Sunday, 27 March 2011

Recent and future developments

As of 2005, the robotic arm business is approaching a mature state, where they can provide enough speed, accuracy and ease of use for most of the applications. Vision guidance (aka machine vision) is bringing a lot of flexibility to robotic cells. However, the end effector attached to a robot is often a simple pneumatic, 2-position chuck. This does not allow the robotic cell to easily handle different parts, in different orientations.

Hand-in-hand with increasing off-line programmed applications, robot calibration is becoming more and more important in order to guarantee a good positioning accuracy.

Other developments include downsizing industrial arms for light industrial use such as production of small products, sealing and dispensing, quality control, handling samples in the laboratory. Such robots are usually classified as "bench top" robots. Robots are used in pharmaceutical research in a technique called High-throughput screening. Bench top robots are also used in consumer applications (micro-robotic arms). Industrial arms may be used in combination with or even mounted on automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to make the automation chain more flexible between pick-up and drop-off.

Prices of robots will vary with the features, but are usually from 7,500 USD for a bench-top model such as the ST Robotics R12 or the Fisnar dispensing robot and as much as 100,000 USD or more for a heavy-duty, long-reach robot such as the Kuka KR1000.

No comments:

Post a Comment