If you are running your very own production line, you should explore the many methods of robot manipulation. Although most robot arms are controlled by control panels called pendants, this does not mean that you can’t use other hardware to control them. One great option is to use your own computer. Although using a desktop or laptop might seem a bit cumbersome compared to portable pendants, computer-controlled robot arms offer a great deal more command options. They also make programming a lot easier, because you could directly control your robot arm via your computer. However, building a computer-controlled robot arm is no easy feat. It takes quality equipment and some engineering knowledge. To make things easier for you, here are 6 tips for constructing a computer-controlled arm.
1. Purchase Quality Robot Arms
Although you could build your own robot arms, they usually take a long time to build, and the raw materials are very expensive. In the long run, you might end up spending more than you expected. So if you have the budget, you should invest in quality robot arms instead. Companies such as EVS are well-known for creating top-of-the-line robot arms. The company manufactures a myriad of robot arm options, and they are all built to last. For example, you are looking for a great welding robot. Luckily automated welding processes by AVS robot arm are considered some of the best in the industry. So if you are going to purchase robot arms, it is best that you invest in EVS. They have all the robotics solutions that you need. Although it might seem expensive to buy robot arms, their reliability and versatility will save you money in the long run.
2. Have the Right Computer
Aside from getting top-quality robot arms, it is important that you have the right computer for the job. Remember that computer programming requires a heavy-duty computer. If you use a subpar one, there is a chance that the computer will just get bogged down by all the computer specs required. Remember that it takes a lot of coding in order to control a computer, and if you need to control a whole production line of robot arms, you will need to bring in the hardware.
When it comes to choosing a robotics computer, there are certain qualifications that they must fulfill. First things first, the computer must be as reliable as possible. Whether your computer is a laptop or a desktop, what’s important is that it could handle a lot of functions. Although industrial robot programming is somewhat simplistic compared to robotics research, it could still be taxing to a low-spec computer. This is especially true for large-scale operations where the computer will have to control a whole production line of robot arms.
3. Construct a Stable Base
If there is one thing you should know about robot arms, it is that they are heavy and cumbersome constructs. So you will need to create a solid base for them. Remember that the robot is meant to move fast, and their movements are usually very powerful. If the base could not handle the weight, it could tip over and injure people. So make sure that you build a truly stable base. Although smaller robot arms could use a wooden base, it is best that you invest in a heavier steel base. It will not only provide a strong foundation for the robot arm, but it is also a lot easier to screw on to a production line.
4. Install Arduino Hardware and Software
When it comes to controlling your robot arm via your computer, you should utilize Arduino hardware and software. Arduino is an open-source electronics that uses both hardware and software. In this circumstance, you will be needing both. You will need to install an Arduino board on your robot arms. This will allow it to receive and fulfill specific instructions. You will also need to download Arduino coding and upload it to your computer. Once you install the hardware and the software, you could now get started on setting your robot arm’s applications.
5. Set the Applications
Once you finish installing the proper codes for your computer, it is now time to set all the applications for your robot arms. Remember that automating all the robot’s applications is a satisfying yet complicated endeavor. In order to make the robot fulfill a particular application, you will have to encode the right code into the program. Each part of the robot should have a specific set of instructions, and they should be able to work properly with one another.
6. Test out your Robot
Once you finished constructing your robot, now it is time to test it out. It is imperative that you test out your robot before you send it out on the production line because you will want it to work perfectly. You don’t want your production line to get bogged down because you sent out a badly programmed robot arm. When you test out your robot, you should have them go through their routines.
Have them do their movements and positions constantly. Test out all the codes, and make sure that they are all installed properly. It is best that you have the robot arm do their applications for a long time. This will help you notice any potential damage or inconsistent programming. Remember that your robot is meant to work for hours on end, so it should be able to handle the stresses as effectively as possible. You should take extra care of the joints because they are the most vulnerable to damage in the long run.
If you are running a production line for a manufacturing company, it always pays to know how to create various types of robot arms. By knowing how to construct computer-controlled robot arms, you will not only expand your robotics knowledge, you’ll also be able to make the work process a lot more efficient.