be used for multiple processes but they can also handle a variety of part types and materials.
- • Availability of Options - Articulated robots are available in a variety of payload capacities, reaches, axis configurations, and sizes. The availability of options makes it likely buyers will find the perfect articulated robot for their application. Those automating a heavy lifting application can automate with a high payload articulated robot like the ABB 6640. While the FANUC LR Mate 200id is a small industrial robot that is ideal for operating within confined spaces.
- • Precision - Articulated robots are some of the most precise due to their control systems. Exact parameters can be programmed for articulated robot applications ensuring greater precision and accuracy.
Disadvantages of Articulated Robots
- • Complexity - Articulated robots can be complex to setup and program. There is a higher learning curve with articulated robots than other robot types such as collaborative robots. However, programming options have become more user-friendly over the years.
- • Floorspace - Articulated robots may require more space than smaller robot types. There are small articulated robots and those that can be overhead, wall, or tabletop mounted which helps conserve floorspace. Larger articulated robots can mainly only be floor mounted and may require a decent amount of space for safe and effective operation.
- • Speed - Articulated robots operate at significantly faster speeds than human workers but they are not the fastest robot type. Delta and SCARA robots are the fastest with the ability to operate at incredibly high speeds. While articulated robots may not be able to outpace those robot types, they will still speed up cycle times when automating from manual labor.