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Category — Robot Primer

Robot Primer 3: Resources

I did extensive searching on Amazon and Google Books, and found many books on industrial robot theory, selection, impact on manufacturing, impact on society, etc, along with books on hobby robots, autonomous robots, and such.

I haven’t bought a robot book yet, but if I were spending my own money, I would buy one of the these two books:

Other good resources include Wikipedia, manufacturer’s web sites, and trade magazines. For more on these, please see the page I’ve created with hyper links to robotic resources including all the robot manufacturers that I know about.

July 13, 2013   No Comments

Robot Primer 2: Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Table of Contents, Notes, and Outline (this post)
  3. Resources (and link to my Industrial Robot Resources Page)
  4. Motion Technologies (overview of pneumatics, stepper motors, and servo motors)
  5. Motion Controllers
  6. Why Use A Robot?
  7. Robot System Overview
  8. Robot Types (Articulated, SCARA, Cartesian, and Delta robot arms)

Notes and Outline

In this series, I might go back and improve posts to make the entire series more coherent.   Of course, this post will be updated as I post more sections.

Here is my outline for what I plan to cover.  Since I’m writing some of the material as I go, the end result might be a bit different.

  • Why use an industrial robot: the one page version
  • Industrial robot resources
  • Methods of motion
  • Industrial controller overview (PLC, PACs, motion controllers, robot controllers)
  • What’s good about industrial robot controllers
  • Industrial robot alternatives

July 2, 2013   No Comments

Robot Primer 1: Introduction

A Programmer’s Introduction To Industrial Robots

Since many books and articles on industrial robotics have already been written, why I am spending time writing this? Because I am frustrated by the existing material. The books are typically textbooks or academic books, going into the nuances of robot control theory or painting a broad overview. In the magazines and on-line, I’ve seen marketing white papers and application stories, which can be useful, but don’t go into depth.

I’ve sub-titled this series A Programmer’s Introduction To Industrial Robots because I am writing from a software developer’s point of view and my goal is to give some idea of what industrial robots can do, not to write an authoritative text.  (I’m using Robot Primer for the title because that’s its short but still gives the basic idea).

My robotic experience has been using Adept and Denso robots to do precision assembly and test. I don’t claim to be a robot expert, but I did have to do some uncommon operations and thus become familiar with Adept and Denso tech support. I had good experiences with both companies’ robots and technical support, and would use them again, but I’ve also heard good things about other vendors.

I view robots as an alternative to other automation options such ball screw stages, pneumatic cylinders, and such, not a replacement for people. This view probably reflects my Silicon Valley background.

Since I am most familiar with Denso robots I might be a little biased towards them, but most of what I cover should be applicable to other manufacturers.

I am only going to cover tradition robotic arms with controllers (such as SCARA and articulated robots), not autonomous robots, mobile robots, etc.

The goal of this series is to provide a basic understanding of industrial robots, with an emphasis on the controller’s programming and capabilities, so that by the end you should have an idea of when a robot might be a good choice, and then can do more in-depth research on your own.

June 27, 2013   2 Comments