Emerging Technologies in Industrial Robotics

George Devol acquired the first patent for an industrial robot in 1965. He developed the idea of having a mechanical system that was pre-programmed to handle objects. In the beginning the idea was fairly complex, it gave industry a good start to begin the industrial robot era. Since then there have been many patents exploring the world of robotics. One in particular was a design building on the initial patent. The Canadian Patent #2026008 claimed to establish an industrial robot that was built with revolute joints for more flexibility. This contributed to the classification of the articulated robots.

There have been additional patents issued that also aided in the development of a more flexible robot. Patent # CA 1307306 was claimed to invent a moving mechanism for a robot which provided the industrial robot with additional degrees of freedom. The space constraints and the view of the operator require the robot to clear the extrusion area during each cycle in the case of Wolverine Tubes. A moving mechanism will enable the robot to clear the area without affecting the abilities of the robot.

A patent filed more presently has the ability to add more flexibility to a robot by running the cables inside the robot arms. The Canadian patent #2196517 by Nachi Robotic System Inc. established a hollow tube for the robot arms that freed the robot from cables. The contributions that this patent could have to our design of the automated mandrel lubricator are essential. A robot manufactured with a hollow arm would add to the ease of lubrication transfer. By installing the lubrication tubes inside the hollow arm, not only will the tubes be more protected, but it will ensure the robot will have a clear are to move within. One challenge that comes with industrial robots is the training of the robot to a specific application.

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