Have you been wondering what robot are? or what are the broad types of robotics. 

  Robots are machines which are able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically, Here’s an overview of four types of industrial robots that you should know.


An articulated robot is the type of robot that comes to mind when most people think about robots. Much like CNC mills, articulated robots are classified by the number of points of rotation or axes they have. The most common is the 6-axis articulated robot. There are also 4- and 7-axis units on the market. Flexibility, dexterity, and reach make articulated robots ideally suited for tasks that span non-parallel planes, such as machine tending. Articulated robots can also easily reach into a machine tool compartment and under obstructions to gain access to a workpiece. 

  Sealed joints and protective sleeves allow articulated robots to excel in clean and dirty environments alike. 

  The sophistication of an articulated robot comes with a higher cost compared to other robot types with similar payloads. And articulated robots are less suited than other types of robots for very high-speed applications due to their more complex kinematics and relatively higher component mass.


A Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm (SCARA) is a good — and cost-effective — choice for performing operations between two parallel planes (e.g., transferring parts from a tray to a conveyor). SCARA robots excel at vertical assembly tasks such as inserting pins without binding due to their vertical rigidity. SCARA robots are lightweight and have small footprints, making them ideal for applications in crowded spaces. They are also capable of very fast cycle times.

  Due to their fixed swing arm design, which is an advantage in certain applications, SCARA robots face limitations when it comes to tasks that require working around or reaching inside objects such as fixtures, jigs, or machine tools within a work cell.


Delta robots, also referred to as “spider robots,” use three base-mounted motors to actuate control arms that position the wrist. Basic delta robots are 3-axis units but 4- and 6-axis models are also available. By mounting the actuators on, or very close to, the stationary base instead of at each joint (as in the case of an articulated robot), a delta robot’s arm can be very lightweight. This allows for rapid movement which makes delta robots ideal for very high-speed operations involving light loads.


Cartesian robots typically consist of three or more linear actuators assembled to fit a particular application. Positioned above a workspace, cartesian robots can be elevated to maximize floor space and accommodate a wide range of workpiece sizes. Cartesian robots typically use standard linear actuators and mounting brackets, minimizing the cost and complexity of any “custom” cartesian system. Higher capacity units can also be integrated with other robots (such as articulated robots) as “end- effectors” to increase system capabilities. That said, the custom nature of cartesian robots can make design, specification, and programming challenging or out of reach for smaller manufacturers intent on a “DIY” approach to robotics implementation.


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