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Multiposition Z-Axis Actuator for a Robot

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038719D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-31
Document File: 3 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Beitler, SM: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A robot controls a multiposition Z-axis actuator through its digital in (DI) and digital out (DO) switches. A robot 1, such as an IBM 7535 or 7540 robot, for example, has a casting 2 attached thereto by screws 3. The casting 2 supports an electric motor 4 having its output shaft connected through a trans mission 5, which also is supported by the casting 2, to rotate a threaded shaft within a hollow tube 6. The threaded shaft within the hollow tube 6 has a thrust bearing movable vertically when the threaded shaft rotates and is connected to a shaft 7 so that rotation of the threaded shaft within the hollow tube 6 causes the shaft 7 to move up or down depending on the direction of rotation of the motor 4.

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Multiposition Z-Axis Actuator for a Robot

A robot controls a multiposition Z-axis actuator through its digital in (DI) and digital out (DO) switches. A robot 1, such as an IBM 7535 or 7540 robot, for example, has a casting 2 attached thereto by screws 3. The casting 2 supports an electric motor 4 having its output shaft connected through a trans mission 5, which also is supported by the casting 2, to rotate a threaded shaft within a hollow tube 6. The threaded shaft within the hollow tube 6 has a thrust bearing movable vertically when the threaded shaft rotates and is connected to a shaft 7 so that rotation of the threaded shaft within the hollow tube 6 causes the shaft 7 to move up or down depending on the direction of rotation of the motor 4. This vertical movement of the shaft 7 is transferred to a Z-axis splined shaft 8 through a connector 9 to produce similar vertical movement of the splined shaft 8. The lower end of the shaft 8 supports a junction box 10 through an adapter 11. The junction box 10 has a pair of vacuum cups 12 (one shown) extending from opposite sides thereof and supported thereon by vacuum tubes (not shown) with the junction box 10 applying the vacuum to the vacuum cups 12 through the vacuum tubes from a vacuum line 13. When the robot 1 moves to a position in which the shaft 8 is above an article 14 to be picked up, the motor 4 is energized to move the shaft 8 downwardly. With a varying height of the articles 14 in a stack, downward movement of the shaft 8 is stopped by a switch (not shown) extending downwardly from the bottom of the junction box 10 and having its lower end in the same horizontal plane as the bottoms of the vacuum cups 12. When this switch contacts the top of the article 14 to be picked up, the movement of the switch stops the motor 4. Then, the robot 1 has its controller turn on the vacuum. When the vacuum cups 12 have the desired vacuum to grasp the article 14, the controller of the robot 1 causes energization of the motor 4 to raise the shaft 8. This upward motion continues until a reed switch 15 is activated by a magnet (not shown) on the thrust bearing, which is moved vertically by the threaded shaft...

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