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Components of Robots: What Makes a Robot?

The robot’s structure is often mostly mechanical and it’s known as a kinematic chain, which is functionally the same to the human body’s skeleton. The chain is actually formed of links, actuators, and joints that can enable 1 or more degrees of freedom. Several robots use the open serial chains in which every link is connected to the one before to another after it. The robots used as manipulators basically have a mounted end effectors on its last link. The end effectors could be anything from the welding device to mechanical hand used in manipulating the environment.

But, what are the main parts of robots? What are the important components of a robot?

Well, a robot has different components or parts, but it may vary depending on the functionality of a certain robot. Below are some of the robot parts:

The robots get feedback from the sensors that mimic a person’s senses like video cameras and devices known as light-dependent resistors, which function like the eyes. Microphones are also used and serve as ears. Several robots have touch, smell, and taste sensors. The CPU of the robot interprets signals from such sensors as well as adjusts the actions accordingly.

  • Control System

Arduino: CPU of the Robots

The control system of a robot uses feedback like the human brain does. Yet, rather than collecting neurons, the brain of a robot consists of the silicon chip known as a CPU or central processing unit, which is similar to the chip that operates your computer. One’s brains decide how to react and what to do based on the feedback from the five senses. The CPU of the robot does the same thing, which is based on the collected data by the devices known as sensors.


  • Actuators

The device should have a body that it could move in reaction to feedback from the installed sensors. The bodies of a robot consist of plastic, metal, and other similar materials. Inside such bodies are the actuators, which are basically the small motors that mimic the human muscle’s action to move the parts of the body of the robot. The simplest robots have an arm with an attached tool for a certain task. Robots that are more advanced might move around on treads or wheels.

  • End Effectors

To carry out the assigned tasks and interact with the environment, the robots are equipped with the tools known as end effectors. Such differences in accordance with the tasks that the robot has been made to carry out. For instance, the robot factory workers have tools that are interchangeable. Such tools are welding torches and paint sprayers. The mobile robots like probes sent to some planets and bomb disposal robots frequently have a universal gripper, which mimics the human hand’s function.

  • Power Supply

Robots should have power for them to function. Human beings eat foods to get the energy they need and once such foods were broken down and converted to energy by the cells in the body, human beings will have the energy to accomplish daily tasks. But, unlike humans, the majority of the robots get their energy from their power supply. The stationary robotic arms may be plugged in like an appliance. Usually, the robots are battery-powered.

There are other parts of robots. It may vary from one robot to another as it depends on its functionality or purpose.

I’m an electrical engineer and a part-time blogger. I love to Play around with electronic parts (build small robots of any kind). I try to post information that can help others.


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