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ST Robotics R12-6

6-Axis, 500mm Robotic Arm

The R12-6 Low cost bench-top 6 axis general purpose articulated robot arm (shown with optional electric gripper and optional LED awareness illumination).  Complete self-contained six axis vertically articulated robot arm system designed as a cost effective solution for bench top automation.  The system is supplied complete with controller, all cables, connectors, software, comprehensive manuals, ready to unpack and use immediately.  Based on the R12-5 it is a 6 axis articulated robot arm with a 500mm reach. It employs new light weight, high efficiency digital motors driving through steel reinforced polyurethane timing belts for the first 5 axes.

The 6th axis is a unique way to make 6 axes optional, being an add-on module with a miniature stepping motor driving through a Swiss anti-backlash gearbox.  Incremental optical encoders are optional on the first 5 axes providing exceptional integrity


  • 500mm reach 6-axis articulated format
  • Easy mounting of tools, grippers, sensors etc
  • Fully enclosed; pneumatics and wiring go through the arm, not strapped to the outside.
  • Optional incremental encoder watchdogs
  • Simple intuitive teach pad
  • User friendly software, English language commands
  • Input/output interfacing
  • Non-volatile memory
  • Complete with controller, software, on-screen manuals, cables, etc. Ready to go
  • Optional pneumatic or electric grippers, vacuum pickup, tool changers.
  • Supplied ready to run — robot, controller, all cables, Windows GUI project manager, teach pad
  • On-screen manuals
  • Optional linear track, I/O expansion, bluetooth teachpad, TCP/IP.
  • R12 Brochure PDF>>


R12 SpecificationsApplicationsWatch R12OptionsR12 PackageWorkspaceOrder

R12 Specifications

Drives High power micro-stepped hybrid stepping motors, optional encoder watchdogs
Reach 500mm/20ins in any direction; 360 degree waist rotation
Repeatability 0.2mm*
Payload nominal 400g, max 800g (2lbs) at flange (repeatability and speed degrade with increasing payload and reach)
Maximum Speed Waist 220 deg/sec, Shoulder 200 deg/sec, Elbow 500deg/sec, hand pitch 600deg/sec, hand yaw 600 deg/sec, wrist roll 280 deg/sec
Max linear speed approx 800mm/s. Standard Cycle 2s
Compliance: droop at 250mm at nominal payload: 0.4mm
Compliance: droop at max reach with max payload: 2.3mm
Maximum speed Waist 220 deg/sec, Shoulder 200 deg/sec, Elbow 500deg/sec, hand 600deg/sec, wrist roll 600 deg/sec. Max linear speed approx 800mm/s. Standard Cycle 2s
Max torque, pitch or yaw 1 Nm (repeatability figures degrade with increasing torque)
Max torque, 6th axis roll 0.25 Nm (repeatability figures degrade)
Weight Robot 13.0Kg/29lbs Controller 11kg/25lbs
Power 110/240v ac 420VA (standard controller)
Environment IP 54A, 0 – 40C (wider range optional)
MTBF 15,000 hours (typically over a million cycles)
Safety Class 2 stop circuit, stall detect, risk assessment guide.
Optional high intensity red LEDs along the arm serve as awareness barrier
Noise Approx 40-50dB at 1m

*Repeatability measured as a standard deviation of all 3 dimensions at 100% speed and zero payload over 24 hours after a 1 hour
warming up period. Figures for ISO 9283 available on request

R12 Applications

  • Testing
  • Sample handling
  • Machine feeding
  • The hand terminates in a mounting plate to which can be mounted one of our low cost grippers, vacuum pickups or your own device
  • Professional tool made to industrial standards of quality, reliability and performance, machined from solid alloy and finished with aesthetic acrylic cover

Watch R12 in Action

R12 six-axis calisthenics.  The apparent 6th axis rolling is actually a computed move using Trig.


R12 using straight line feature to carefully lift and insert glass tubes into a rack.


R12 example of using several RoboForth features to measure the size of a steel plate.


R12 pushing keys on a number pad


R15 Track with R12 and R19 Robotic Arms

R12-6 Options


The role of the encoders in the R17 and as an R12 level 1 option is as watchdogs. The loop is closed after completion of each individual motion which is not the same as servo control. The R12 encoder option comprises miniature optical incremental encoders fitted to each axis.

Without encoders the R12 will run accurately and indefinitely open loop without error thanks to micro-stepping drives and accurate transmission. But if the robot suffers a collision then the controller does not know and carries on with the program even though the robot could be out of position. Such collisions usually only occur accidentally during programming and rarely during normal running. It is necessary to run the calibrate routine after such a collision. With the encoder option the controller notices the discrepancy immediately, stops the robot and announces an error.

If the encoder option is not fitted ST provides a software solution in the form of a quick calibration check that can be included in every robot cycle or n cycles. If there is an error it is reported and the system stops.


As standard the robot terminates in a mounting flange (see diagrams below). End effectors currently include: electric gripper, SMC 10mm pneumatic gripper, vacuum pickups.
Note: pneumatic gripper is shown with special fingers made for a particular application, not part of the option. Fingers to suit the clients product may be made by the client or ST.

Linear Track

Linear track up to 3m length, using a powerful motor and two recirculating crossed roller bearings.  High resolution or high speed options.

12-axis systemdualrobot

Comprising 2 R12 robots on a programmable carousel. Two robot controllers are interlinked to synchronize the two robots. The maximum number of axes in total is 13.

The R12 Package

The R12 package includes the K11 controller that is simple and reliable using a partnership of CPU and DSP micro-processors and compact micro-stepping drives. ROBOFORTH II embedded software gets you started easily yet permits the most complex motions, interfaces and peripherals to be programmed, assisted by ROBWIN project manager that brings everything together on one Windows screen.

R12-6 Workspace

Arm comprises 2 limbs 250mm each plus 360 degrees base rotation.  Therefore the workspace is a sphere 1000mm (40ins) in diameter (not including the hand).r12dim

Base fixings to bench


Wrist flange (not to scale)


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