ROBOTICS: Industrial robot, Automation and robotics, Types of Automation, Fixed Automation, Programmable Automation, Flexible Automation, Reasons for implementation of automated systems in manufacture industries, Need for using robotics in industries


The field of robotics has its origins in science fiction. The term robot was derived from the English translation of a fantasy play written in Czechoslovakia around 1920. It took another 40 years before the modern technology of industrial robotics began. Today Robots are highly automated mechanical manipulators controlled by computers. We survey some of the science fiction stories about robots, and we trace the historical development of robotics technology. Let us begin our chapter by defining the term robotics and establishing its place in relation to other types of industrial automation.

Robotics: –

Robotics is an applied engineering science that has been referred to as a combination of machine tool technology and computer science. It includes machine design, production theory, micro electronics, computer programming & artificial intelligence.


“Robotics” is defined as the science of designing and building Robots which are suitable for real life application in automated manufacturing and other non-manufacturing environments.

Industrial robot: –

The official definition of an industrial robot is provided by the robotics industries association (RIA). Industrial robot is defined as an automatic, freely programmed, servo-controlled, multi-purpose manipulator to handle various operations of an industry with variable programmed motions.

Automation and robotics:-

Automation and robotics are two closely related technologies. In an industrial context, we can dean automation as a technology that is concerned with the use of mechanical, electronic, and computer-based systems in the operation and control of production Examples of this technology include transfer lines. Mechanized assembly machines, feedback control systems (applied to industrial processes), numerically controlled machine tools, and robots. Accordingly, robotics is a form of industrial automation.

Ex:- Robotics, CAD/CAM, FMS, CIMS

Types of Automation:-

Automation is categorized into three types. They are,

1) Fixed Automation

2) Programmable Automation

3) Flexible Automation.

(1) Fixed Automation:-

It is the automation in which the sequence of processing or assembly operations to be carried out is fixed by the equipment configuration. In fixed automation, the sequence of operations (which are simple) are integrated in a piece of equipment. Therefore, it is difficult to automate changes in the design of the product. It is used where high volume of production is required Production rate of fixed automation is high. In this automation, no new products are processed for a given sequence of assembly operations.


i) High volume of production rates,

ii) Relatively inflexible in product variety (no new products are produced). Ex:- Automobile industries … etc.

(2) Programmable Automation:-

It is the automation in which the equipment is designed to accommodate various product configurations in order to change the sequence of operations or assembly operations by means of control program. Different types of programs can be loaded into the equipment to produce products with new configurations (i.e., new products). It is employed for batch production of low and medium volumes. For each new batch of different configured product, a new control program corresponding to the new product is loaded into the equipment. This automation is relatively economic for small batches of the product.


i) High investment in general purpose,

ii) Lower production rates than fixed automation,

iii) Flexibility & Changes in products configuration,

iv) More suitable for batch production.

Ex:- Industrial robot, NC machines tools… etc.

(3) Flexible Automation:-

A computer integrated manufacturing system which is an extension of programmable automation is referred as flexible automation. It is developed to minimize the time loss between the changeover of the batch production from one product to another while reloading. The program to produce new products and changing the physical setup i.e., it produces different products with no loss of time. This automation is more flexible in interconnecting work stations with material handling and storage system.


i) High investment for a custom engineering system.

ii) Medium Production rates

iii) Flexibility to deal with product design variation,

iv) Continuous production of variable mixtures of products. Ex:- Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)


1.High Production rates

2. Lead time decreases

3. Storing capacity decreases

4. Human errors are eliminated.

5. Labour cost is decreases.


1.Initial cost of raw material is very high,

2. Maintenance cost is high,

3. Required high skilled Labour.

4. Indirect cost for research development & programming increases.

Reasons for implementation of automated systems in manufacture industries:-

The reasons for the implementation of automated systems in manufacturing industries are as follows,

(i) To Increase the Productivity Rate of Labour

(ii) To Decrease the Cost of Labour

(iii) To Minimize the Effect of Shortage of Labour

(iv) To Obtain High Quality of Products

(v) A Non-automation nigh Cost is Avoided

(vi) To Decrease the Manufacturing Lead Time

(vii) To upgrade the Safety of Workers.

Need for using robotics in industries:-

Industrial robot plays a significant role in automated manufacturing to perform different kinds of applications.

1. Robots can be built a performance capability superior to those of human beings. In terms of strength, size, speed, accuracy…etc

2. Robots are better than humans to perform simple and repetitive tasks with better quality and consistence’s.

3. Robots do not have the limitations and negative attributes of human works .such as fatigue, need for rest, and diversion of attention…..etc.

4. Robots are used in industries to save the time compared to human beings.

5. Robots are in value poor working conditions

6. Improved working conditions and reduced risks.

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