Path planning for industrial robots is an essential aspect of the overall performance of automation systems. Industrial robot path planning is comprised of various algorithms, often created before the robot is even installed, that dictate its motion.
Essentially, path planning algorithms determine how an industrial robot arm should approach a part, how it should process a part, and how it should orient itself for optimal productivity and to avoid collisions. Industrial robot path planning is a necessary component of a productive automation system, making it vitally important to ensure path planning is accurate, safe, and efficient.
Offline Programming of Robot Path Planning
In most instances, a robot’s path planning is completed before it’s installed, but always before it tackles a new task. This is typically done in an offline programming environment leveraging realistic simulations of the robot’s working conditions. In this way, programmers can predict and account for automation variables that arise in the work environment and plan the robot’s path accurately.
Offline programming quickly became a go-to tool for robot integrators, and a highly desirable attribute for robot users, because it drastically reduced the time it took to teach a robot’s a certain path. Now, most robot paths are planned this way.
The Role of Proper Robot Path Planning in Production
When robot path planning is completed properly, the industrial robot can effectively carry out the tasks in front of it. Robot path planning plays an important part in:
- Robot Accuracy: a robot’s path needs to be meticulously planned in order for it to productively process a part with little or no error.
- Task Repeatability: once a robot’s path is well-defined it can repeat the same task thousands of times without variation to help accelerate throughput.
- Product Quality: when products are created with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability, there are fewer mistakes and higher consistency, leading to higher overall quality products.
Robot path planning is critically important for a robot to be able to carry out its assigned tasked, and in this way plays a very important role in production.
Diving deeper into robot path planning, there are many efficiencies to be found, particularly when optimizing the way a robot picks, places or performs other related tasks. To get a more advanced overview of robot path planning and how this can benefit your operations, register for our free webinar, “Robotic Path Planning.”