The 5 main parts of a robot
1. End effector
End effectors are the tools that are attached to the end of the robot arm. The end effector enables the robot to interact with its task and to do useful work. The types of end effector includes
- Gripper: It is a device that enables the robot to pick-up and hold objects. The different types of gripper include vacuum grabber, biomimetic hand, humanoid hand, gripping tentacle, high-speed claw.
- n Process Tools: It consists of tools like drills, grinding wheels, cutting wheels, laser and water jet cutters, welding torches, spray painting tools, glue application tools, etc.
- Sensors: A sensor can be attached to a robot as a programmable sensor orientation device. This is useful for applications like robotic inspections.
2. Robot Arm
Robotic Arm is composed of links and joints. Links are the rigid sections that make up the mechanism and joints are used to connect two links. It works in a similar way as a human arm.
An actuator is a device that causes motion of robot arms and end-effectors. Majority of actuators produce two types of motion - linear and rotary. They produce this kind of motion by converting input energy into mechanical motion. The common types of actuators are hydraulic, pneumatic and electric.
These devices are used to capture data about the robot itself and the surroundings of the robot. The devices that capture data about robots are called internal sensors and the data captured includes position, velocity, acceleration, motor torque, etc. The devices that capture data of surroundings are known as external sensors. The data captured by external sensors include the view of the environment (captured using cameras), range (captured using IR, laser, ultrasonic, etc), force, contact and proximity, etc.
Controller is a device that performs analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. Controller takes digital inputs from the CPU and computes analog signals for motors to achieve desired output. It also converts reading from sensors to digital signals and sends it to the CPU. Most controllers also perform other operations like calibration, PID control, filtering, temperature regulation, trajectory interpolation, etc.
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