electronics and software in industrial robots

  • hallo all. have a nice day.

    i am new in this forum and i am actually quite new in robotics field.

    i am a mechanical engineer and i understand kinematics section of robotics. and i also have a good understanding in hobby robotics electronics and software.

    what am i not familiar with is industrial robots.


    from a mechanical engineer perspective, nothing changes because the kinematics formulas are the same for both hobby robots and industrial one.

    however, i am aware that we can not no longer use micro controller or micro processors in these type big robots. thus i have been wondering that how do people control industrial robots ?

    do people use PLC or computer ?

    what kind of software people use when it comes to industrial robotics.


    i am gratefull for your answers.


    by the way i am also waiting for your book recomendations about this topic.

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    however, i am aware that we can not no longer use micro controller or micro processors in these type big robots.


    well.. that is completely wrong...


    every industrial robot controls are based on bunch of microcontrollers and processors.

    not a single industrial robot today is controlled by anything else (drum, cam, Jacquard loom, clock mechanism, analog computers, relay or vacuum tube computer or whatever).

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • Ha, a clockwork robot would be impressive.


    Burak, maybe what you meant is that you will not use your own sourced microcontroller to control an industrial robot. This is because they come from the manufacturer already with a controller designed to work with that robot.


    Each industrial robot brand has its own proprietary controller and software. You would pick a brand and then learn to use that system and programming language.


    Most industrial robots use a text based, procedural programming language. The most basic programming elements are recording positions and creating a motion instruction to move to positions.

  • Ha, a clockwork robot would be impressive.

    There is this one from the 1800s, if you consider arranging cams as programmable:


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    Check out the Fanuc position converter I wrote here!

  • you mean to design and create the cams from a drawing?


    the output is in polar coordinates:

    axis 1 = rotation left-right,

    axis 2 = distance forward-back

    axis 3 = lift pen


    all of them are encoded on a radius of a corresponding disc.

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • thank you for your answers.

    it was really helpfull

    To give you a more straightforward answer, the hobbyist micro controllers (Arduinos and Rasb Pi's etc..) get swapped out for purpose built, often proprietary industrial controls. In some cases the controller could be a PC (KUKA) or PLC (Siemens/Comau) but some manufacturers (Fanuc) use an in house set of hardware and software for their controllers. As far as operating systems go most brands restrict access and information to the point you can only use the tools they provide to interface with the robot, but many are based on a real-time OS such as or similar to VX Works.


    One direction you may want to research would be ROS, An open source Robot operating system. Im sure this post has missed some things, made some mistakes and generalizations, but Cunningham's law should sort all that out.

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