End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) refers to the process of integrating equipment into the parts of a robotic arm so that it interacts with parts of the robotic arm to perform a specified function.
Examples of tools like this include the welding torch of a welding system, cutting tools and drills, brushes, screwdrivers, vacuum cups, and grippers.
The tool so integrated is termed “End of Arm Tool” and it is another of the engineering services.
As the EOAT enables a robot to serve a specific function, the tool can also be changed if the robot operator wishes to use the robot for another application. In today’s advancement in EOAT, the tooling equipment can be integrated such that robots perform multiple functions.
The Advanced EOAT
Over the years in the artificial intelligence companies, there has been advancement in the functionality of robotic processes. This is due to an increased need for automation and a faster working pace, especially in manufacturing industries and many other works of life.
I’ve seen an end-of-arm tool used to sense the area of flames whereby it turns around to pour water at the spot. This is strictly designed for firefighters to enhance the operation of fire safety.
In addition, there has been the emergence of random bin picking whereby a robot is used to pick randomly placed plastic objects at a faster pace. This helps manufacturer industries with repetitive tasks.
An example is the Yaskawa Motoman MH50 six-axis robot from Neocortex artificial intelligence, which provides robotic flexibility at a high speed of 1400 picks per hour.
In 2017, the Motoman MH50 six-axis was used, with an integrated vacuum end of arm tool and two-fingered gripper, to pick randomly packed plastic rolls from a large cage.
Common Types of EOAT in Robotics
There are various categories of EOATs used in robotics in which various examples are grouped. They include Grippers, Welding torches, Force-torque sensors, Material removal tools, Collision sensors, Tool changers, and so on.
They’re either powered electrically, hydraulically, mechanically or pneumatically.
Nowadays, the pneumatically powered EOATs are popularly used because they provide easy integration. Also, grippers are becoming more commonly used in robots as automation becomes essential. This condition warrants the advancement of robots’ capability over the years.
Examples of End of Arm Tools (EOATs)
Below is a list and an explanation of the various common types of EOAT for robots:
- Grippers: are used in robotic arms to enable them to pick and place objects. Examples include Vacuum Grippers, Magnetic Grippers, and Mechanical Grippers.
- Sensors: enhance automation while they give your robot a sense of touch. An example is collision sensors.
- Tools: Under this category come end effectors and others like shears, drills, welding torches, paint guns, deburring tools, and so on.
- Tool changers: EOATs under this category help add flexibility to the robot’s automation function. It enables robot operators to change tooling faster.
End Arm Tooling performs an essential role in how a particular robot works and the usefulness of such a robot. Advancement in robotic technology has led to the emergence of end of arm tools that have more flexibility—capable of performing multiple tasks.
As EOATs are advanced, so also our robotics get advanced.