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Designing the Right Pedestal for Your Collaborative Robots

Collaborative robots are making strong inroads on manufacturing floors all across the globe. One of the most frequent pieces of equipment for which we provide design assistance to customers are robot pedestals. In this blog we share our top eight design considerations.

Marc-Andre Kyer Application Engineering Lead / Mar 12th, 2018

Collaborative robots are making strong inroads on manufacturing floors all across the globe. Everyday at Vention, we hear about new use cases for cobots, most of which require custom equipment to adapt to their respective environments. Whether it's part presentation fixtures, pedestals or complete robotic cells, we have helped hundreds and hundreds of users design the equipment they need to get the most out of their cobot investment.

One of the most frequent pieces of equipment for which we provide design assistance to customers is robot pedestals. In their simplest form, cobot pedestals could be trivial to design. However, a more attentive look reveals some complexity that cannot be ignored.

Below is the list of our top eight design considerations when helping clients with their cobot pedestal.

8 Design Considerations for Collaborative Robot Pedestals

Considerations Rational Example
Should the pedestal withstand light-duty or heavy-duty applications? Use a light-duty pedestal for applications where the robot doesn’t operate at any of its limits in terms of peak acceleration, arm extension or payload. Tradeshow pedestals are the most frequent use case. Use a heavy-duty pedestal for use cases where the robot operates at its full potential and where robot stability is required.
How wide should be the robot base? Design the pedestal so that the components in contact with the floor (i.e., leveling feet or caster wheels) are positioned within a calculated 18° cone, which starts from the center of mass of the entire cobot and pedestal assembly. Make sure to include the robot’s maximum payload in the calculation.
Should the pedestal have a fixed or telescopic height? Use fixed height for a simple, low-cost design. Create a telescopic design for adaptability, as it provides an additional degree of freedom to optimize the robot cell productivity.
Should the robot arm be mounted “flat” or at an angle? Use a flat configuration when the robot’s working area is horizontal and has to be 270° to 360 °. Position the robot at an angle to increase the robot arm’s reach in a particular direction (e.g., CNC lather unloading).
Should the pedestal be mounted on leveling feet, floor anchors or caster wheels? Floor anchors are bolted to the ground, hence providing highly stable designs where robots can easily extend well beyond the base without tipping over. Use leveling feet when drilling into the ground is prohibited. Although not the most solid mounting option, they allow for easy calibration of the assembly given their adjustable height. Lastly, use caster wheels with brakes for applications where the stand needs to be moved frequently. Designs based on caster wheels are often used in conjunction with floor locating pins for proper positioning of the equipment.
Should the pedestal have floor locating pins? Use floor locating pins for agile robot cell setup where the cobot is often moved from one workspace to another. Floor locating pins enable quick removal and precise re-positioning of the entire cobot pedestal, minimizing alignment error.
Should the pedestal includes a pallet or tray locator? Use pallet or tray locators for palletizing operations. These enable human operators to act as end stops to precisely position various types of pallets or trays relative to the pedestal. Repeatable positioning of the pallet and tray minimize position errors that can found in palletizing applications.
Should the robot controller box be attached to the pedestal? Mount the controller box directly to the pedestal for easy transportation of the entire cobot. Given its weight and position of the assembly, it lowers the overall center of gravity and can provide higher stability of the pedestal.

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