Haven’t most of us wished as kids for a robot that could pick up our toys, return them, and organize them so our parents wouldn’t scold us for making a mess? It has now become a reality. Although robots do not yet pick and place items in our homes, they do so in our factories.
Let us try to expand our horizons by learning about pick and place robots.
What is pick and place robot?
A pick and place robot picks items and places them in a particular spot and in a desired manner. Pick and place robots, which are commonly used in modern manufacturing environments, automate and speed up the process of picking up and placing items in their appropriate position. Pick and place robots complete all repetitive tasks and contribute to higher production rates.
There are several types of pick & place robots available.
One of the most common types of pick and place robots. They are available in two sizes: 5-axis and 6-axis. 5-axis robots lack total freedom, whereas 6-axis robots do. This enables them to accomplish complex tasks quickly and easily orient parts along different axes.
The Gantry robot is another name for the Cartesian robot. It has three prismatic joints and axes that correspond to cartesian coordinates. They are simple to program, use, and have a cubical workspace. They are one of the most well-known industrial pick and place robots due to their high speed.
Collaborative robots are safe for humans and thus, can share a workspace. Their safety sensors, safety features, rounded edges, limited speed and force make them safe for humans to be around. They can do simple tasks such as pick and place or complex tasks such as material sorting with different payloads.
This is one of the most advanced types of pick and place robots, with its cutting-edge vision sensors that identify and sort objects. Due to their unique dome-shaped workspace envelope, these robots can travel at high speeds. For better positioning and mobility, they are typically mounted over conveyors.
Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm (SCARA) move in all three dimensions (X, Y, and Z) and even have rotatory motion. They are four-axis robots, lacking the twist and swing of six-axis robots. They have a cylindrical workspace, with some exceptions on the backside, that is mostly contained in the front and sides. They are among the fastest types of robots and are thus used when shorter cycle times are critical. Pick and place applications are the most common, but screw driving and dispensing applications are also common.
Why & where to use pick & place robots
Pick and place robots are used for a wide range of applications and, due to their flexibility, can be quickly switched from one station to another on the production line. Some of their uses include:
- Material sorting
The primary reasons for using pick and place robots are to reduce tedious and repetitive tasks for humans while also speeding up the manufacturing process. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) study, pick and place robots prevent the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders, which account for nearly 33% of all workplace injuries.
The same robot can perform multiple operations with only minor modifications. Having said that, their dimension, movement, and product handling end effector are all limitations. Fortunately, despite their sophisticated technology, they require little maintenance. Pick and place robots enable businesses to gain a competitive advantage and maximize productivity because they are more cost-effective than other automation technologies on the market.