What are the different types of robots available?

I think from the last posts, you may get an idea about what is a robot and robotics. In this post, I am going to discuss the different types of robots available in the market. We can categorize robots in many ways. In this post, we can see the classification based on the robot application.

1. Industrial Robots

This kind of robot mainly deploying in industries for manufacturing. There are different kinds of industrial robots available. I am listing some popular categories of industrial robots here

1.1 Industrial Robotic arms

Industrial robotic arms, Courtesy: https://www.themanufacturer.com/

This kind of robot mainly deploying in industries for manufacturing. The industrial robots’ arms are a popular robot in this category. From the above figure, you can see a series of robotic arms doing welding, painting, pick and place task for a car manufacturing unit. Using this kind of robot, you can automate a chunk of the human workforce with robots.

The other applications of industrial robot arms include pick and place for packaging, labeling, palletizing, assembly, disassembly, testing, inspection, etc. These tasks can be done at very high speed and precision.

Here are some companies working on industrial robotic arms: ABB, Kuka, Fanuc, Yaskawa, Kawasaki 

Here is one video of the BMW car factory, in which car manufacturing is automated by an industrial robot arm.

1.2 Collaborative Robots (Cobots)

YuMi Robot, ABB, Courtesy: https://robots.ieee.org/robots/

Cobots are one of the popular sub-categories of industrial robots. Cobots are designed to work with people not to replace people. Cobots can work along with humans workers, cobots can do dirty, repetitive and boring tasks to which human workers are not ready to do.

Cobots are designed to interact with humans in a shared workspace with close proximity. The main difference between cobots from other industrial robots is, other industrial robots are designed to work autonomously with minimum human interaction and in a safety-isolated workspace, also human workers are not allowed to work in robot workspace.

Here is a video of the YuMi robot assembling a USB stick.

1.3 Warehouse Robots

Amazon Warehouse robots, Courtesy: https://cms.qz.com/

Warehouse robots are mainly Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) which are capable of transporting inventory around the warehouse. This kind of robot can autonomously transport the inventory with their planned route and can avoid obstacles in their environment.

The above figure shows an Amazon warehouse managed by warehouse robots.

Here is a video of Amazon warehouse robots.

Lentin Joseph

View posts by Lentin Joseph
Roboticist | Author of 8 robotics books | TEDx speaker

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