There are many types of mechanical arms. They include prosthetics arms, rover arms, and surgical arms. A mechanical arm can be used to assist in an industrial setting such as with a robotic arm. A prosthetic arm may be a replacement for a person who has lost a limb. In this article, we will review the different types of mechanical arms and their functions.

​What Is a Mechanical Arm?

Robotic Mechanical arm holding a globe

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay


Arms for Automotive Manufacturing

Surgical Arms

Rover Arms

Everyday Mechanical Arms

How Do They Work?

Robotics have movable parts. They're made from plastic or metal and can have segmented joints. A robotic hand is made of metal segments powered by tiny motors and is one of the most difficult structures to build in robotics.

Robots need a power source to drive them such as a battery. Hydraulic robots use pressurized hydraulic fluid. Pneumatic robots use compressed air. Actuators are wired to electrical circuits which power motors and manipulate valves. In order to move a hydraulic leg, the controller in the robot would open a valve from the fluid pump and it would extend the piston to move. Robots use pistons that can move in both directions.

The computer in the robot controls everything. They are re-programmable and can change behaviors as needed. When a robot uses sensory systems it is controlled with LED light. The robotic arm is one of the most popular types of robotics and has many uses.

Mechanical Arm: What Is the Installation Like?

Robota is the Czech word for "forced labor." Robots are designed to do heavy, repetitive work and tasks that are dangerous for humans. The most common type of robot is the robotic, or mechanical arm. They are typically made up of several segments and joints. A computer controls the joints with a set of motors. In larger arms pneumatics or hydraulics are used. Step motors move in increments much like an arm would in a human. It gives them more precision and they can repeat the same movement in the exact same way each time. Motion sensors are used to make sure that the movement is the right amount.

Industrial robots with six joints resemble a human arm, they essentially have a wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The shoulder is mounted to a base that is stationary. This type of mechanical arm has six degrees of freedom, it can move in six ways. A human arm has seven degrees of freedom.

The arm moves the hand and the robot's arm moves an end effector. You can place many different end effectors on a robotic arm depending on what you want it to do. One common type is a simplified version of a hand. It can carry different objects and grasp things. They pressure the sensors that inform the computer of how hard the robot is gripping something. This keeps it from breaking or dropping it. Other end effectors include spray painters, drills, and blowtorches.

An industrial robot is programmed to do repetitive functions in a controlled environment. It might twist the caps onto a jar on an assembly line. A programmer guides the arm with a handheld controller. The exact sequence of movements is stored in memory and it will repeat the movement every time a new unit comes down the line.

Most industrial robots are placed in car manufacturing assembly lines building cars. They can do this type of work more efficiently than humans because they are precise. They will always tighten the bolts with the same force or drill in the same place as they never get tired or distracted. Robots are very important in manufacturing in the computer industry. It takes a lot of precision to assemble tiny microchips.

Muscle Tissue



Before the Modern Era


Robot Mechanical Arm

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Robotic arms serve an important function in today's world. With all the advances that are being made, these prosthetics can function nearly the same as a natural limb. They are instrumental in manufacturing environments, in space exploration, and even with dangerous tasks needed by military and police forces. The applications for robotics are limitless. Thank you, Da Vinci.

Featured Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

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