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Robot Primer 6: Why Use A Robot?

A solution using an industrial robot is often a much easier to develop and more flexible solution than traditional approaches such as using a motion controller.

The major reasons why the robotic is quicker to get running and more flexible include:

  • The robot is an integrated system so you can plug everything together, turn on the controller and start moving using the teach pendent within hours.
  • The robot controller uses inverse kinematics. Kinematics is the physics of motion. Inverse kinematics is the use of kinematic equations to determine how to move the robot’s various mechanisms to where the controller wants.
    • In other words, the robot knows what axis or joints it has, their dimensions, and how they are connected. So you can tell the robot to move to an arbitrary position (including roll, pitch, and yaw for articulated robots) in space and it figures out how to get there.
  • Many of the robot advantages follow from the inverse kinematics. Normally, you teach positions to the robot. Those positions can then be used to rapidly program moves and paths, to calculate intermediate positions for palletizing, and such. The robot can transform positions in various ways that make using machine vision and multiple end effectors easier.
  • Other productive robot features include single step mode, single cycle mode, automatic recovery from interruption, and variable synchronized speed.


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