While robots do not look all that much like human beings yet, using anatomical names for robotics parts makes it easier to understand how they function. Using a nomenclature with comparable parts of the human body helps make it clear just what the robotic part does. One such example is robot wrists, a part that functions remarkably similar in function if not quite in look to the human wrist.
The Robotic Wrist in Action
Robotic wrists normally connect the robotic arm to an end effector, usually a gripper that holds whatever object or tool the robot is using and manipulating. In some cases, with robots that have a fixed function, the wrist simply connects the arm to the robot’s tool itself.
While the robotic arm’s function is to move those objects and tools from one place to another, the robotic wrist’s function is to properly aim those tools and objects for the work the robot is doing, usually by rotating, twisting, or angling up and down on a hinge, or all of the above. Unlike the larger joints of the arm, the robotic wrist normally has two or three smaller, compact joints, making this robotic part a smaller one in most cases.
Things to Consider About Robot Wrist Functionality
- The weight it will need to bear – to be sure the robotic wrist as well as the rest of the body can properly handle all the jobs it will need to perform.
- How many joints does it need and which types – it is important to consider along what axes the robot wrist will need to move, how precise it will need to position the tools and objects the robot is working with, and if it needs to rotate, move horizontally, move vertically, or all three.
- Compatibility – the robot wrist will need to be compatible with the arm and the grip, if there is one, or the tool serving as the end effector. A company buying all of its manipulator parts from one place or using the same brand and model is a good idea, but regardless, it is important to verify compatibility, and make sure things can be fitted and connected correctly. Finally, it is also important to be sure the robotic wrist and its functionality is compatible with the job at hand.