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Low cost bench-top 5/6 axis general purpose articulated robot arm

R12 with electric gripper
shown with optional electric gripper and optional LED illumination (awareness barrier)




Features



Description


The R12-500 is a complete self-contained five (optional six ) axis vertically articulated robot arm system designed as a cost effective solution for bench top automation. Applications include testing, sample handling, machine feeding. The hand terminates in a mounting plate for grippers, vacuum cups etc.

R12 is a very low cost entry to robotics, fast, accurate and reliable and easy to program with a useful 500mm reach.
Designed by a young engineer building on our existing R17 technology it is a breakthrough in bench top robotics. Like the R17 it is a 5 axis articulated robot arm but with a 500mm reach. It is lighter, faster and quieter, using high efficiency digital motors driving through steel reinforced polyurethane timing belts. Optional incremental optical encoders provide exceptional integrity as well as safety (see below).

Do not let the low cost mislead you - this is not a hobby robot. It is a professional tool made to industrial standards of quality, reliability and performance, machined from solid alloy and finished with aesthetic acrylic covers. The system is supplied complete with controller, all cables, connectors, software, comprehensive manuals, ready to unpack and use immediately.

The K11 robot controller uses a partnership of CPU and DSP processors and compact high voltage micro-stepping drives providing both speed and precise control and is provided with a simple intuitive teach pad. The controller can also interface with or even control other equipment at the same time as the robot. Software is ROBOFORTH II which makes this robot really easy to get started with yet capable of the most complex tasks, assisted by RobWin project manager which brings everything together on one Windows screen.



Specifications

Drives:High power micro-stepped hybrid stepping motors,
optional encoder watchdogs
Reach: 500mm/20ins in any direction; 360 degree waist rotation
Repeatability:0.1mm (see note)
Payload:nominal 500g, max 1Kg (2.2lbs) at flange
(repeatability and speed degrade with increasing payload and reach).
Compliance:
droop at 250mm at nominal payload:
droop at max reach with max payload:

0.4mm
2.3mm
Maximum speed: Shoulder 180 deg/sec, Elbow 270deg/sec, Waist 180 deg/sec.
Standard cycle time: 2 secs.
Max torque for hand pitch or roll:2 Nm (repeatability figures degrade).
WeightRobot 12.8Kg/28lbs Controller 11kg/25lbs
Power: 110/240v ac 420VA (standard controller)
Temperature range:0 - 30C (wider range optional)
MTBF: 10,000 hours
Safety:Class 2 stop circuit, stall detect, risk assessment guide.
Optional high intensity red LEDs along the arm serve as awareness barrier.
Noise:Approx 40-50dB at 1m.
note: repeatability measured as a standard deviation of all 3 dimensions at 100% speed and zero payload over 24 hours after a 1 hour
warming up period. Figures for ISO 9283 available on request.

Videos

(click the thumbnail to view)
Searching for edges
non-youtube flash
6-axis version Moving glass tubes
non-youtube mp4
pushing buttons
more videos


Options

Encoders

The role of the encoders in the R17 and as an R12 level 1 option is as watchdogs. The loop is closed after completion of each individual motion which is not the same as servo control. The R12 encoder option comprises miniature optical incremental encoders fitted to each axis.
Without encoders the R12 will run accurately and indefinitely open loop without error thanks to micro-stepping drives and accurate transmission. But if the robot suffers a collision then the controller does not know and carries on with the program even though the robot could be out of position. Such collisions usually only occur accidentally during programming and rarely during normal running. It is necessary to run the calibrate routine after such a collision.
If the encoder option is not fitted ST provides a software solution in the form of a quick calibration check that can be included in every robot cycle or n cycles. If there is an error it is reported and the system stops.
A specially calibrated level 2 option is also available whereby the encoders accurately read back the position of the robot when de-energized. The robot can be positioned by hand and its position updated on pressing a key on the keypad. The kinematics software then computes the exact X-Y-Z position of the robot with the hand pitch and roll in degrees.

Grippers
As standard the robot terminates in a mounting flange (see diagrams below). End effectors currently include: electric gripper, SMC 10mm pneumatic gripper, vacuum pickups.
Note: pneumatic gripper is shown with special fingers made for a particular application, not part of the option. Fingers to suit the clients product may be made by the client or ST.
more





Sixth Axis

This is a simple solution that makes the 6th axis entirely optional as opposed to being an integral part of the design. Using a small motor and gearbox it is accurate and tough. Programming is an extension to the Cartesian functions of RoboForth. In this way the system can ensure the end effector points in the same direction (same orientation to X Y Z axes) as the robot moves around, or indeed in any direction you choose. see video



Linear track
up to 3m length, using a powerful motor and two recirculating crossed roller bearings.

High resolution or high speed options.
see video


12-axis system
comprising 2 R12 robots on a programmable carousel. Two robot controllers are interlinked to synchronize the two robots. The maximum number of axes in total is 13.

High resolution or high speed options.


Optional glove for hazardous environments.






Workspace

Arm comprises 2 limbs 250mm each plus 360 degrees base rotation.
Therefore the workspace is a sphere 1000mm (40ins) in diameter (not including the hand).
Base fixings to bench
Wrist flange (not to scale)

Warranty, Maintenance and Support

ST Robotics 2009-13