What Does a Pick and Place Robot Do?
Manufacturers often use pick and place robots to automate the process of, quite literally, picking up items and placing them in a new location. These robots free up human workers to perform more complex jobs. Consider the different types of pick and place robots.
The most common type of pick and place system is the robotic arm. There are two types of robotic arms: the 5-axis system and the 6-axis system. The 5-axis arm is used for standard jobs that can be moved in a single plane. However, if objects must be reoriented before being placed down, then manufacturers will use the 6-axis arm.
Fast Pick Robots
Fast pick robots move quickly and can process 300 items per hour, which is helpful in medium- to high-volume manufacturing processes. These robots are typically required on packing lines when adding a small promotional item to the package.
Cartesian robots, named after René Descartes, move across the x-, y- and z-axes using the Cartesian coordinate system. While they are used for complex jobs much like the 6-axis robotic arm is, Cartesian robots are more accurate at positioning than robotic arms.
Automation processes that require picking up items in groups and setting them in specific containers will rely on delta robots. These advanced pick and place systems use vision technology that can differentiate between colors, sizes and shapes. While delta robots can be configured in numerous ways, most of them have three lightweight arms that move across four axes.
Also known as “cobots,” collaborative robots work side-by-side with humans as a real-time guide. Cobots often help with inspection and labeling tasks, and they work at a manageable speed so that humans can interact with them safely. If a human makes contact with a collaborative robot, the system is designed to shut off immediately.