How Are Robots Programmed Today?

Robots Programmed

The advancement of technology has changed the methods of implementing robotic programming. In the current robotic programming industry, there are maybe two or three methods of programming machines automatically.

Nowadays, robotic programming is not just mere codes as it was back then. Instead, it has advanced into more unrestricted methods in an attempt to simplify the task at hand for technicians who may not have all the relevant details about a particular machine.

This means the robots that you will come across today are exceedingly top-notch with regard to the technologies they use. However, not all robot manufacturers can be able to program the robots they create. Some robots don’t have any programming embedded in them.

Robots are built in various shapes, specifications and sizes. The major differentiator is the speed and work areas. Some of these machines can be programmed, including palletizing robots, assembly line robots, packaging robots, dispensing robot, among others. First, let’s look at the methods of programming mechanical robots and the various kind of robots you can program.

The Primary Techniques of Programming Robots Include:

Offline Programming

Offline programming usually is used in automated tech to ensure that cutting-edge control designs function well, before proceeding to use them on a robot. Offline programming means that the robot can only be stopped when the program is updating or doing preliminary checks.

What are the Benefits of Offline Programming?

  • It decreases a robot’s downtime during programming.
  • It is intuitive for CAD model-guided machines.

What Are the Shortcomings of Offline Programming?

  • A lot of time wastage during the testing phase.
  • It needs more time since the technician has to formulate a simulation package.


This technique involves moving the machine with a joystick that is attached to the robot or power sensor. The technician records each point of rotation on the computer. This makes it easy for the technician to decrease the time taken to complete a task.

What are the Benefits of Demonstration?

  • It’s faster than teach pendant since technicians don’t have to click many buttons.
  • It’s very impulsive, and tasks are programmed to function like human doings.

What Are the Shortcomings of Demonstration?

  • This method is severe, meaning it doesn’t cut downtime like offline programming does.
  • It’s not perfect for naturally algorithmic tasks

Teach Pendant

It’s the most widely used robotic programming method, with over 80% of current robots using it. Teach pendant is deployed to move a robot to the perfect position manually. The advantage of this method is that that the robot is guided using positional data.

This programming method has been used for many years. Back then, teach pendants were merely boxes and controllers that had a magnetic tape. Nowadays, teach pendants are equipped with displays.

What are the Benefits of Teach Pendant?

  • This method is capable of adapting to its present user.
  • This method is perfect for simple movements.
  • Technicians like this method because most robots support it.
  • This method can be customized using position data.

What Are the Shortcomings of Teach Pendant?

  • During programming, if the machine is configured to teach mode, all processes are stopped until the task is completed.


In lead-through programming, the machine is hovered over a fragment by a technician. This method was very common back then; however, it is declining because gigantic robots have become the norm in the manufacturing environment.

This is immensely challenging to the technician, and it increases the odds of blunders during programming. It is useful because once programming is completed, it can be repeated, and the machine can finish the task autonomously. It’s perfect for algorithmic tasks

Which Types of Robots Can Be Programmed?

Cartesian Robots

Cartesian robots are also known as 3-axis, linear, or gantry robots. These are the most widely mass-produced robots. This is because they are easy to program and use, and their structures are flexible, thereby allowing users to adjust speed and thrust.

Cartesian robots operate on a three-linear axis system. This implies they move straight on three axes. These machines also have an extensive range of operation

Cylindrical Robots

In terms of movement, these machines are comparable to Cartesian robots. Cylindrical robots have one round limb that bonds all the attachments and another limb that revolves at the base. These machines have a prism-shaped work with a rotating tube and an elastic arm that moves perpendicularly.

Cylindrical robots offer matching and vertical linear motions as well as rotating motions around the vertical axis. In addition, the non-intrusive outline of the end-effector enables it to maneuver tight workspaces without compromising on speed and repetitiveness.

Servo Robots

Today a servo robot can give you the exact part handling capacity of a 6-axis robot. This is because both these robots have similar payload capacities, but their structures are different because a servo robot uses the X, Y, and Z axes which is not the case in a 6-axis robot. The servo limb at the terminal of the perpendicular limb is where you can see the variation.

Rather than moving the entire zero to ninety or zero to one hundred and eighty degrees, respectively, a 5-axis robot can navigate through any share of these axes, and the motions can be done concurrently. As a matter of fact, 5-axis robots can move in all five planes at any moment, all while having complete control of tasks

Parallel Robots

These machines are commonly known as parallel controllers. This is because a group of machine-controlled cables supports the end effector. One of the best real-life examples of parallel robots is flight simulators. Aspiring pilots use them to build on their flight knowledge by mimicking real-life scenarios.

Final Thought

To sum it all up, there are several ways in which you can program a robot, as illustrated above. This kind of program to use in this process all comes down to the type of robot that’s being programmed and the tasks the robot is intended to perform after being programmed