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    Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

Mitchell Hutchins Inc.

There are basically two classes of robots:

Non-servo controlled robots in

end but

points of each axis.

Many

only

to

these

end

points.

which the tool center different motions can There is no provision

point can stop only at the be programmed in sequence, for acceleration or deceleration.

Servo controlled robots are to stop at any point within flowing through servovalves eration to be achieved.

far more sophisticated and can generally be programmed

its range of movement.

Motion is controlled by oil

or

by

D.C.

motors,

allowing

acceleration

or

decel-

Robot control usually takes two forms --point to point and continuous path. A point to point robot can be programmed to stop at predetermined points, but move-

ment is not controlled between these points. an irregular path exactly.

A continuous path robot can follow

Low technology robots can often complete a task as well as the more sophisticated models. The Japanese appear more acutely aware of this and tend to concentrate on implementing existing

technology.

trate three

the key

Above all,

the industrial robot must be

manufacturing world.

Our discussions

with

characteristics

required

by

users:

a practical device to successfully pene- many industrial manufacturers indicates

1. Flexibility of applications, either in the area of (material) handling or as a processor (painting, welding, etc.).

2.

High level of reliability with a minimum of downtime.

3.

Ease of teaching, either with on or off line programmability, teach boxes.

usually with

Who Would Use

Robots:

How

and

Why

In 1979 the RIA estimated that six industry segments accounted for the bulk of unit robot shipments in the U.S.

Table 4:

1979 Estimated Unit Shipments

Automotive Casting/Foundry Heavy Manufacturing Light Manufacturing Electrical/Electronic Aerospace Other

Total

249

18

298

21

138

10

513

37

156

11

13

1

33

2

1,400

100

Units

% of Total

RIA . Source:

As the majority of robots installed in the U.S.

today are low or medium technology devices,

the of

analysis

industry

segments,

of user purchases of robots by value

with

the

automotive

industry

cl

industry

sector

appears

to

be

developing

along

the

would early lines

probably yield a

in

front.

Our

different hierarchy end use market by

of

the

Japanese

industry

(Table

6).

6

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