Abstract: An adaptable, programmable production system for manufacturing articles in which a plurality of operations are required includes an electronically programmable robot having a controllable arm with an end effector disposed thereon. The robot is placed proximate a surface, preferably movable, to be used for the assembly of the articles. A passive, non-interactive storage tray is provided proximate the robot and within range of the extended robot arms. The end effector disposed on the distal end of the robot arm may be programmed to remove and replace a particular tool, component or any of the implement or component from the storage trays, bins or from a moving conveyor when within range and may be utilized to perform a plurality of functions, such as inserting components into the article being manufactured, or performing multiple operations thereon by exchanging tools.
Abstract: An exchangeable multiple function end effector tool suitable for use on the distal end of a robotic end effector includes, in combination; a device for removably affixing the multiple function and effector tool onto a pair of extending fingers provided on a robotic end effector. The multiple function tool is provided with an apparatus for acquiring a first element or component and releasably retaining same and further incorporates a second gripping device which is capable of acquiring a second element or component and releasably retaining same in the tool. Provision is made for engaging and disengaging the elements either separately or in unison. Movement, assembly or disassembly of the elements remains a function of the end effector and its control mechanisms.
Abstract: An end effector suitable for use on a robotic arm associated therewith and coupled to a computer includes a universal mounting plate permitting the end effector to be mounted on the distal end of a robotic arm; a gripper mechanism slideably retained within the end effector is responsive to electronic command signals permitting the finger members disposed therein to cooperate with and removably retain a plurality of tools and components upon receiving computer controlled electronic command signal. The electronic command signal controls the driving power from a power source which is coupled to the end effector.