What are the Different Types of Industrial Robots?

What are the different types of industrial robots

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Globally, around 2.7 million Industrial Robots are working right now.

But I will be brutally honest, the different types of Industrial Robots have a high initial capital cost, but they also bring down the operating cost significantly. 

Let me simplify it further.  

What I mean is that Industrial Robots have high purchasing or instalment costs. But, once installed, they significantly reduce the day-to-day costs of an organisation by increasing production efficiency, improving safety, better precision, reducing waste of raw materials, and excellent quality. 

Industrial Robots increase profit and productivity in the manufacturing sector worldwide. The entry of the new 40000 industrial robots into the market makes total sense from a business and profit point of view.

So let’s find out what are the different types of Industrial Robots and their various applications. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Get to Know the Meaning of Industrial Robots 
  • Learn about 7 Types of Industrial Robots
  • Applications of Different Industrial Robots

What are Industrial Robots?

As the name indicates, Industrial Robots carry out different manufacturing tasks across many sectors. 

Industrial Robots are automatic mechanical machines programmed to perform production and manufacturing tasks. They are highly effective in providing high speed, getting costs down, and increasing the overall productivity of a business.   

These automated robotic machines can work in the following ways:

  • Welding, material handling, assembly, disassembly, packaging, etc., in various industries. 
  • A highly dangerous area like the manufacturing or testing of explosive materials. 
  • Speedy manufacturing of products and their sub-parts.
  • Hygiene and cleaning.  
  • Medical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries, etc. 

Also read: What Is Robotics? 12 Latest Robotics Examples

What are the different types of industrial robots?

  1. Cartesian 
  2. SCARA Robots
  3. Articulated Robots
  4. ​​Cylindrical Robots
  5. Delta Robots
  6. Polar Robots
  7. Collaborative Robots

Let’s dive deeper into industrial robots:

1. Cartesian 

This robot is defined as X Y Z because it moves in X, Y, and Z directions and has a rectangular configuration.

Mechanical robots are also known as rectilinear or gantry robots. It is primarily used to move heavy objects across horizontal and vertical lanes using a robotic arm. 

Applications of Cartesian Robot are:

  • Process to Process Transfer
  • Loading and Unloading
  • Material Handling
  • Assembly 
  • Nuclear Material Handling
  • Adhesive Applications
  • Depalletising
  • Spot Welding

2. SCARA Robots

SCARA robots (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arms) are mostly used for high-speed assembly work, as they are specially designed for lateral movements. 

These are equipped with both x, y, z and rotary motion, making them a better substitute for Cartesian or Cylindrical Robots.  

These robots are best suited for the work of repeatable actions.  

Applications of SCARA Robots:

  • Assembly of products and their sub-parts
  • Bio-med applications 
  • Packaging
  • Screw Tightening
  • Laser Engraving
  • Machine Loading
  • Palletizing
  • Product Inspection

3. Articulated Robots

This Industrial Robot contains rotary joints and utilises four or Sixaxis. Its mechanical configuration and movement resemble human arms. Even though they are the oldest type of Industrial Robots, they are still one of the most common Industrial Robots because of their flexible production line operations.

Applications of Articulated Robots:

  • Arc Welding
  • Glass Handling
  • Machine Loading
  • Steel Cutting
  • Spot Welding
  • Palletising
  • Part Transferring

Take a Look: What Are Xenobots?

4. Cylindrical Robots

Cylindrical Robots are best for limited workspace because of their compact size and provide rotary movement along with vertical and horizontal linear direction.

These are used for simple tasks such as material picking, rotation, and placement. 

Applications of Cylindrical Robots:

  • Die Casting
  • Die-Casting Machines
  • Heavy Loading and Unloading
  • Parts Assembly 
  • Other Assembly Operations

5. Delta Robots

Delta robots are known as “parallel link robots” because they have three arms that meet at one joint at the bottom. Their structure enables high-speed functionality, thus enabling them to be used in high-speed orientation work, specifically picking and packaging in factories, food, pharmaceutical, and electronic industries.

These robots are very light in weight, which also facilitates a smaller footprint, higher safety, better productivity, and remarkable speed.

Applications of Delta Robots:

  • Medical/Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Cosmetics Industry 
  • Automobile Simulators
  • High-precision Assembly
  • Optical Fiber Alignment
  • Adhesive Dispensing

6. Polar Robots

These robots are claimed to be  one of the first types of Industrial Robots that were developed in 1950.  

Polar Robots have two rotary joints and one combined joint; they take the form of a sphere, thus, are also known as spherical robots.

They require very little floor space, can flexibly reach above or below obstacles, and are also capable of managing large work volumes with a 360 degrees range of motion.  

Applications of Polar Robots:

  • Die Casting
  • Machine Tool Tending
  • Injection Molding
  • Arc and Gas Welding
  • Glass Handling
  • Painting Systems

Know More: How To Make Robots At Home: 5 Easy Steps

7. Collaborative Robots 

Collaborative Robots, otherwise known as cobots, as their name implies, are designed to work in collaboration with humans.

They are responsible for repetitive, menial tasks under human supervision. 

They improve speed, efficiency, and productivity in operations with assistance of humans. 

Applications of Collaborative Robots:

  • Dispensing
  • Finishingachine Tending
  • Assembling
  • Welding
  • Quality Inspections

Also read: 7 Latest Types Of Robots Used In Various Fields In 2022


Industrial Robots are becoming more and more capable and smart. Empowering the robotics and automation industry will benefit humans in cutting down the workload. 

Years ago, such robots were part of only fiction, and then came to reality as half-automated, then transformed into fully automated ones. 

From an industrial point of view, Industrial Robots are profit-making and cost-saving machines. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

1. What are the 3 most common types of Industrial Robots used?

Cartesian, articulated robots and cobots are the three main industrial robots. 

2. What is an Industrial Robot?

Industrial Robots are programmed to carry out multiple manufacturing tasks across many different sectors and industries. 

3. What are the main parts of Industrial Robots?

There are five main parts: a controller, sensors, a robotic manipulator, an end-effector, and a drive and controller is the brain of the robot. 

4. Which was the first Industrial Robot?

The Unimate was the first Industrial Robot.  

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