Cartesian coordinate robot

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Kinematic diagram of Cartesian (coordinate) robot
A plotter is an implementation of the Cartesian coordinate robot.

A cartesian coordinate robot (also called linear robot) is an industrial robot whose three principal axes of control are linear (i.e. they move in a straight line rather than rotate) and are at right angles to each other.[1] The three sliding joints correspond to moving the wrist up-down,in-out,back-forth. Among other advantages, this mechanical arrangement simplifies the Robot control arm solution. It has high reliability and precision when operating in three-dimensional space.[2] As a robot coordinate system, it is also effective for horizontal travel and for stacking bins.[3]

Cartesian coordinate robots with the horizontal member supported at both ends are sometimes called Gantry robots; mechanically, they resemble gantry cranes, although the latter are not generally robots. Gantry robots are often quite large.


A popular application for this type of robot is a computer numerical control machine (CNC machine) and 3D printing. The simplest application is used in milling and drawing machines where a pen or router translates across an x-y plane while a tool is raised and lowered onto a surface to create a precise design. Pick and place machines and plotters are also based on the principal of the cartesian coordinate robot.

Industrial gantry type cartesian robot is applied on CNC lathes production line for continuous parts loading and unloading. It performs 3-axis (X, Y, and Z) linear movement in high speed performance to save numbers of operators. In addition, the robot is able to handle heavy loads of pick and place parts feeding procedure with high positioning accuracy. Some special requirements might be low noise and customized supply table, which is made according to number of storage. Since handling is usually above the CNC, overhead gantry is also a common term to describe this type of robotic arm. Overhead design is suitable for most automation system.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zhang, Dan; Wei, Bin (2016). Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering for Advanced and Intelligent Manufacturing. Cham: Springer. p. 31. ISBN 978-3-319-33580-3.
  2. ^ Mingtu, Ma; Yisheng, Zhang (2018). Advanced High Strength Steel And Press Hardening - Proceedings Of The 4th International Conference On Advanced High Strength Steel And Press Hardening (Ichsu2018). Singapore: World Scientific. p. 526. ISBN 978-981-327-797-7.
  3. ^ Poole, Harry H. (2012). Fundamentals of Robotics Engineering. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. p. 35. ISBN 978-94-011-7052-9.
  4. ^ "When do you need a gantry robot". Linear Motion Tips. Danielle Collins. Retrieved 21 September 2017.