Lead Through Programming- Industrial Robots

Lead-through is the most basic robot teaching method. The operator can manually move the robot arm to its desired path by turning off the servo controls. When the robot travels along the path taught, significant points can be saved for later use.

Another type of lead-through programming is a smaller model of the robot communicating with the real one and its robot controller. If the robot does not have free movement mode and the servo controls can be turned off, this method is used.

Although lead-through is a low-precision method, once the robot has been taught its desired path, the operator may have editing options to improve precision. Lead-through programming promotes skilled workers who know how to do the job manually with high precision rather than technical skills, and thus does not necessitate workers’ knowledge of computer programming.



  • It is quicker and removes the need for multiple button pressing, allowing the operator to simply move the robot to the desired position.
  • It is more intuitive because the task is programmed like a human operator. This simplifies the learning process for operators.
  • It requires no knowledge of programming concepts or familiarity with 3D CAD environments.


  • Since this method uses the physical robot for programming, it does not reduce downtime.
  • It is more difficult to move the robot to precise coordinates.
  • There is no way of entering a numerical value, and it is not so good for tasks that are “algorithmic” in nature.
  • Moving the robot by hand would be difficult and inaccurate for such a task.

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