What is a Robotic Arm?
A robotic arm is a mechanical device capable of moving with 6 degrees of freedom, much like a human arm. This means it is able to reach places and do tasks that other machines cannot. Various tools can be attached to the robot arm, these tools manipulate a workpiece. Robot arms are highly precise and capable of moving extremely fast.
Our Robotic Arms
ABB Industrial Robot Arms are programmed via ABB's programming language ‘RAPID’, they can also be programmed via Rhino & Grasshopper. Our robots are also equipped with computer vision and machine learning capabilities, allowing them to undertake more advanced and intelligent tasks.
ABB IRB 1200
2 x IRB1200’s which have a can carry up to 5kg and have a reach of 901mm. The 2 x IRB1200’s can be configured to work together (MultiMove).
ABB IRB 120
2 x IRB 120’s that can carry up to 3kg and have a reach of 580mm. The IRB120’s are located on mobile platforms, allowing them to be relocated as needed.
Why use a Robot Arm?
A robot arm allows you to complete tasks in ways other machines or a human could not, this could be precision, speed or flexibility. By using these traits we are able to use robot arms as a tool for creating new processes and exploring design in a different light.
The Robotics Lab offers a range of training to help you learn how robot arms work, how to setup a file for the robots and and how to submit it for processing. This training includes:
Robotics Lab Website
Read through the website to get an understanding of what the robotics lab offers.
Work through the training exercises to learn how to use and program the robot arm
Book a Robot session once you have complete Level 03 Safety Induction
Book a consultation with the Robotics Lab’s experienced staff to get help with complex technical challenges specific to your project. Before making a booking, it is expected that you have completed the Introductory sessions and read through available guidelines for the technology.
The equipment in the Robotics Lab (G23) is available for you to book and use when you have completed the required safety training and inductions. To use the robot arms you must complete the following:
- Level 00 MSD Building Induction
- Level 01 Safety Induction (Online)
- Level 02 In-person Safety Induction
- Level 03 Machine Specific Safety Induction
The Robotics Lab Open Access sessions take place every weekday afternoon, Monday – Friday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. End Effectors and Tools are only to be booked during Open Access.
Open Access times are available for all students from MSD, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Tools are only able to be booked out during Open Access.
For more information about the Safety Training and Inductions for the Robotics Lab head to Access.
How to get started
Complete Level 1 and Level 2 Inductions
Book and Attend a Level 3 Induction
Complete the Level 3 quiz
Book some Robot Time and undertake training exercises
You may book a consultation to discuss your project requirements.
Access and use of the robot arms is free. Students are required to pay for materials, and any custom tools they create.
What does payload mean?
Payload is the amount of weight the robot can safely move around. For the IRB 1200 this is 5kg and the IRB 120 this is 3kg. The weight of your tool, and the material it’s holding are included in this calculation. Additionally tools that experience high forces, or tools that are very long and/or wide can lower this limit.
What does reach mean?
Reach is the distance the robot can reach, from the centre of its base to the centre of the tool plate. For the IRB 1200 this is 901mm and the IRB 120 this is 580mm. While the robot can reach this far, it’s generally not advisable or practical to work this far away from the robot.
What is MultiMove?
MultiMove is ABB’s software package that allows 2 or more robots to work together. Our IRB 1200’s can be configured to work together, allowing for more complex processes.
What are the computer vision and machine learning capabilities of the robots?
We have a number of tools, and software packages for computer vision and machine learning that are able to be interfaced with the robot, including a Raspberry Pi with Computer Vision software. These capabilities are more advanced than typical robot programming. If you wish to use these processes, please book a consultation with the robotics lab.