What’s the difference between a 6 DoF and a 7 DoF robotic arm?
First off, DoF or DOF, meaning degrees of freedom or 'degrés de liberté' in French 🇫🇷, is just a sophisticated word for an axis or joint. From experience the term DoF or DOF is more used within the research and educational world while the term 'axis' is preferred inside the industrial automation and manufacturing world. That being said here follows the answer to the question asked above.
A 7 DOF robot will allow you to get to an end effector position with several joint configurations. It will help to avoid singularities and potential objects in the workspace by placing the arm in a different orientation than what a 6 DOF robot is limited to. However, a 6 DOF robot may be sufficient to cover the workspace of most applications and may offer a better ROI as it should be less expensive than a 7 DOF of the same model. If needed, a 6 DOF robot can be mounted on a linear guide or timing belt to provide a 7th axis movement, thus increasing the reach of the robot inside the work area.
A 6 DOF robot is also usually more repeatable, in addition to the following features:
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