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Robotics 1

Industrial Robotics

Prof. Alessandro De Luca

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What is a robot?
industrial definition (RIA = Robotic Institute of America)
re-programmable multi-functional manipulator
designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialized devices through
variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks,
which also acquire information from the environment
and move intelligently in response

ISO 8373 definition

an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator
programmable in three or more axes, which may be either fixed in place or
mobile for use in industrial automation applications

more general definition (visionary)

intelligent connection between perception and action

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Robots !!

Spirit Rover
Comau H4 Waseda WAM-8
(1995) (1984)

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A bit of history

Robota (= work in slavic languages) are artificial human-

like creatures built for being inexpensive workers in the
theater play Rossums Universal Robots (R.U.R.) written by
Karel Capek in 1920
Laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov in I, Robot (1950)
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a
human being to come to harm
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except
where such orders would conflict with the First Law
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection
does not conflict with the First or Second Law

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Evolution toward industrial robots
computer 1950 mechanical
numerically controlled
machines (CNC)


Unimation PUMA

with respect to the ancestors

flexibility of use
adaptability to a priori unknown conditions
accuracy in positioning
repeatability of operation

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The first industrial robot

US Patent General Motor plant, 1961

G. Devol and J. Engelberger (Unimation)

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Historical pictures and clips

bimanual remote manipulation
at Oak Ridge Natl Labs Unimate 6-dof robots
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Robot manipulators

ASEA IRB-6 Hirata AR-300

(1973) (1978)
first robot first SCARA
all-electric-drives robot

Milacron T3
PUMA 560
first micro-
6R with

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robots a 50-year journey
robotics research up to 2000

Video compiled for the IEEE ICRA 2000 conference, S. Francisco

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World Robotics 2016

executive summary for 2016

yearly statistics by IFR
issued at end of September
(available on the course web site)

robotics market value in 2015: $11.1 billion (+9% over 2014); robot systems: $35 billion
total worldwide stock at end 2015: 1.6 million units of operational industrial robots (+11%)
year 2015 was once more the highest in robot sales worldwide (>250K, +15%)
China expanded further as the largest market since 2013, now with a 27% share
75% of sales goes to 5 countries: first is China (69K, more than Europe as a whole = 50K),
then Korea (38K, +55% w.r.t. 2014), Japan (35K, +20%), USA (27K, +5%), and Germany
(20K, steady); Italy (6.7K) is the 2nd market in Europe (7th worldwide)
main industrial drivers: automotive (38% of new robots) and electrical/electronics (25%) still
increasing, though both having less % than before; metal and machinery (12%, doubled)
research trends: industry 4.0 (energy efficiency, human-robot collaboration, VR, ease of use)

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Industrial robots in operation worldwide

2019: 2.6M robots in operation

(as reference: industrial robots in stock in 1983 = 66K)

length of robot service life is estimated in 12-15 years
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Robots in industrial sectors

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Annual supply
New industrial robots worldwide

2005 2019*

highest level ever:

254K new units

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Annual supply
New industrial robots by world regions

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Annual supply
Markets comparison of new industrial robots

largest market since 2014
40% of global supply in 2019

Western EU:
Germany, Italy, Spain, France and UK
have a slow but steady increase

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Density of robots -1

Italy: degree of automation still

relatively high, but not increasing
in comparison to other countries

number of robots per 10000 employees

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in the manufacturing industry in 2015 16
Density of robots -2

Italy was at 2nd place in 2011!

number of robots per 10000 employees

in the automotive and in all other industries in 2015
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A long-range trend in robot prices

An articulated industrial robot with six degrees of freedom

of medium size costs about 80-100 KEuro

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Industrial robot
and its auxiliary equipments

1. Comau SMART H robot

2. C3G Plus controller
3. Welding control box
4. Application software
5. Air/water supply
6. SWIM Board
7. Integrated cables
8. Welding gun
9. Auxiliary devices in the
robotic cell
(servo-controlled axes)

SWIM = Spot Welding Integrated Module

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ABB IRB 7600

commercial video by ABB

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Industrial applications
manipulation (pick-and-place)
spray painting and coating
arc welding
spot welding with pneumatic or servo-controlled gun
laser cutting and welding
gluing and sealing
mechanical finishing operations (deburring, grinding)

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A day in the life of an industrial robot
At BMW car production line with ABB robots

with end-effector
to reorient part


with support
to reorient part

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A day in the life of an industrial robot

heavy parts and
human intervention


metal cutting
on a supporting
machine with dofs
(video speeded up
at some point)

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A day in the life of an industrial robot

glue deposit
(on fancy paths!)


cooperation of
multiple robots
for handling and
sealing a car body

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A day in the life of an industrial robot

coating parts
for rust and corrosion


spray painting

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A day in the life of an industrial robot

hood deburring
with a suspended tool


test measurements
with assembly on a AGV

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What a robot should do and what cannot do

video video

spray painting assembly of flexible

very unhealthy or complex parts
for human operators (here a car dashboard)

human-robot collaboration
(co-bots or co-workers)
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Plasma cutting



hot plasma

small KUKA robot used for plasma cutting of a stainless steel toilet
(courtesy of Engenious Solutions Pty)
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Robotized workcells

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3D simulation of robotic tasks

analysis of operative cycle times

off-line programming and optimization
layout design and collision checking
3D graphic simulation
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Welding - 1

spot with servo-controlled gun stud welding

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Welding - 2

spot (discrete) or arc (continuous)

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Two cooperating robots in welding

ABB video at Laxa, Sweden

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pallet = a portable platform on which

goods can be moved, stacked, and stored

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Palletizing of cheese forms


using Kawasaki robots (courtesy of Effedue Engineering)

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with loading of sheets under the press

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car windshields may have large manufacturing

tolerances and a sharp contour profile

the robot follows a given

predefined Cartesian path
the contact force between
cutting blade and glass must
be feedback controlled
deburring robot head
mounts a force load cell and
is pneumatically actuated

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Deburring center


deburring center for steel parts

using Comau SMART NJ 110-3.0/foundry robot (courtesy of Adami srl)
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Off-line robot workstation

articulated robot in metal surface finishing operation

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Safety in robotic cells

commercial video from ABB

SafeMove cell monitoring system (no fences!)
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Robot manipulator kinematics

Kuka 150_2 Comau Fanuc

(series 2000) Smart H4 F-200iB
open kinematic chain closed kinematic chain parallel kinematics
(rigid bodies
connected by joints)
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Other types of robots - 1

Mitsubishi RP Mitsubishi RH
(repeatability 5 micron, (workspace 850 mm, Bosch Turbo
payload 5 kg) velocity 5 m/s)

SCARA (Selective Compliant Arm for Robotic Assembly)

4 degrees of freedom (= joints): 3 revolute + 1 prismatic (vertical) axes
compliant in horizontal plane for micro-assembly and pick-and-place

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Adept Cobra i600

fastest SCARA robot for pick-and-place tasks!

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Other types of robots - 2

Comau Mast ABB Flexpicker

gantry robot (150 pick-and-place
(payload up to 560 kg) operations/minute)

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Chocolate packaging with
lightweight parallel robots

test video with video with

ABB Flexpicker Adept Quatro s650

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Distribution by robot type
of kinematic configuration



articulated cartesian/gantry cylindric SCARA

for 59600 articulated robots installed back in 2004

(90% of all robots installed in America, 74% in Europe, only 49% in Asia)

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Robot data sheet


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Visualization of
workspace and mobility


kinematic simulation of a 6-dof Comau robot (all revolute joints)

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Visualization of
workspace and mobility

V-REP simulation of the 7-dof KUKA LWR4+ robot (all revolute joints)
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Robot end-effector sensors and tools

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Calibration of robot kinematics

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Man-machine interface

teach-box pendant used cabinet with power electronics

as robot programming for robot supervision and
interface control

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Programming and control environment

control modules
and interfaces
(Reis Robotics)

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Motion programming and scaling

commercial video from ABB

TrueMove & QuickMove fast motion control performance

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Mobile base robots in industry

AGV (Automated Guidance Vehicles) for material and parts transfer

on the factory floor: wire- or laser-driven along predefined paths

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Lifting AGV for warehouses

video by Elettric80

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Kiva Systems

company acquired for $775 million by Amazon (store automation)

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Intelligent AGV in factories

commercial video of ADAM mobile robot (RMT Robotics)

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