Industrial Robotics

Leading the Revolution in Industrial Robotics

Worldwide consumer and economic trends are applying pressure for high mix, low volume, on-demand manufacturing requiring enhanced flexibility, productivity, and efficiency. Today’s intelligent robots and cobots are increasingly becoming more collaborative and productive, smarter, and better positioned to take on these complex tasks. However, the full promise of Industry 4.0 to transform manufacturing with industrial robotics will not be realized until new cost-effective advancements in industrial robot sensing, safety, communications, power, and size efficiency are adopted on the factory floor.

Analog Devices (ADI) is leading the revolution in industrial robotics, in areas including motion control, functional safety, advanced sensing, and system-level design. ADI’s sensing, measurement, interpretation, connectivity, and power capabilities take real-world phenomena and translate them into valuable insights and outcomes, whether it’s improved dynamic control or worker safety. Our domain experts collaborate with partners and customers, not only to consider their immediate needs but also to uncover the greater underlying design challenges. Together, with customers, we architect robotics systems and solutions, meeting their needs and exceeding their aspirations.

These advancements in automation and industrial robotics are shaping the future of work. Increased human / robot collaboration is maximizing the contributions of human workers, better scaling the critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills held by humans – allowing them to be more effective and productive. With complex, repetitive, and often dangerous tasks being performed by robotic technology, human workers are freed up to take on more cognitive, inclusive, and safer work. “Robots as a service” is creating new business models and more job opportunities for workers.

While the nature of work may be quickly changing, manufacturers and governments can ensure workers are prepared through training and education.

Robot Types for Industrial Applications

Industrial Robots


Industrial Robots

Traditional industrial robots operate at high speed and force with precision motion. They service a wide variety of end industries, ranging from compact, lightweight robots to massive robots capable of carrying heavy payloads such as vehicles.

Cobots


Cobots

Robots operating in collaborative applications are commonly referred to as ‘collaborative robots’ or ‘cobots’ and are designed with human safety in mind. Limited thresholds of power and force combined with environmental sensing capabilities allow cobots to safely and efficiently complete non-cognitive tasks alongside their human counterparts. Cobots are vital to workforce transformation, allowing intelligent assistants to complete repetitive tasks for their skilled human experts.

Autonomous Mobile Robots


Autonomous Mobile Robots

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are increasingly replacing traditional, driver operated factory floor vehicles and conveyor belts, enabling more flexible production systems, space savings and increased safety. Key requirements for AGV and AMR systems include localization, navigation, collision avoidance, safety and energy efficiency.

Industrial Robotics: New Trends, New Challenges

Recent trends in factory robots and cobots are enabling significant advances in productivity, efficiency, and worker safety. But with change comes new challenges. Learn how ADI helps partners and customers accelerate their path to Industry 4.0 using our next-generation solutions.

Watch the webinar

Robots as Job Creators: The Transforming Workforce

ADI’s Nicola O’Byrne is spotlighted in this Forbes article, discussing the impact of automation and robotics on workers and jobs, and the opportunities being created. She explains what the future of work holds, and what steps we should be taking now to prepare for that future.

Read the Forbes article

Technologies Fueling the Revolution

Analog Devices has been advancing our motion and robotics capabilities for decades. Our teams of domain experts are continuously innovating new technologies for robots and cobots for the factory floor and beyond. From motor drive and servo systems to sensing and connectivity, ADI offers full systems encompassing multiple technologies for subsystem elements. Our portfolio of technologies and solutions enable more intelligent and flexible robots, step-changing productivity and efficiency and improving how their human counterparts work.

How ADI’s technologies are advancing industrial robotics:

  • Fine position control accuracy and low latency for time critical synchronized motion systems increasing end product quality and reducing waste.
  • More compact, energy efficient servo drives, reducing robot size and power consumption, resulting in more productive and energy efficient, reduced emissions factories.
  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) enabling AGVs and AMRs to safely navigate factories and warehouses.
  • Solutions for optical and magnetic encoders for joint rotation and angular position feedback.
Diagram of an orange industrial robotic arm
  • Functional Safety
  • Grippers and End Effectors
  • Condition-based Monitoring
  • Sensing for Environmental Awareness
  • Position Sensing
  • Wired Connectivity
  • Drive/Inverter Control
  • Wireless Connectivity

Drive/Inverter Control

The demand for higher robotic and machine throughput requires faster servo drive response time and more precise axis synchronization. ADI has a long history of servo drive domain experience offering high performance closed loop servo drive solutions and platforms. Our industry-leading data conversion, power conversion and
iCoupler® magnetic isolation technology enable high performance motor control and robustness in the harshest electrical environments.

Condition-based Monitoring

Condition-based Monitoring enables early detection and diagnosis of machine and system abnormalities via real time monitoring. Vibration, current, temperature, and sound all provide key insights into the health of robots and machines. Vibration measurements further isolate mechanical noise from electrical noise, improving machine diagnostics. OtoSense AI™ platform uses human knowledge to label events and develop machine learning.

Position Sensing

Advance motion and robotic designs with high precision position feedback solutions. High resolution space constrained optical encoders require small high precision signal processing and robust communications. Magnetic angle sensors enable more robust, affordable medium resolution encoder solutions suited to the type of human assist tasks carried out by cobots.

Wired Connectivity

Multi-axis synchronization is critical in robotic applications. ADI Chronous™ portfolio of Industrial Ethernet solutions, including platforms, switches, and physical layer devices, supports all major Industrial Ethernet protocols and provides the multi-protocol flexibility, ease of use, and support. These future-proof products are for today’s Industrial Ethernet networks and tomorrow’s converged networks-based Time Sensitive Networking (TSN).

Functional Safety

Due to their force and power, robots previously were separated from workers and housed in safety cages. Now collaborative applications need robots, which are increasingly part of the factory floor, to interact directly with or in close proximity to humans. ADI has domain expertise in industrial functional safety standards including ISO13849, IEC 61496, ISO10218 and IEC 61508 which provide the design and application requirements for robots and guidelines on collaborative operation.

Go to Functional Safety page

Read the blog about Functional Safety

Sensing for Environmental Awareness

Smart factories of the future require immersive collaboration between human workers, robots, AGVs and automation equipment. Depth sensing solutions directly enhance industrial automation capabilities in machine vision. These are important for quality inspection, human safety, volumetric detection for asset management, and navigation for autonomous manufacturing. ADI’s industry leading solutions, such as 3D Time of Flight, enable depth sensing technologies to move towards highest-resolution enhanced systems designed for the harshest industrial environments.

Wireless Connectivity

Industrial applications require a proven and robust solution for wireless connectivity. Analog Devices offers the only wireless networks designed for the harshest industrial environments where low power, reliability, resilience, and scalability are key. In the future, 5G will be an enabler, directing robotic mobility around the factory floor and in remote locations.

Grippers and End Effectors

Smart grippers and end effectors extend the range of tasks robots can perform. With flexibility and productivity being key objectives of Industry 4.0, ease of use and quick tool changes are possible with plug and play connector interfaces. In addition, precise force and torque sensing and measurement allows for gains in productivity, such as appropriate component handling, optimal surface finishing, lead screw tightening, and many other applications.

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