Demand for industrial robotics rose to an all-time high in 2013, according to the International Federation of Robotics. The results of their statistics reveal that about 168,000 industrial robots were delivered in 2013. Robot sales in the US, South Korea, China, Europe and growing Asian markets continue to increase, with annual sales of 12% on average between 2010 and 2013.
The reason behind this growth can be understood by learning the functionality of industrial robots, and how they are positively contributing in different industries. .
Robots in industries are capable of handling operations 24 hours a day. They are automated, reprogrammable and manufactured to perform repeat processes with precision. Many are of the opinion that robotics will take over human in industrial processes; however, they were created by humans to perform mundane or repetitive tasks. Specifically, they replace work processes that are less desirable for humans.
For example, Universal Robots are low-cost robotic arms that are capable for a range of repetitive tasks. They span a multitude of industries and are equipped with user-friendly software that can be installed within an hour. Such robots are replacing mundane tasks for factory workers, who are moving on to better roles and tasks, such as operating the robot.
Parts and their functions
1. Cameras and sensors
Cameras allow robots to create a visual representation of the surrounding environment. It lets the machine scrutinize the attributes of the environment including color, shape, size and distance to the objects.
Sensors work in a similar fashion by allowing a robot to collect information about the surrounding environment. Sensors could also be placed in the form of buttons to develop a sense of feeling for the robot, such as helping it determine when it has collided with a wall or an object.
2. Servos and effectors
A servo is a small motor with a shaft that can be tuned for angular positions by sending a coded signal on the input line of the servo. This coded signal is responsible for maintaining the angular position and changes in this signal lead to changes in the shaft. By design, servo motors are complex and the “remanufacturing process requires specialized techniques for their repair,” according to A-1 Servo Motor Repair. Servos are mainly used for arm functioning of the robot, so whenever the machine malfunctions because of a bad servo, repair experts offer analysis to identify modifications that will be beneficial to the robot.
Effectors are parts responsible for doing the work. They usually take the shape of a tool on the robot and can be controlled through the robot’s operating system. Effectors can be common or take the form of spectrometer and hammers to use in analyzing industrial floors or space between equipment. End-effectors are the parts that are used in the end of arms to lift objects. End-effectors get in contact with the final object.
3. Controller and power suppliers
Controllers are integrated to house the protocols and programs required by the robot to function properly. Microcontrollers are preferred over large size controllers because of their compact size and ease in programming. Controllers also manage the data going into and coming from the main memory of the robot.
When it comes to power supplies, all robots have them. As the name suggests, it is a system or a device supplying electrical and other types of energy loads to the robot. Popular power supplies include 120 and 240 volts AC, serving the function of supplying power to all robotic parts and elements.