Robotics Glossary

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A-AxisThe axis that passes from front to back around the X-Axis.
Absolute Data/ABSO DataAbsolute Data or ABSO Data is a set of records that allows the encoder to retain its path in relation to its home position in case the robot loses power.
Absolute Pulse Code System (APC)The APC stores encoder pulse counts via RAM when the robot is turned off. When the robot is turned on, the robot calibrates its self.
AccuracyNot the same as repeatability, accuracy is the difference between the location that the robot is programmed to go to and where the robot actually goes. A calibrated robot will have a better accuracy than a non-calibrated robot. Preventative maintenance can ensure accuracy throughout the life of the robot.
Active ComplianceA robot that changes its planned behavior in response to a signal from the force sensor.
Actual PositionThe position or location of the tool control point. Note that this will not be exactly the same as the demand position due to a multitude of un-sensed errors (such as link deflection, transmission irregularity, tolerances in link lengths, etc.)
ActuatorA mechanism that converts electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic signals into an actual robotic motion.
Adhesive GripperEnd of arm tooling that consists of an adhesive strip that sticks to the objects the robot is working with. To remain tacky and to ensure a grip, the adhesive strip is fed through the tooling and is discarded after use.
AlgorithmA fixed set of steps given to acquire a given result.
Alternating CurrentAlso known as AC or AC motors, Alternating Current is energy provided to the robotic system via a transformer.
Ampere (Amp)Measurement of an electrical charge per second.
AmplifierSee also Servo drive, a mechanical devices that responds to a signal from the control system, amplifies the signal and returns a current to the servo motor that increases the motion equal to the signal.4
AmplitudeThe measurement between the highest point of a wave to the zero line (or rest line) or the measurement between the lowest point of a wave to the zero line on a graph. Measurement is taken from zero and up or zero and down, not from lowest to highest.
AnalogA measurable system or process that consists of continuously changing values or quantities. Example: Voltage, resistance, or length.
Analog to Digital Value (A/D) ValueConversion of the analog signal (voltage/current) to digital values that can be understood by a microprocessor.3
ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute – A non-profit organization that oversees the industry standards. Standards help both integrators and users by specifying safety requirements, performance characteristics, interfaces, etc. Their Mission Statement: “To enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.”1
ANSI/RIA 15.06 – 1999Created to protect integrators, installers, manufacturers and the end users, the ANSI/RIA 15.06 – 1999 is the guideline for safety when working around robotic systems.
Arc WeldingThe use of heat produced from an electrical power source to combine two or more pieces of metal together.
ArcMateName for Fanuc’s line of Arc Welding Robots.
ArmThe arm can be considered the whole of the moving parts of a robot or can be considered just one piece on an industrial robot.
Articulated RobotA robotic arm that is broken into sections by “joints.” Each of the joints represents a degree of freedom in the system and allows motion.
ArticulationThe movement of a jointed manipulator. The joints or wrists allow rotation on the Y-axis (or the vertical axis) which increases its ability to reach a certain destination.
ASCIIAmerican Standard Code for Information Interchange. A numerical code used in computer programming for the letters of the alphabet, number 0-9 and punctuation marks and other characters. (114 111 98 111 116 is ASCII for “robot”)
Assembly RobotA robot used in the manufacturing sector to fit smaller components together to form a larger object.
Attended Program VerificationWhen an operator/end user is inside the working envelope/restricted area of the robotic cell and checks the robot’s tasks at the programmed speed.5
Automatic Operation Mode when robotic cells perform pre-programmed tasks without supervision5
AutomationIntegration of robotics into a production line with the intent to remove a dirty, dangerous, or repetitive tasks and improve quality, turnaround time, and efficiency.
AxisAn invisible line used to identify the location or movement abilities of a robotic arm. Also a word used to identify robots, for example, KC Robotics can integrate 3, 4, 5, and 6 axis robots.
Axis Control ModuleMechanism that allows the robot to move more than one axis at a time.