The IFR’s use of the term “industrial robot” is based on the definition of the International Organization for Standardization: an “automatically controlled, reprogrammable multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes”, which can be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications. (ISO 8373)
The terms used in the definition mean:
- Reprogrammable: designed so that the programmed motions or auxiliary functions can be changed without physical alteration;
- Multipurpose: capable of being adapted to a different application with physical alteration;
- Physical alteration: alteration of the mechanical system (the mechanical system does not include storage media, ROMs, etc.)
- Axis: direction used to specify the robot motion in a linear or rotary mode
Industrial robots can be classified according to mechanical structure:
- Cartesian robot: robot whose arm has three prismatic joints and whose axes are correlated with a cartesian coordinate system
- SCARA robot: a robot, which has two parallel rotary joints to provide compliance in a plane
- Articulated robot: a robot whose arm has at least three rotary joints
- Parallel/Delta robot: a robot whose arms have concurrent prismatic or rotary joints
- Cylindrical robot: a robot whose axes form a cylindrical coordinate system
Find out more about the different robot types in the file below.
Statistical data on industrial robots is available in the World Robotics section.
Case studies on industrial robots can be found here.