Analysis and Design of a Synchronous Belt Drive for a Precision Robotic Manipulator

M. Hosek and J. Krishnasamy (USA)


Robotic manipulator, Synchronous belt drive, Mechanical design, Positioning repeatability


Positioning repeatability errors of substrate-handling robots for semiconductor and flat-panel-display (FPD) manufacturing applications tend to exhibit patterns, which lead to distinct clusters of substrate placement locations at a given workstation. Each of the clusters can be associated with another workstation accessed by the robot in the past, resulting in an undesirable increase of the overall placement repeatability range. In the present paper, this phenomenon is attributed to multi-stage synchronous belt drives, which are utilized to transmit motion from centralized motors to individual links and end-effectors of the robot arms. The phenomenon is studied using a simplified lump-parameter model of a belt drive, the effects of selected design parameters on the positioning repeatability of the belt drive are examined, and the results are utilized to produce a belt drive design with improved repeatability performance.

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