Introduction to robot manipulator arms


In this lecture, we are going to talk about robot arms. In particular, we are going to talk about the relationship between the joints in a robot's arm and the pose of the robot end effector. So as I've moved the various joints in my own arm we can say that the pose of the end of my arm changes, right?

So what we're going to do is how this works for a robot arm which typically comprises a number of joints. In a robot's arm, they vary, they have different numbers of joints, some robot arms might have only 3 joints, some robot arms might have 6 joints and some might have 10 joints, could have a 100 joints.

There are also two different sorts of joints that robot arms have. There are joints that are called Prismatic joints. These are joints that slide or elongate. And there are joints that are rotating joints, like the joints that I have in my own arm. So we call these sort of rotating joints Revolute joints and the sliding or telescoping joints we called Prismatic joints.

So here are some pictures of a number of different types of robot arms that exist. This is just a very small sample of a very very large number of robot arms that exist within the world.

We are going to work through some of these examples, look at them, look at the number of joints that they have, the different types of joints that they have and then work on the mathematical description, the mathematical relationship between the joint angles and the robot end effector pose.

We introduce serial-link robot manipulators, the sort of robot arms you might have seen working in factories doing tasks like welding, spray painting or material transfer. We will learn how we can compute the pose of the robot’s end-effector given knowledge of the robot’s joint angles and the dimensions of its links.

Professor Peter Corke

Professor of Robotic Vision at QUT and Director of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV). Peter is also a Fellow of the IEEE, a senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and on the editorial board of several robotics research journals.

Skill level

This content assumes only general knowledge.

More information...

Rate this lesson


Leave a comment