What is a 6-axis robot? A simple guide

April 17, 2024
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The many advantages of 6-axis robots

Turns out, there’s a lot to love about 6-axis robots. Here are the main benefits of using one of these automated machines on your shop floor: 

  • Super-high dexterity levels. With six axes of motion (degrees of freedom), these robots can reach around obstacles and access confined spaces more easily than robots with fewer axes. Their "arms" have a greater range of motion that allows them to maneuver as deftly as a human arm. This makes them well-suited for tasks that require a high degree of dexterity and flexibility.
  • Top-tier precision levels. The additional axes also provide more precise control and movement. 6-axis robots can make very small, controlled motions to grasp, place, and manipulate objects with a high degree of accuracy.

    This precision is important for applications like electronics assembly, biomedical devices, and quality inspections where tolerances are very tight.
  • Near-zero interference. Compared to articulated robots with fewer axes, 6-axis robots have a smaller "footprint" and take up less space on the production floor. Their compact design, with joints that can rotate 360 degrees, means they can operate within a confined area without interfering with other equipment or robots.

    This can help maximize available space in an automated production facility.
  • Skyrocketing productivity. The combination of flexibility, precision, and very low interference means that 6-axis robots can typically perform tasks faster and more efficiently than other types of robots because they can work pretty much forever without needing to reposition themselves as frequently.

    For many manufacturing applications, this improved productivity and speed can result in lower costs and way higher output.

Applications and industries using 6-axis robots

6-axis robots are already used to great success across a wide variety of industries. 

Let’s take a look: 

  • Auto manufacturing: 6-axis robots are great at welding, painting, assembly, and material handling tasks within the auto industry.
  • Putting electronics together: Their precision and adaptability make them a perfect choice for complex tasks like circuit board assembly, component placement, and soldering.
  • High-quality food and drink production: 6-axis robots handle packaging, palletizing, quality inspection, and even food preparation tasks. Some are even more precise than the most skilled chef.
  • Logistics and warehousing: These versatile robots streamline picking, packing, sorting, palletizing, and depalletizing processes, which is a big win for warehouse efficiency.
  • Med and pharmaceutical: 6-axis robots help out in surgical procedures, laboratory automation, and packaging and handling of sensitive medical materials.

How much does a 6-axis robot arm cost?

The cost of a 6-axis robot arm can vary quite a bit depending on several factors. While there are 6-axis robots under $5,000, a typical lightweight manufacturing six-axis robot will go from $25,000 to $50,000, depending on the payload. 

But if you’re looking for a heavy-duty arm? Costs can rise upwards of $500k.

Why such variation, though? Let’s take a look at the factors influencing price: 

  • Robot specs: Payload capacity, reach, number of axes, and controller type directly impact cost. Expect to pay more for heavier-duty models (think 500+ kg capacity), long reach, 6-axis flexibility, and advanced controllers.
  • Add-ons: Factor in necessary components like end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), safety systems, conveyors, and potentially vision systems. These can add $10,000 to $200,000 or more to the overall investment.
  • Installation & services: Include programming, installation, testing, and training costs in your budget. These services typically range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Top-end robots, like RO1 from Standard Bots, offer a great bang-for-your-buck option with a cost-effective price, and a lease model with training and support included. 

This can save you a ton of money.

Summing up

Now you know all about 6-axis robot arms and what makes them tick. 

With their amazing skill, dexterity, and precision, it's no wonder these bots are being deployed across so many industries. 

But keep in mind that bringing one on board requires careful planning and investment. If the use case is right, though, a 6-axis arm could be a total miracle for your shop floor. 

Next steps

Dive into accessible automation with RO1 from Standard Bots, a powerful 6-axis robot suitable for businesses of all sizes. 

  • Automation that doesn’t break the bank: RO1 delivers essential automation features to streamline processes and boost productivity.
  • Maximize efficiency, not headaches: The RO1's 6-axis arm and best-in-class 18 kg payload capacity ensure the precision and speed your business demands. 
  • Collaboration? Check!: Advanced safety features promote seamless teamwork between humans and robots.
  • AI-powered adaptability: With an AI brain that stands toe-to-toe with GPT-4, RO1 evolves with your team.

Our team supports you every step of the way, maximizing the impact of your RO1 investment. Experience the difference – try RO1 risk-free for 30 days!

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