How much does a cartesian robot cost? (Prices in 2024)

March 21, 2024
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How much does a cartesian robot cost?

Cartesian robot prices can vary quite a bit depending on the size, speed, accuracy, and features

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between $20,000 to $100,000 or more for an industrial cartesian robot.

Smaller cartesian robots with 3 axes of motion and basic controls start around $20,000. These are good for simple pick and place or assembly tasks. 

Mid-range cartesian robots with higher precision and speed tend to cost $30,000 to $60,000. These are more suited for more complex manufacturing processes.

Higher-end cartesian robots with features like force control, vision systems, and faster speeds typically start around $70,000 and go up from there. These advanced robots are designed for precise, high-speed applications like electronics manufacturing. 

Now, keep in mind that some high-performance cartesian robots can cost $100,000 or more, depending on the customization and options.

Also, something to consider is that the robot itself is only part of the total cost. 

You'll also need to budget for things like:

  • Robot programming and integration: $5,000 to $30,000
  • End-of-arm tooling like grippers: $5,000 to $15,000
  • Safety equipment: $5,000 to $15,000
  • Installation and commissioning: $5,000 to $20,000

All in all, the total cost for a cartesian robot workcell with tooling and integration can easily exceed $200,000 for a high-end industrial model. 

But for many simple applications, you can get started for under $50,000 with a basic robot, gripper, and programming.

What to look for in a cartesian robot

When shopping for a cartesian robot, there are a few important factors to keep in mind before you swipe your credit card. 

Let’s take a look: 

  • How much can the robot lift? First, give some thought to the payload capacity. This refers to the maximum weight the robot can lift and move accurately. For most industrial uses, a payload of at least 5-10 kg is typical.

    Heavier payloads, up to 100 kg or more, are better for moving large components or assemblies.
  • How many axes does it have? Next, think about how many axes of motion you need. Cartesian robots typically have 3 to 6 axes. More axes provide greater flexibility and range of motion for more complex tasks.

    However, additional axes also increase the robot's size, cost, and overall programming complexity.
  • How accurate is it? Accuracy and repeatability are also extremely important. Accuracy refers to how closely the robot can move to a specified position. Meanwhile, repeatability means how precisely the robot can return to the same position repeatedly.

    For high-precision applications like electronics assembly, accuracy and repeatability within 0.1 mm are pretty much necessary. 
  • How do you even program the thing? The robot's controller and programming environment determine how easily you can program and operate the robot. Most cartesian robots are programmed using teach pendants that allow you to manually move the robot to desired waypoints.

    Some robot companies also offer intuitive drag-and-drop programming software that doesn’t require coding.

    Generally, easier programming means faster setup and changes to the robot's operations.
  • Other additional features to think about: Other useful features include collision detection to avoid crashes, vision systems for improved accuracy, and safety mechanisms like emergency stops.

    The specific features you need depend on your application and budget.

Budgeting for a cartesian robot

Here are the things you need to keep in mind before you make a purchase. 

Think long and hard on these, and you’ll be able to make a safe investment: 

  • Out-of-pocket money: The first aspect to budget for is the initial purchase price of the cartesian robot. Prices can vary enormously based on payload capacity, number of axes, and additional features.

    So, expect to shell out anywhere from a few thousand dollars for basic models to tens of thousands for advanced units with higher specifications.
  • Don’t forget to account for installation expenses: While cartesian robots are generally easier and less expensive to install than other types, factors like integration with existing systems and any necessary infrastructure modifications can add a bunch to the total cost.
  • What about the programming and software?: Budgeting for the programming interface and software is crucial. While some cartesian robots come with user-friendly programming environments, more complex applications may require specialized software or professional programming services.
  • Think about maintenance: Ongoing maintenance and occasional repairs will factor into the long-term budget. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the robot operating efficiently, and repair costs can vary depending on the complexity of the issues and parts needed.
  • Training is not cheap: Give some thought to the cost of training staff to operate and program the cartesian robot. While many models are designed for ease of use, proper training ensures that your team can maximize the robot’s capabilities and minimize downtime.

Finally, budget for potential additional features or future upgrades: Needs can evolve, and having funds allocated for adding capabilities like vision systems, increased payload capacity, or additional axes can massively extend the robot’s usefulness and adaptability.

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Comparing high-end vs budget cartesian robots

Now, you'll want to determine how much you can afford – or would want – to spend. 

As we’ve established, cartesian robots can range from a few thousand dollars up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for large industrial models.

Let’s take a look at a comparison:

Smaller desktop models

If you're a hobbyist, educator or small business, a small desktop cartesian robot is probably a safer choice. These typically range from $2,000 to $10,000. 

Popular models in this range include the Dobot Magician and uArm Swift Pro

These are perfect for learning robotics, light assembly tasks or DIY projects. They offer basic features like 3 or 4 axes of motion, simple programming software, and a compact, desktop-friendly size.

Mid-size industrial robots

For many small manufacturers, a mid-size cartesian robot in the $10,000 to $50,000 range fits the bill. These provide higher precision, more power, and greater flexibility for moderate automation projects. 

Brands like Epson, Yamaha, and Denso are well-known for fast, durable cartesian robots at the higher end of this range. 

These robots can handle much higher payloads of up to 100 kg and offer features like conveyor tracking, machine vision, and force control.

Larger-scale automated bots

If high throughput, heavy payloads, or fully automated systems are what you need, you’ll be looking at an investment of $50,000 or more. 

In this space, you’ll want to look into major brands of heavy-duty cartesian robots, such as ABB, KUKA, FANUC and Yaskawa. 

These industrial robots are designed for demanding, high-volume applications in sectors like automotive manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics

Six-figure price tags are common, yes, but so are fast cycle times, high precision, advanced software integration, and years of reliable operation.

Summing up

You don't have to open a second business just to fund your new cartesian robot. 

With the right research and planning, you can find an affordable model to suit your needs, whether you're an aspiring maker or an experienced industrial manufacturer.

Getting the features you want at the right cost just takes some savvy shopping. With the Cartesian design, you get an adaptable and useful robot without having to spend a million bucks. 

This careful budgeting can put this tech within reach. The benefits? All-around increased productivity and throughput, reduced risk of worker injury, and, of course, major profit increases! 

Next steps

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