How Industrial Robots Are Built


The name robot is derived from Czech robotatranslating to forced labor. This is indeed a vivid description of most robots due to the repetitive tasks they carry out. Robots are used when there is an urgency to reduce danger to humans, continuous processes are to be carried out or more strength than humanly possible is needed.

As contrasting as they appear the human arm and the robotic arm are very similar and share common characteristics. The have the same underlying composition of linkages and joints. This design to mimic the human arm is done on purpose by industrial robot manufacturers to enable transmission of power through the links.

Robots are generally classified into two types in accordance to how their links are systematized; parallel link and serial link. This review will divulge into the internal make up of industrial robots.

Parts required in the manufacture and functioning of a robotic arm

It is unambiguous that robots are made up of various components. These parts include: the reduction gear, the actuator, transmission and the encoder. All we will divulge into independently.

The actuator

The actuator is a component that acts as the nexus of the robot. This in turn will enable the robot to rotate or move up and down, it transforms energy into mechanical movements. Industrial robots use very capable motors called servo motors that can control speed and position.

The most mainstream source of energy to power actuators is electricity but pneumatic and hydraulic energy are options as well. Hydraulic power actuators are distinct and are shock resistant and can generate great power as well.

Reduction gear

A reduction gear is an instrument of escalating the power of a motor. A motor alone is limited in the quantity of power it can produce. In order to generate a great amount of power, motors are used hand in hand with the reduction gear.

If you merge gears wheels with the contrasting number of gears and decrease the motors gyration by a factor of ten, the strength of the motor will increase by tenfold. This is a similar concept to bicycle transmission. In other words output power can be maximized.

The encoder

An encoder is an instrument that show the angle or position of the revolving shaft. Possession of an encoder can provide substantial data about what direction and how much the robot advances.

Optical encoders generally have a ring connected to the spinning rod of the motor. The ring has cuts at common intervals to allow light pass through. On both sides of the ring are light receiving elements; photodiodes and LEDs; light emitting diodes. This is to differentiate the light intensity both light and dark.

Once the motor spins light will either pass through the slits or will be denied entry. The rotation position and velocity can be calculated by observing the signals. This will enable the servo motors to specifically manipulateangling and velocity.

The transmission

The transmission is a part that conveys power produced by the reduction gears and the actuators. The transmission has the ability to alter direction and level of power. As we had earlier done we take the bicycle transmission as an example, the chain that links the crank to the rear wheel is the transmission.

Riding a bicycle is made possible by taking the spinning action from the pedals and conveying it to the back wheel through the transmission. This scheme is also applicable to the design of a robot.

A motor used in the robots is usually put near the linkages but can also be moved far away from the linkages by using conveyance channels such as gears and belts.


All in all this review has divulged into the general form of industrial robots and the parts that build the structure as well as their location in the whole system. Having this basic overview makes it easier to comprehend how robots can be put into use.