Industrial robots are the cornerstone of modern automation, implemented for their reliability, speed, precision, and flexibility. There are several primary categories of industrial robotics to consider when evaluating automation options. These include 4-axis SCARA robots, 4 or 5-axis palletizing robots, 6-axis robotic arms, 3 to 6 axis delta robots, and linear robots. Categorically, each of these robot types have been developed around specific strengths, yet can be applied to a wide range of applications. Selecting the correct robot for your application can be a challenging task, and can directly impact project cost and success. Adaptive routinely integrates industrial robots for simple to advanced applications, and is a resource you can work with and rely on to select the correct robot for your process.
Machine vision systems are evolving as fast as any other area of automation. Providing faster speeds, higher resolution, advancing tools, 3D imaging, deep learning software, and more, vision is rapidly expanding what is possible in automation. Successful implementation of machine vision stems from proper system selection and software programming, as well as suitable lensing, filtering, and lighting. Adaptive employs vision system technology in nearly every automated system we develop for applications including component inspection, robotic guidance, and advanced bin picking. There is no specific formula that can be applied to insure machine vision system success, but rather a systematic approach and extensive experience are the keys to successful implementation. Partner with Adaptive Innovations to tackle your toughest vision challenges.
Collaborative robots, frequently referred to as “cobots”, are one of the latest additions to the world of automated technology. While the technology is still considered young and seemingly in a constant state of evolution, there are many exciting and new features these types of robots offer that were never before possible. Most prominently are their ability to work along side of operators without the need for heavy guarding so synonymous with industrial robots. In most cases, this is possible by limiting the robots payload and speed to minimize the effects of potential contact with humans. Programming of collaborative robots are another potential benefit in that many are designed to be “taught” by manually moving the robot through its moves while in “teach” mode. This technology is now finding its way into industrial robots as well.
Many cobots are being designed to be integrated with sensors that allow for faster operation when no humans are present, and slow safer operations when humans are close by. Some cobots have integrated force sensing technology so they can quickly detect contact and minimize impacts. There are also many cobots offered with integrated vision, dual arms, built in servo grippers and more.
While cobots represent one of the most exciting areas of development within automation, it should be noted that there are tradeoffs that should be considered before deciding to use a cobot. These robots are generally not good for high speed or heavy payload applications. If an operator does not need to interact with the robot, then the need to use collaborative technology should be deeply considered. Utilization of a cobot does not necessarily mean the cell or system does not need guarding, as the robot is generally part of a bigger system. The entire system needs to be designed to adhere to unguarded system requirements.