You are here
Home > Technology > How to Store Your Robot Overnight

How to Store Your Robot Overnight

Many robot users don’t know how to store their robots well. It’s worth noting that robots maintain the same position you leave them at, until the next time you need to use them. Novice robot users are afraid of damaging robots by storing them in a specific position throughout the night with many assuming that the motors strain to maintain the robot’s position. In this post, we shall learn more about storing robots.

What takes place after the Robot is Powered Down?

Different robots manifest varying characteristics. However, there are various similarities in what follows after many electric robots are powered down. The UR10 from Universal Robots, for instance, engages activates the brakes once it’s powered off. The brake secures the joint in position and doesn’t require any help from the robot’s motor.

In the case of this and other robots from Universal Robots, users can move the robot even when the gadget is powered down and the brakes are active, a process referred to as forced back driving in which users should firmly push the robot to counter the friction of the brakes. This can be applied in various massive industrial robots especially because the brake is quite robust.

Still, it’s worth noting that forced back driving can only be executed during emergencies because it can destroy the communal gearbox.  Under normal circumstances, users may use the active back driving process. This involves pressing the teach button in a bid to release the brakes temporarily while the robot is powered up.

How do Robot Joint Brakes Function?

Robot joint brakes function in nearly the same manner. Each joint comes with a clutch that gets engaged every time the robot is powered off or when the brakes are triggered. The clutch comprises of two peak friction surfaces which bolt together to restrict the arm from moving. The clutch provides comprehensive stopping torque which prevents the motor from functioning. While the technique of engaging the clutch is different in various robots, there are two common brakes which are:

Spring set Brakes

When the brake is powered down, various mechanical springs clamp down the friction surfaces. Once the brake is powered, an electromagnet separates the friction surfaces to neutralize the force that the springs generate.

Permanent magnet brakes

Permanent magnets are tasked with clamping down the friction surfaces together when the robot or brake is powered down. Whenever the robot is powered, an electromagnet generates an alternative magnetic pressure which restrains the force which the permanent magnet generates and separates the friction surfaces.

Often, joint brakes are applied when:

  • The robot assumes the emergency stop state
  • The robot is switched off

Do Robot Joint Brakes Depreciate?

Just like all other friction brakes, robot joint brakes depreciate over time. That’s why users are justified to want to know the best positions to store their robots. Robots are a huge investment and no one would want to store them inappropriately to a point of accelerating wear and tear. To prolong the lifespan of your robot, you want to take good care of the brakes.

Factors that can Increase Robot Joint brakes Wear and Tear?

There are various factors which can accelerate robot joint brakes wear. They include:

  • Moving the robot via forced back driving. This is a fast way of wearing down the robot joint brakes. Further, doing it regularly can damage the joint gearboxes.
  • Emergency stop. Remember, the emergency stop is usually applied while the robot is moving at high speeds. This action increases heat in the clutch can eventually cause wear and tear.
  • If you regularly store your robot in extreme positions you could end up damaging the clutch.


You can avoid damaging your robot’s joint brakes by eliminating potential hazards from the robot’s way and ensuring that it’s appropriately programmed. This way, you can avoid emergency stops as much as possible. Avoid switching off power before the robot stops moving, and storing the robot in a neutral position as opposed to the extreme position.