Robotic arms are machines that are programmed to execute a specific task or job quickly, efficiently, and extremely accurately. Generally motor-driven, they’re most often used for the rapid, consistent performance of especially heavy/delicate and highly repetitive procedures over extended periods of time. They’re especially valued in the industrial production, manufacturing, machining and assembly sectors.
Most robotic arms used for industrial production, assembly, or pick and place applications have 4-6 articulating joints designed to mimic the basic functionality of the human arm and hand. Common types of industrial, programmable robot arms include Cartesian, polar, cylindrical and SCARA arms, each of which operates within a differently shaped and coordinated ‘envelope’ of physical space in order to perform its main tasks - you can read more about each of these robot types at the end of this guide.
To explore this subject in greater detail, see our robotic arms guide.