Currently, robots are used in various branches of science and technology (space, the military-technical complex, medicine, etc.). With the development of robotics, three types of robots were determined: with a rigid program of actions; Manipulators controlled by a human operator; with artificial intelligence (sometimes called integral), acting purposefully without human intervention. Most modern robots (all three varieties) are robotic manipulators, although there are other types of robots (for example, information, walking, etc.). In this article today, we’ll see the main types of robots available in the world. The classification given below is based on their application.
Classification of Robots based on their application
Industrial robots are robots used in an industrial production environment. Usually, these are articulated levers, specially designed for applications such as welding, material processing, painting, and others. If we judge solely by demand, industrial robots may also include some automated guided vehicles and other such robots.
Household robots are robots used at home. This type of robot includes different devices, such as robotic vacuum cleaners, robotic pool cleaners, sweepers, gutter cleaners, and other robots that can perform various duties. Also, some surveillance and telepresence robots can be regarded as domestic robots if used in this environment.
Medical robots are robots used in medicine and medical facilities. The best example of medical robots is surgical robots. In addition, there are some automated guided vehicles and possibly lift assistants that come under the category of medical robots.
Service robots are robots that do not fall into other types of use but are employed for service only. These can be different data collection robots that are created to demonstrate technologies robots used for research, etc.
Military robots are robots used in the army. This type includes robots for the destruction of bombs, various transport robots, reconnaissance drones. These robots, originally created for military purposes, can also be used in law enforcement, search, rescue, and other related fields.
Entertaining robots are robots used for entertainment. This is a very broad category. It starts with toy robots, such as a RoboSapien or a working alarm clock, and ends with real heavyweights, such as the articulated arms of the robot used as motion simulators.
We would like to single out the robots used in space as a separate type. This type will include robots used on the International Space Station, Canadarm, which was used in the Shuttles, as well as rovers and other robots used in space.
As you understand, the robot application does not provide enough information when it comes to a particular robot. So here we present to you the types of robots based on their structure.
Types of Robots based on their structure
Hinged (articulated) robots have rotating “waist”, “shoulder”, “elbow” and three rotating hinges in the “wrist”. These robots can accurately place small parts, pack, and stack on pallets.
Cartesian robots have at least three linear control axes. They can be configured to perform heavy operations (for example, to move car bodies) or precise operations (for example, detailing on complex surfaces).
Parallel robots use three parallelograms and rotating levers controlled by servomotors or linear actuators (linear actuators). Usually, they are used, like delta robots, to capture, lift and move parts.
A delta robot is a type of parallel robot. It consists of three levers attached via Cardan joints to the base. A key feature is the use of parallelograms in the design of the manipulator, which allows you to maintain the spatial orientation of the actuator of the robot. High-speed robots of this type are used for loading, feeding, and packaging in the pharmaceutical industry, for assembly and in sterile rooms.
SCARA robots (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) are manipulators with selective flexibility. Structurally, they are rigid in the vertical plane, i.e., along the Z-axis, while in the horizontal plane (along the X and Y axes), they are flexible. Such robots often perform assembly operations. SCARA robots can run faster than Cartesian robots and are small in size, but they can be more expensive.
Collaborative robots or Cobots
Collaborative robots are equipped with sensors that limit the effort and / or speed of the robot when these come close to humans. Depending on the application, these robots work near the person without installing a protective fence. So far, such robots have been mainly of the articulated type, but similar sensors can be applied to ordinary robots. Among the industrial robots, the most used robots are cobots. On this page, you can find detailed information about cobots and their industrial use.
As the name suggests, Cylindrical robots are based on a vertical column that rotates on the base. It also has two sliding devices that can generate movements on the Z and Y axes.
Spherical or polar robot
Spherical or the polar robot uses a telescopic arm that can swing around a horizontal tie. This telescopic shaft is mounted on a rotating base. The joints provide the robot with the ability to move the arm in a spherical area.
Drones are mainly remote-controlled flying vehicles (that is, in fact, they are not really robots). In a broader sense, these are mobile, autonomous devices programmed to perform any tasks. They are used for industrial applications, as safety checks, for monitoring purposes, and for scientific research in hazardous locations on rough terrain. Currently, such devices can be used underwater and in space. The introduction of the ability to work autonomously in them will allow these mobile robots to generate and send reports independently or to choose control commands themselves as necessary.
Mobile robots (robots for transporting materials, warehousing, machine maintenance) are currently being actively developed. The introduction of sensors and navigation technologies in them, combined with developed algorithmic support, increased their speed and flexibility of application. They can be integrated into other systems with the ability to move, and have their own autonomous navigation system.