Computer-aided design is the use of computers to aid in the creation, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations; the term CADD is used. Its use in designing electronic systems is known as electronic design automation. In mechanical design it is known as mechanical design automation or computer-aided drafting, which includes the process of creating a technical drawing with the use of computer software. CAD software for mechanical design uses either vector-based graphics to depict the objects of traditional drafting, or may produce raster graphics showing the overall appearance of designed objects. However, it involves more than just shapes; as in the manual drafting of technical and engineering drawings, the output of CAD must convey information, such as materials, processes and tolerances, according to application-specific conventions.
CAD may be used to design figures in two-dimensional space. CAD is an important industrial art extensively used in many applications, including automotive and aerospace industries and architectural design and many more. CAD is widely used to produce computer animation for special effects in movies and technical manuals called DCC digital content creation; the modern ubiquity and power of computers means that perfume bottles and shampoo dispensers are designed using techniques unheard of by engineers of the 1960s. Because of its enormous economic importance, CAD has been a major driving force for research in computational geometry, computer graphics, discrete differential geometry; the design of geometric models for object shapes, in particular, is called computer-aided geometric design. Starting around the mid 1960s, with the IBM Drafting System, computer-aided design systems began to provide more capability than just an ability to reproduce manual drafting with electronic drafting, the cost-benefit for companies to switch to CAD became apparent.
The benefits of CAD systems over manual drafting are the capabilities one takes for granted from computer systems today. CAD provided the designer with the ability to perform engineering calculations. During this transition, calculations were still performed either by hand or by those individuals who could run computer programs. CAD was a revolutionary change in the engineering industry, where draftsmen and engineering roles begin to merge, it did not eliminate departments, as much as it merged departments and empowered draftsman and engineers. CAD is an example of the pervasive effect. Current computer-aided design software packages range from 2D vector-based drafting systems to 3D solid and surface modelers. Modern CAD packages can frequently allow rotations in three dimensions, allowing viewing of a designed object from any desired angle from the inside looking out; some CAD software is capable of dynamic mathematical modeling. CAD technology is used in the design of tools and machinery and in the drafting and design of all types of buildings, from small residential types to the largest commercial and industrial structures.
CAD is used for detailed engineering of 3D models or 2D drawings of physical components, but it is used throughout the engineering process from conceptual design and layout of products, through strength and dynamic analysis of assemblies to definition of manufacturing methods of components. It can be used to design objects such as jewelry, appliances, etc. Furthermore, many CAD applications now offer advanced rendering and animation capabilities so engineers can better visualize their product designs. 4D BIM is a type of virtual construction engineering simulation incorporating time or schedule related information for project management. CAD has become an important technology within the scope of computer-aided technologies, with benefits such as lower product development costs and a shortened design cycle. CAD enables designers to layout and develop work on screen, print it out and save it for future editing, saving time on their drawings. Computer-aided design is one of the many tools used by engineers and designers and is used in many ways depending on the profession of the user and the type of software in question.
CAD is one part of the whole digital product development activity within the product lifecycle management processes, as such is used together with other tools, which are either integrated modules or stand-alone products, such as: Computer-aided engineering and finite element analysis Computer-aided manufacturing including instructions to computer numerical control machines Photorealistic rendering and motion simulation. Document management and revision control using product data management. CAD is used for the accurate creation of photo simulations that are required in the preparation of environmental impact reports, in which computer-aided designs of intended buildings are superimposed into photographs of existing environments to represent what that locale will be like, where the proposed facilities are allowed to be built. Pote
Mechanical engineering is the discipline that applies engineering, engineering mathematics, materials science principles to design, analyze and maintain mechanical systems. It is one of the broadest of the engineering disciplines; the mechanical engineering field requires an understanding of core areas including mechanics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, electricity. In addition to these core principles, mechanical engineers use tools such as computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, product life cycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery and cooling systems, transport systems, watercraft, medical devices and others, it is the branch of engineering that involves the design and operation of machinery. Mechanical engineering emerged as a field during the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 18th century. In the 19th century, developments in physics led to the development of mechanical engineering science.
The field has continually evolved to incorporate advancements. It overlaps with aerospace engineering, metallurgical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, other engineering disciplines to varying amounts. Mechanical engineers may work in the field of biomedical engineering with biomechanics, transport phenomena, bionanotechnology, modelling of biological systems; the application of mechanical engineering can be seen in the archives of various ancient and medieval societies. In ancient Greece, the works of Archimedes influenced mechanics in the Western tradition and Heron of Alexandria created the first steam engine. In China, Zhang Heng improved a water clock and invented a seismometer, Ma Jun invented a chariot with differential gears; the medieval Chinese horologist and engineer Su Song incorporated an escapement mechanism into his astronomical clock tower two centuries before escapement devices were found in medieval European clocks.
He invented the world's first known endless power-transmitting chain drive. During the Islamic Golden Age, Muslim inventors made remarkable contributions in the field of mechanical technology. Al-Jazari, one of them, wrote his famous Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices in 1206 and presented many mechanical designs. Al-Jazari is the first known person to create devices such as the crankshaft and camshaft, which now form the basics of many mechanisms. During the 17th century, important breakthroughs in the foundations of mechanical engineering occurred in England. Sir Isaac Newton formulated Newton's Laws of Motion and developed Calculus, the mathematical basis of physics. Newton was reluctant to publish his works for years, but he was persuaded to do so by his colleagues, such as Sir Edmond Halley, much to the benefit of all mankind. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is credited with creating Calculus during this time period. During the early 19th century industrial revolution, machine tools were developed in England and Scotland.
This allowed mechanical engineering to develop as a separate field within engineering. They brought with them manufacturing machines and the engines to power them; the first British professional society of mechanical engineers was formed in 1847 Institution of Mechanical Engineers, thirty years after the civil engineers formed the first such professional society Institution of Civil Engineers. On the European continent, Johann von Zimmermann founded the first factory for grinding machines in Chemnitz, Germany in 1848. In the United States, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers was formed in 1880, becoming the third such professional engineering society, after the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Mining Engineers; the first schools in the United States to offer an engineering education were the United States Military Academy in 1817, an institution now known as Norwich University in 1819, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1825. Education in mechanical engineering has been based on a strong foundation in mathematics and science.
Degrees in mechanical engineering are offered at various universities worldwide. Mechanical engineering programs take four to five years of study and result in a Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, or Bachelor of Applied Science degree, in or with emphasis in mechanical engineering. In Spain and most of South America, where neither B. Sc. nor B. Tech. Programs have been adopted, the formal name for the degree is "Mechanical Engineer", the course work is based on five or six years of training. In Italy the course work is based on five years of education, training, but in order to qualify as an Engineer one has to pass a state exam at the end of the course. In Greece, the coursework is based on a five-year curriculum and the requirement of a'Diploma' Thesis, which upon completion a'Diploma' is awarded rather than a B. Sc. In the United States, most undergraduate mechanical engineering programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology to ensure similar course requirements and standards a
In its primitive form, a wheel is a circular block of a hard and durable material at whose center has been bored a circular hole through, placed an axle bearing about which the wheel rotates when a moment is applied by gravity or torque to the wheel about its axis, thereby making together one of the six simple machines. When placed vertically under a load-bearing platform or case, the wheel turning on the horizontal axle makes it possible to transport heavy loads; the English word wheel comes from the Old English word hweol, from Proto-Germanic *hwehwlan, *hwegwlan, from Proto-Indo-European *kwekwlo-, an extended form of the root *kwel- "to revolve, move around". Cognates within Indo-European include Icelandic hjól "wheel, tyre", Greek κύκλος kúklos, Sanskrit chakra, the latter two both meaning "circle" or "wheel"; the invention of the wheel falls into the late Neolithic, may be seen in conjunction with other technological advances that gave rise to the early Bronze Age. This implies the passage of several wheel-less millennia after the invention of agriculture and of pottery, during the Aceramic Neolithic.
4500–3300 BCE: Copper Age, invention of the potter's wheel. Precursors of wheels, known as "tournettes" or "slow wheels", were known in the Middle East by the 5th millennium BCE; these were made of stone or clay and secured to the ground with a peg in the center, but required significant effort to turn. True potter's wheels were in use in Mesopotamia by 3500 BCE and as early as 4000 BCE, the oldest surviving example, found in Ur, dates to 3100 BCE; the first evidence of wheeled vehicles appears in the second half of the 4th millennium BCE, near-simultaneously in Mesopotamia, the Northern and South Caucasus, Eastern Europe, so the question of which culture invented the wheeled vehicle is still unresolved. The earliest well-dated depiction of a wheeled vehicle is on the 3500–3350 BCE Bronocice clay pot excavated in a Funnelbeaker culture settlement in southern Poland. In nearby Olszanica 5000 BCE 2.2 m wide door were constructed for wagon entry. This barn was 40 m long with 3 doors; the oldest securely dated real wheel-axle combination, that from Stare Gmajne near Ljubljana in Slovenia is now dated within two standard deviations to 3340–3030 BCE, the axle to 3360–3045 BCE.
Two types of early Neolithic European wheel and axle are known. They both are dated to c. 3200–3000 BCE. In China, the wheel was present with the adoption of the chariot in c. 1200 BCE, although Barbieri-Low argues for earlier Chinese wheeled vehicles, c. 2000 BCE. In Britain, a large wooden wheel, measuring about 1 m in diameter, was uncovered at the Must Farm site in East Anglia in 2016; the specimen, dating from 1,100–800 BCE, represents the most complete and earliest of its type found in Britain. The wheel's hub is present. A horse's spine found; the wheel was found in a settlement built on stilts over wetland, indicating that the settlement had some sort of link to dry land. Although large-scale use of wheels did not occur in the Americas prior to European contact, numerous small wheeled artifacts, identified as children's toys, have been found in Mexican archeological sites, some dating to about 1500 BCE, it is thought that the primary obstacle to large-scale development of the wheel in the Americas was the absence of domesticated large animals which could be used to pull wheeled carriages.
The closest relative of cattle present in Americas in pre-Columbian times, the American Bison, is difficult to domesticate and was never domesticated by Native Americans. The only large animal, domesticated in the Western hemisphere, the llama, a pack animal but not physically suited to use as a draft animal to pull wheeled vehicles, did not spread far beyond the Andes by the time of the arrival of Columbus. Nubians from after about 400 BCE used wheels as water wheels, it is thought. It is known that Nubians used horse-drawn chariots imported from Egypt; the wheel was used, with the exception of the Horn of Africa, in Sub-Saharan Africa well into the 19th century but this changed with the arrival of the Europeans. Early wheels were simple wooden disks with a hole for the axle; some of the earliest wheels were made from horizontal slices of tree trunks
Steering is the collection of components, etc. which allows any vehicle to follow the desired course. An exception is the case of rail transport by which rail tracks combined together with railroad switches provide the steering function; the primary purpose of the steering system is to allow the driver to guide the vehicle. The most conventional steering arrangement is to turn the front wheels using a hand–operated steering wheel, positioned in front of the driver, via the steering column, which may contain universal joints, to allow it to deviate somewhat from a straight line. Other arrangements are sometimes found on different types of vehicles, for example, a tiller or rear–wheel steering. Tracked vehicles such as bulldozers and tanks employ differential steering—that is, the tracks are made to move at different speeds or in opposite directions, using clutches and brakes, to bring about a change of course or direction; the basic aim of steering is to ensure. This is achieved by a series of linkages, rods and gears.
One of the fundamental concepts is that of caster angle – each wheel is steered with a pivot point ahead of the wheel. The steering linkages connecting the steering box and the wheels conform to a variation of Ackermann steering geometry, to account for the fact that in a turn, the inner wheel is travelling a path of smaller radius than the outer wheel, so that the degree of toe suitable for driving in a straight path is not suitable for turns; the angle the wheels make with the vertical plane influences steering dynamics as do the tires. Many modern cars use rack and pinion steering mechanisms, where the steering wheel turns the pinion gear; this motion applies steering torque to the swivel pin ball joints that replaced used kingpins of the stub axle of the steered wheels via tie rods and a short lever arm called the steering arm. The rack and pinion design has the advantages of a large degree of feedback and direct steering "feel". A disadvantage is that it is not adjustable, so that when it does wear and develop lash, the only cure is replacement.
BMW began to use rack and pinion steering systems in the 1930s, many other European manufacturers adopted the technology. American automakers adopted pinion steering beginning with the 1974 Ford Pinto. Older designs use two main principles: the screw and nut. Both types were enhanced by reducing the friction; the steering column turns a large screw. The nut moves a sector of a gear; the recirculating ball version of this apparatus reduces the considerable friction by placing large ball bearings between the screw and the nut. The recirculating ball mechanism has the advantage of a much greater mechanical advantage, so that it was found on larger, heavier vehicles while the rack and pinion was limited to smaller and lighter ones; the recirculating ball design has a perceptible lash, or "dead spot" on center, where a minute turn of the steering wheel in either direction does not move the steering apparatus. This design is still in use in trucks and other large vehicles, where rapidity of steering and direct feel are less important than robustness and mechanical advantage.
The worm and sector was an older design, used for example in Willys and Chrysler vehicles, the Ford Falcon. To reduce friction the sector is replaced by rotating pins on the rocker shaft arm. Older vehicles use the recirculating ball mechanism, only newer vehicles use rack-and-pinion steering; this division is not strict and rack-and-pinion steering systems can be found on British sports cars of the mid-1950s, some German carmakers did not give up recirculating ball technology until the early 1990s. Other systems for steering are uncommon on road vehicles. Children's toys and go-karts use a direct linkage in the form of a bellcrank attached directly between the steering column and the steering arms, the use of cable-operated steering linkages is found on some home-built vehicles such as soapbox cars and recumbent tricycles. Power steering helps the driver of a vehicle to steer by directing some of its power to assist in swiveling the steered road wheels about their steering axes; as vehicles have become heavier and switched to
A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel's rim to transfer a vehicle's load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface traveled over. Most tires, such as those for automobiles and bicycles, are pneumatically inflated structures, which provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock as the tire rolls over rough features on the surface. Tires provide a footprint, designed to match the weight of the vehicle with the bearing strength of the surface that it rolls over by providing a bearing pressure that will not deform the surface excessively; the materials of modern pneumatic tires are synthetic rubber, natural rubber and wire, along with carbon black and other chemical compounds. They consist of a body; the tread provides traction. Before rubber was developed, the first versions of tires were bands of metal fitted around wooden wheels to prevent wear and tear. Early rubber tires were solid. Pneumatic tires are used on many types of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, heavy equipment, aircraft.
Metal tires are still used on locomotives and railcars, solid rubber tires are still used in various non-automotive applications, such as some casters, carts and wheelbarrows. The word tire is a short form of attire, from the idea; the spelling tyre does not appear until the 1840s when the English began shrink fitting railway car wheels with malleable iron. Traditional publishers continued using tire; the Times newspaper in Britain was still using tire as late as 1905. The spelling tyre began to be used in the 19th century for pneumatic tires in the UK; the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica states that "he spelling'tyre' is not now accepted by the best English authorities, is unrecognized in the US", while Fowler's Modern English Usage of 1926 says that "there is nothing to be said for'tyre', etymologically wrong, as well as needlessly divergent from our own older & the present American usage". However, over the course of the 20th century, tyre became established as the standard British spelling.
The earliest tires were bands of leather iron placed on wooden wheels used on carts and wagons. The tire would be heated in a forge fire, placed over the wheel and quenched, causing the metal to contract and fit on the wheel. A skilled worker, known as a wheelwright, carried out this work; the first patent for what appears to be a standard pneumatic tire appeared in 1847 lodged by the Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson. However, this never went into production; the first practical pneumatic tire was made in 1888 on May Street, Belfast, by Scots-born John Boyd Dunlop, owner of one of Ireland's most prosperous veterinary practices. It was an effort to prevent the headaches of his 10-year-old son Johnnie, while riding his tricycle on rough pavements, his doctor, John Sir John Fagan, had prescribed cycling as an exercise for the boy, was a regular visitor. Fagan participated in designing the first pneumatic tires. Cyclist Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's tires in 1889, winning the tire's first-ever races in Ireland and England.
In Dunlop's tire patent specification dated 31 October 1888, his interest is only in its use in cycles and light vehicles. In September 1890, he was made aware of an earlier development but the company kept the information to itself. In 1892, Dunlop's patent was declared invalid because of prior art by forgotten fellow Scot Robert William Thomson of London, although Dunlop is credited with "realizing rubber could withstand the wear and tear of being a tire while retaining its resilience". John Boyd Dunlop and Harvey du Cros together worked through the ensuing considerable difficulties, they employed inventor Charles Kingston Welch and acquired other rights and patents which allowed them some limited protection of their Pneumatic Tyre business's position. Pneumatic Tyre would become Dunlop Tyres; the development of this technology hinged on myriad engineering advances, including the vulcanization of natural rubber using sulfur, as well as by the development of the "clincher" rim for holding the tire in place laterally on the wheel rim.
Synthetic rubbers were invented in the laboratories of Bayer in the 1920s. In 1946, Michelin developed the radial tire method of construction. Michelin had bought the bankrupt Citroën automobile company in 1934, so it was able to fit this new technology immediately; because of its superiority in handling and fuel economy, use of this technology spread throughout Europe and Asia. In the U. S. the outdated bias-ply tire construction persisted, with market share of 87% as late as 1967. Delay was caused by tire and automobile manufacturers in America "concerned about transition costs." In 1968, Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine, acknowledged the superiority of radial construction, setting off a rapid decline in Michelin's competitor technology. In the U. S. the radial tire now has a market share of 100% in automobiles. Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories. There are 2 aspects to. First, tension in the cords pull on the bead uniformly around the wheel, except where it is reduced above the contact patch.
Second, the bead transfers that net force to the rim. Air pressure, via the ply cords, exerts tensile force on the entire bead surrounding th
This article is about four-wheeled vehicle suspension. For information on two wheeled vehicles' suspensions see Suspension, Motorcycle fork, Bicycle suspension, Bicycle fork. Suspension is the system of tires, tire air, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two. Suspension systems must support both road holding/handling and ride quality, which are at odds with each other; the tuning of suspensions involves finding the right compromise. It is important for the suspension to keep the road wheel in contact with the road surface as much as possible, because all the road or ground forces acting on the vehicle do so through the contact patches of the tires; the suspension protects the vehicle itself and any cargo or luggage from damage and wear. The design of front and rear suspension of a car may be different. An early form of suspension on ox-drawn carts had the platform swing on iron chains attached to the wheeled frame of the carriage.
This system remained the basis for all suspension systems until the turn of the 19th century, although the iron chains were replaced with the use of leather straps by the 17th century. No modern automobiles use the'strap suspension' system. Automobiles were developed as self-propelled versions of horse-drawn vehicles. However, horse-drawn vehicles had been designed for slow speeds, their suspension was not well suited to the higher speeds permitted by the internal combustion engine; the first workable spring-suspension required advanced metallurgical knowledge and skill, only became possible with the advent of industrialisation. Obadiah Elliott registered the first patent for a spring-suspension vehicle. Within a decade, most British horse carriages were equipped with springs; these were made of low-carbon steel and took the form of multiple layer leaf springs. Leaf springs have been around since the early Egyptians. Ancient military engineers used leaf springs in the form of bows to power their siege engines, with little success at first.
The use of leaf springs in catapults was refined and made to work years later. Springs were not only made of metal. Horse-drawn carriages and the Ford Model T used this system, it is still used today in larger vehicles mounted in the rear suspension. Leaf springs were the first modern suspension system and, along with advances in the construction of roads, heralded the single greatest improvement in road transport until the advent of the automobile; the British steel springs were not well-suited for use on America's rough roads of the time, so the Abbot-Downing Company of Concord, New Hampshire re-introduced leather strap suspension, which gave a swinging motion instead of the jolting up and down of a spring suspension. In 1901 Mors of Paris first fitted an automobile with shock absorbers. With the advantage of a damped suspension system on his'Mors Machine', Henri Fournier won the prestigious Paris-to-Berlin race on 20 June 1901. Fournier's superior time was 11 hrs 46 min 10 sec, while the best competitor was Léonce Girardot in a Panhard with a time of 12 hrs 15 min 40 sec.
Coil springs first appeared on a production vehicle in 1906 in the Brush Runabout made by the Brush Motor Company. Today, coil springs are used in most cars. In 1920, Leyland Motors used torsion bars in a suspension system. In 1922, independent front suspension was pioneered on the Lancia Lambda and became more common in mass market cars from 1932. Today, most cars have independent suspension on all four wheels. In 2002, a new passive suspension component was invented by Malcolm C. Smith, the inerter; this has the ability to increase the effective inertia of a wheel suspension using a geared flywheel, but without adding significant mass. It was employed in Formula One in secrecy but has since spread to other motorsport. Any four wheel vehicle needs suspension for both the front wheels and the rear suspension, but in two wheel drive vehicles there can be a different configuration. For front-wheel drive cars, rear suspension has few constraints and a variety of beam axles and independent suspensions are used.
For rear-wheel drive cars, rear suspension has many constraints and the development of the superior but more expensive independent suspension layout has been difficult. Four-wheel drive has suspensions that are similar for both the front and rear wheels. Henry Ford's Model T used a torque tube to restrain this force, for his differential was attached to the chassis by a lateral leaf spring and two narrow rods; the torque tube surrounded the true driveshaft and exerted the force to its ball joint at the extreme rear of the transmission, attached to the engine. A similar method was used in the late 1930s by Buick and by Hudson's bathtub car in 1948, which used helical springs which could not take fore-and-aft thrust; the Hotchkiss drive, invented by Albert Hotchkiss, was the most popular rear suspension system used in American cars from the 1930s to the 1970s. The system uses longitudinal leaf springs attached both forward and behind the differential of the live axle; these springs transmit the torque to the frame.
Although scorned by many European car makers of the time, it was accepted by American car makers because it was inexpensive to manufacture. The dynamic defects of this design were suppressed by the enormous weight of US passenger vehicles before implementation of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy
An industrial robot is a robot system used for manufacturing. Industrial robots are automated and capable of movement on three or more axis. Typical applications of robots include welding, assembly and place for printed circuit boards and labeling, product inspection, testing, they can assist in material handling. In the year 2015, an estimated 1.64 million industrial robots were in operation worldwide according to International Federation of Robotics. The most used robot configurations are articulated robots, SCARA robots, delta robots and cartesian coordinate robots. In the context of general robotics, most types of robots would fall into the category of robotic arms. Robots exhibit varying degrees of autonomy: Some robots are programmed to faithfully carry out specific actions over and over again without variation and with a high degree of accuracy; these actions are determined by programmed routines that specify the direction, velocity and distance of a series of coordinated motions. Other robots are much more flexible as to the orientation of the object on which they are operating or the task that has to be performed on the object itself, which the robot may need to identify.
For example, for more precise guidance, robots contain machine vision sub-systems acting as their visual sensors, linked to powerful computers or controllers. Artificial intelligence, or what passes for it, is becoming an important factor in the modern industrial robot; the earliest known industrial robot, conforming to the ISO definition was completed by "Bill" Griffith P. Taylor in 1937 and published in Meccano Magazine, March 1938; the crane-like device was built entirely using Meccano parts, powered by a single electric motor. Five axes of movement were possible, including grab rotation. Automation was achieved using punched paper tape to energise solenoids, which would facilitate the movement of the crane's control levers; the robot could stack wooden blocks in pre-programmed patterns. The number of motor revolutions required for each desired movement was first plotted on graph paper; this information was transferred to the paper tape, driven by the robot's single motor. Chris Shute built a complete replica of the robot in 1997.
George Devol applied for the first robotics patents in 1954. The first company to produce a robot was Unimation, founded by Devol and Joseph F. Engelberger in 1956. Unimation robots were called programmable transfer machines since their main use at first was to transfer objects from one point to another, less than a dozen feet or so apart, they used hydraulic actuators and were programmed in joint coordinates, i.e. the angles of the various joints were stored during a teaching phase and replayed in operation. They were accurate to within 1/10,000 of an inch. Unimation licensed their technology to Kawasaki Heavy Industries and GKN, manufacturing Unimates in Japan and England respectively. For some time Unimation's only competitor was Cincinnati Milacron Inc. of Ohio. This changed radically in the late 1970s when several big Japanese conglomerates began producing similar industrial robots. In 1969 Victor Scheinman at Stanford University invented the Stanford arm, an all-electric, 6-axis articulated robot designed to permit an arm solution.
This allowed it to follow arbitrary paths in space and widened the potential use of the robot to more sophisticated applications such as assembly and welding. Scheinman designed a second arm for the MIT AI Lab, called the "MIT arm." Scheinman, after receiving a fellowship from Unimation to develop his designs, sold those designs to Unimation who further developed them with support from General Motors and marketed it as the Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly. Industrial robotics took off quite in Europe, with both ABB Robotics and KUKA Robotics bringing robots to the market in 1973. ABB Robotics introduced IRB 6, among the world's first commercially available all electric micro-processor controlled robot; the first two IRB 6 robots were sold to Magnusson in Sweden for grinding and polishing pipe bends and were installed in production in January 1974. In 1973 KUKA Robotics built its first robot, known as FAMULUS one of the first articulated robots to have six electromechanically driven axes.
Interest in robotics increased in the late 1970s and many US companies entered the field, including large firms like General Electric, General Motors. U. S. startup companies included Adept Technology, Inc.. At the height of the robot boom in 1984, Unimation was acquired by Westinghouse Electric Corporation for 107 million U. S. dollars. Westinghouse sold Unimation to Stäubli Faverges SCA of France in 1988, still making articulated robots for general industrial and cleanroom applications and bought the robotic division of Bosch in late 2004. Only a few non-Japanese companies managed to survive in this market, the major ones being: Adept Technology, Stäubli, the Swedish-Swiss company ABB Asea Brown Boveri, the German company KUKA Robotics and the Italian company Comau. Number of axes – two axes are required to reach any point in a plane. To control the orientation of the end of the arm three more axes (yaw, pit