Robots are automatic electro-mechanical devices that are controlled by an electronic circuitry and computer program. Electronic circuitry includes major electronics and electrical components such as resistor, inductor, transistors, etc. There are different types of robots that are classified based on their applications. Recent trends in robotic technology have been developing many advanced robots such as microbots, nanobots, surgical robots, rovers, autonomous robots, industrial robots, space robots, modular reconfigurable robots or self-reconfigurable modular robots, and so on. These robots are used in several robotics applications. As a special case we discuss about a few most popular industrial robot applications in this article.
Industrial robots are used for different types of applications such as welding, painting, handling material, and so on. These industrial robots are multipurpose, reprogrammable and can be automatically controlled robots. There are different types of robots that are used in industrial robotics but mostly automatic robots are frequently used. These automatic robots are further classified into different types based on their applications and characteristics. An earliest industrial robotics system namely manipulated robotic system, is further divided into three types such as autonomous controlled robots, remote controlled robots, and manually controlled robots.
In the event of industrial automation system, autonomous robots are typically used in industrial robotics applications. These autonomous robots are further classified into four types namely programmable automatic robots, non-programmable automatic robots, adaptive robots, and intelligent robots.
Programmable robots are first generation robots that are having actuator facility on each joint. They can be reprogrammed based on the application they are intended to use. Pick and Place robot is a practical example of programmable industrial robots. It is used in maximum number of industrial applications for picking an object from one place or position and places it at the required place or position. This can be achieved using programmable-remote controlled industrial robotics that can be implemented using RF remote control technique, android wireless control technique, and touch screen based remote control technique.
Pick and Place Robot
To understand the working of industrial robotics, consider touch screen based remote control pick and place robot used in industrial robot applications. The main intention of this project to remotely control a robotic vehicle using touch screen based RF remote. It is a programmable and microcontroller based project using 8051 microcontroller for performing desired operation. Transmitting end consists of touch screen control unit used for sending control commands to the wireless receiver end connected at robot for controlling the robot operation.
At receiving end robot consists of four motors in which two motors are used for the movement of arm and gripper. The other two motors are used for robot movement. Touch screen based RF transmitter facilitates remote control operation over an adequate range (upto 200 meters). The receiver decodes the data received from transmitter and then sends it to microcontroller for controlling operation of DC motors through driver ICs.
These pick and place robots are used in typical industrial robotics applications such as for welding an object at very high temperatures, to alter position or place of a heavy weighing object, by using a soft gripper it can be used to handle sensitive material or dangerous items like bombs etc., to heat an object at very high temperature and so on.
Fire Fighting Robot
In industries several types of materials like chemicals, papers, plastics, fiber, clothes, etc. are used. We frequently observe fire accidents in many industries which may cause loss of human, material and money. These firefighting robots are used applications of industrial robotics to avoid fire accidents.
Firefighting robot is remotely operated using RF technology and controlled using 8051 microcontroller. It consists of a RF transmitter end acting as RF remote for transmitting commands to the receiver end placed at the robot. It consists of three motors at the receiving end in which two motors are used for controlling the motion of the robot and the third motor is used for controlling the arm position.
If any fire is detected in the industries, then we can use this firefighting robot for diminishing the fire using water pump fixed on the robot. 8051 microcontroller is used for controlling whole operation of DC motors using motor driver IC.
This project can be further enhanced using a fire sensor for automatically sprinkling water on fire if any is detected. Interfacing robot with camera can be used to remotely view the operation of robot on a screen.
Non-Programmable Automatic Robots
Non-programmable automatic industrial robots are generally mechanical arms that are connected to programmable devices in the industries. These are used for specific applications in certain devices that include line following robots, path guiders, and products or object’s carriers.
Adaptive Industrial Robots
Adaptive industrial robots are more refined than the programmable robots; these are furnished with sensors and control systems. These robots are specially used in certain industrial applications such as spraying and welding. Different types of sensors such as temperature sensors, fire sensors, photo sensors, and etc. are used for sensing different criteria. Adaptive robots are mainly used in aerospace, medical, and manufacturing industries.
Track Sensing Robotic Vehicle for Industrial Applications
Track Sensing Robot is a practical example of non-programmable and adaptive robot used in industrial robot applications. In industries some robots are intended to follow particular path for transferring materials or objects or products from one place to other place. Consider an automobile manufacturing industry in which spare parts are manufactured individually and then transferred to particular place for combining to form an automobile. In this, for transferring spare parts in specified path line following robot or track sensing robots used.
This project utilizes IR transmitters and photo diodes which are considered as pair of photo sensors. These photo sensors are used for guiding the robot to follow specified path by switching transistors on and off for controlling the motors.
Metal detector robotic vehicle is another type of example for adaptive industrial robots that is used for detecting metals or land mines on its path. It consists of RF transmitter for sending commands signals to control the robotic vehicle movement. Metal detector circuit is connected to the receiver end of the robotic vehicle which generates an alarm by sensing metals if any.
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