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What is an industrial robot used for?

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

When asking the question what is an industrial robot used for, the straight answer, is these days, almost anything.

Industrial robots have been around since the 1960s and some sixty years on, they have become a key part of global industry. In fact, most of the products we enjoy today within the mass consumer market would not be possible without industrial robots. 

Welding robots 

They are perhaps best known for their role in the automotive industry, with most people having seen rows of giant robots spot welding car bodies together. Cars are no longer built with a heavy steel chassis, but with integral bodies that are super strong and a fraction of the weight, cutting down cost and increasing power and fuel efficiencies. 

When you fly next time, think about how modern day wings and fuselages are created using carbon fibre resins. Traditionally this kind of work has always been done manually, but increasingly robots are taking over. The aerospace industry is a big user of industrial robots, reaching a level of consistency which means they are robust and safe. Which is just as well, because when it comes to keeping aircraft in the sky, there is no second chance.

Pick and place robots

But it’s not only such specialised robots that are in use, whether its pick and place, or moving things around, welding them together, painting, assembling, testing, inspecting, or cleaning, and machine tending. In short, they can cope with almost any job. 

And in case you are wondering just what the official definition of an industrial robot, I’ll bow to the International Federation of Robotics who say, and I quote: an “automatically controlled, reprogrammable multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes.” (covered by ISO 8373).

SCARA robots

And they go on to say: “Industrial robots can be classified according to mechanical structure: articulated, cylindrical, linear (including cartesian and gantry), parallel or SCARA robots.”

Got that? If not, then get browsing on the Bot-Hive website, because we explain every type of industrial robot you’ll come across and what they are used for. 

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