What are the different types of industrial robot?

With more manufacturers and business owners investing in automated solutions to improve efficiency and output, industrial robots are becoming increasingly popular. Industrial robots are programmable, multipurpose systems that can be automatically controlled to manipulate objects and carry out a vast range of industrial tasks.

There are several types of industrial robot, each with their own unique features which make them suitable for different applications.


Types of robots 

Industrial robots can broadly be categorised as linear robots, which move along a fixed support frame, or articulated robots, which mimic the actions of a human arm.


What are the different types of industrial robot?Cartesian Robots

Cartesian robots are linear robots and are a popular choice in industrial settings. They operate within a rectangular work envelope and move using the Cartesian coordinate system along orthogonal axes. The relative simplicity of their movement patterns makes them easy to install and program, and they can be reconfigured to customise their speed, stroke length and levels of precision. Linear robots can also accelerate rapidly to high speeds, reducing cycle times and increasing productivity.

Cartesian robots are generally the least costly robot option, and their reliability means that maintenance and downtime costs are generally reduced long-term. They can handle heavier payloads due to their fixed frame and are ideally suited for processes such as material handling, pick-and-place and loading.

Shibaura Machine’s Cartesian robot range includes the BA3 and BAC series, all designed for simplicity and ease of programming regardless of operation.





6-axis robots

However, for operations where more flexibility is required, a more suitable choice would be an articulated robot. 6-axis robots are typically referred to as a robotic arm and are the most common robot type in industrial applications.

With rotary joints and six degrees of freedom, they offer superior directional control and can roll, pitch and yaw – rotating along X, Y and Z axes as well as vertically and horizontally. They are typically capable of more advanced movement profiles due to their articulation and ability to work between planes, and this also makes them capable of a wider range of more intricate applications, including materials handling, pick-and-place, welding, and assembly.

Shibaura Machine manufacture 6-axis robots to suit many industrial environments, including the TV, TVL and TVM ranges. Each model has a wealth of unique features designed to make automating complex processes simpler than ever.





What are the different types of industrial robot?SCARA robots

SCARA (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) robots are also articulated and have rotary joints, but they can move on four axes, giving them a good range of motion. They tend to be smaller than six-axis robots and while they do not have the same flexibility, they excel in applications requiring high levels of precision on a smaller scale. For automating processes such as assembly of smaller more lightweight parts, materials handling, or pick-and-place at higher speeds, SCARA robots are an efficient and cost-effective robot system.

The Shibaura Machine SCARA range has affordable robotic solutions ideal for a range of industrial operations. THL, TH and THP. The THE range also includes the THE600 SCARA — with improved payload capacity and higher speeds, it is the leading price-to-performance model in this price range.





If you would like more information on industrial robots, or guidance on how to choose the best option for automating your operation, get in touch with our team for a free consultation.

Or,, take a look at our Knowledge Hub to read more of our frequently asked questions.