When you’re looking for a new robot product it can be hard to get good, impartial information to help you with your decision.
How can you find information that isn’t created by robot brands themselves?
Who should you trust in the world of robotics for impartial data?
Why is it so hard to get a clear view of the robotics industry?
There is a lot of information about robots available out there. Finding a good robot-related product can be hard work. Decisions are tough whether you’re looking to purchase a new robot brand, find a good robot simulator, or just learn which robot forums are a good place to find a new community.
You have to do a mountain of research and background reading before you can make an informed decision about your next steps.
It’s not easy to find impartial advice.
Why Getting Impartial Info on Robots and Tools Is Tough
You know that you need to keep up with the developments and changes in the world of robotics.
But, the traditional sources of information about robotics are not always so helpful, for the following reasons:
- News outlets — These help you to keep up with the latest trends and releases in robotics, but they don’t provide an overall view of the industry and are difficult to keep up with.
- Blogs from robot manufacturers — These are good sources of information about a particular brand’s offerings. However, they are biased and incomplete in that they will always present one brand’s robots in a good light and usually completely ignore other robot brands.
- Robot supplier sites — A lot of information you can find about robots comes from robot integrators and suppliers. This is more impartial than manufacturer blogs but it is not completely unbiased as many robot supplier sites are partnered with specific brands.
What If There Was an Unbiased Source of Data About Robot Products?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an unbiased source of information about any robot-related products?
A directory that was created by someone just like you — an enthusiastic robot user who is just interested in getting the most from robots?
Well, such a directory does exist!
Introducing… the Industrial Robot (simple) Database
The Industrial Robot (simple) Database (aka IRsDB) is not some big, expensive market project.
It is a small, basic information database that has been created by Márcio Massula Jr., an industrial robot programmer from Curitiba, Brasil.
Márcio is quite an active user on our RoboDK Forum. He has worked in robotics for over 20 years, working on a huge range of robotics projects — from small projects of just one robot right up to gigantic projects with more than 200 robots.
Back in 2016, he realized that he needed to start collating a source of information about all of the robots and robot tools that are available on the market.
He created the IRsDB, a simple Google Spreadsheet that contains basic information about robot brands, robot resources, and robot simulators.
A couple of years ago, he released his directory to the wider robotics community so that we can all benefit from his work.
What’s In the IRsDB Directory?
Márcio is constantly updating and refining the IRsDB directory, but at the time of writing he has included the following four categories of information:
1. Robot Brands/Manufacturers
One of the hardest things to find when you’re thinking about purchasing a new robot is a list of all the different manufacturers.
With over 90 robot brands at the time of writing, the IRsDB provides a good overview of the different industrial robot brands that you might encounter. It doesn’t mention all robot brands (yet) and the information is very basic but it’s a lot more comprehensive than other lists you might find.
- A link to each robot manufacturer’s website.
- A few helpful notes about some of the brands.
- The country of origin of each brand.
- Specifics about the type of robot that some brands offer, including if they only offer cobots, if the robots come with a controller, and if they have a teach pendant.
2. Robot Resources
It is often difficult to know where to start looking for sources of information about robots. There are a lot of robot sites out there, but it’s not always obvious which ones are used by robot users.
The database currently includes 12 robot-related resources that Márcio uses. This is a very small list and could certainly be improved, but it does provide a few good starting points if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of robot sites.
3. Programming Tools
Not particularly robotic-related, the Tools section of IRsDB contains some miscellaneous programming tools that Márcio uses in his robot programming. One of the most useful things about this section of the database is the notes that he has added about whether the tool is free or paid and descriptions of some of the tools.
For example, he notes that VSCode is a “Text editor that is trending among robot programmers.” This is exactly why we incorporated the tool into RoboDK!
4. Robot Simulators
Finally, the database has an impressively comprehensive section on robot simulators.
And this is where RoboDK shows up.
What´s more, the data shows that RoboDK currently supports more robot brands than any other simulator — with 50 different robot brands supported (a number that we’ll continue to increase).
The database includes:
- A link to each simulator’s website.
- Whether or not the simulator is brand agnostic.
- Which robot brands do the simulator support and how many — with RoboDK currently out in the lead by a long margin!
Check Out the Industrial Robot (simple) Database Today
If you’re interested in getting a quick view of the robotics industry, Márcio’s IRsDB is a great place to start your search. It will help you to start your research on the right foot and will give you an overview of the available robot brands and a clear perspective on the robot simulators.