Nowadays, robots have become more widespread as they have made our lives easy by helping us in different fields such as mathematics, science, computer programming, space exploration, etc. They have proven to be beneficial in the industrial sector, where many things are made with the help of robots.
Robots are machines that you can program in whatever way you want, to get maximum benefits for the desired tasks. Robots, in the end, are electrical and mechanical devices like any other device, having its elements and components that make it possible for it to work.
To robots, the elements and components are like their organs,without which it cannot function properly.
The Basic Elements of a Robot
The basic elements and components of robots are as follows:
1. Power Supplies
To turn the robot on, you need to have a power supply. The source of energy for the robots is the power supply, which is needed to make the robot fully operational. Power supplies include batteries, hydraulic, solar power, or pneumatic power sources.
The human brain cannot function properly if the sensory organs do not provide the required data. Similarly, robots cannot perform their functions effectively without sensors that provide them with environmental data.
Sensors are critical in detecting elements like heat and light by converting them into digital form, which is understandable by machines. The robots then process and acts accordingly.
There are four sensors in a robot:
Vision sensors are like the eyes of a robot. They are the parts that are responsible for detecting and sensing obstacles and other things. They do so with the help of their intelligent sight, which includes a camera, frame grabber, and an image processing unit to process the surroundings.
Proximity sensors are for calculating the distance between the robot and an object that comes in contact with the robot.
Proprioceptive sensors are used for monitoring the robot’s self-maintenance feature and for controlling its internal status. This includes monitoring the heat, battery, and sensing the electric current.
Logical sensors are responsible for making logical decisions and performing arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. In other words, the logic sensors handle the calculations that help make the robot perform as desired.
3. Electric AC/DC motors
An electric motor is a device used to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Motors are used in robots to provide rotational movement that allows them to move. You can use both AC and DC motors in your robot.
4. Driving Mechanism
The driving mechanism comes under the category of main robot elements, including gears, chains, pulleys, and belts. The gearboxes are for the transmission of rotational movement from one place to another.
5. Servo Motors
Servo motors are also used in robots as they are a powerful way of converting the rotational motion into the linear motion. They are easily programmable and are perfect for repeating a robot’s movement. They adjust themselves until they match a signal. Also, these motors come in radio-controlled versions, called R/C servo motors.
Manipulators are extensions added to the robot and are used for interacting with the surroundings. In other words, these are the hands and arms of a robot to interact with the environment and nearby objects physically.
Manipulators are mainly used for various purposes like controlling and handling dangerous hazardous and radioactive materials with the use of robotic arms as well as handling of welding automation. They are very expensive as their prices range from $1,295 to $22,000. If you are interested in buying a robot manipulator, you can go for a 6DOF mechanical robot arm manipulator.
7. End Effectors
The end effector is a device attached at the end of a robotic arm. The manipulator’s base is fixed to the base support, and the end effector is attached to its other free end. They are the fingers and palms of a robot.
The end effector is relied upon to perform assignments by replicating the use of palms, otherwise done by humans.
8. Locomotion devices
In humans, the muscles provide the energy and power for the movement of the arms. Similarly, that’s how locomotion devices work. The robot’s locomotion is called the power of the movement that comes from the motors.
Three types of locomotion devices are used in robots depending on the source of energy they use, such as electricity, hydraulics, and pneumatics.
A digital computer acts as the main controller of the robot;it functions like a human brain. The tasks assigned are carried out with the help of this controller.
The controller sends the signals to the robot and commands the movement of the manipulator and end effector. In other words, the robot is managed and controlled by this device.
Pneumatics is the use of actuators to produce motion. These systems typically use air cylinders to generate rotary and linear motion. Pneumatic robots are widely used in manufacturing work.
11. Programming Languages
Robots require programming because, without instructions, they simply cannot work. This is because robots will not know what to do unless you program it. You have to program it so it can work the way you want it to. Many programming languages are used to program robotic systems; some of the best ones include VAL, Robo ML, ROBOFORTH, ROSSUM, and XRCL.
Driving High Loads From Logic Controllers
There are many tasks done by the robot, and all these tasks are sent and coordinated by building logic controllers. One of the most important tasks is the logic circuitry, which includes interfacing with the high current loads, such as motors, solenoids, or nitinol wire. Logic circuitry can maintain source loads in the range of 1 to 20 mA.
The components present in the logic circuitry are as follows:
A switch is the most basic and critical electrical mechanism, which allows the current to flow from a circuit or is a circuit that decides whether it is open or closed.
Switches come in two modes: On and Off. The electric current passes through the circuit when the switch is turned on and stops flowing when it is turned off.
Relays are switching and protection devices that monitor the voltage and state of an electric current present in a circuit.
A transistor is a semiconductor device that acts as a switch and an amplifier. It controls the flow of electric current.
H-bridge is a circuit that allows you to control the DC motor to either move forward or backward. It’s used with an Arduino microcontroller.
Robots for the Win!
The invention of robots is an evolution that has helped us improve the way we live. Just like the human body, a robot has essential parts, which require maintenance and care for smooth operation.They have revolutionized the way we work and operate. They’ve made our lives easier by manufacturing products which otherwise would have been either difficult or impossible by humans.
We’ve made history by using robots in different ways. And we hope thatthey will continue to prove even more helpful in the future, with the technological advancements and improvement in their parts/components.