Leaps in manufacturing come in many forms. In some cases new software capabilities may need to be developed, in others a component may need to reach a better economy of scale in order to become affordable, and sometimes it calls for a complete rethink of how something is designed. Delta robots fall squarely in the third category. Today they do their particular brand of automation better than any other type of robot out there. So it may be surprising to hear that delta robots both had a rough start and that they still can be be overlooked as a driver of growth and profitability. Origins Of The Delta Robot Unlike their 6-axis cousins whose form is akin to the human arm, the design for delta robots did not come from mimicking the human body but rather solely from advanced mechatronics to get the job done. The first delta robot was designed by Reymond Clavel and his team at the Robotics Systems Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. It's origin sprang from a visit to a chocolate factory where the team found the laborious task of packaging pralines. The high speed of the packaging line ruled out integrating any robots that were currently on the market. So the team set out to create something entirely new that would solve the problem and the delta robot was born. The delta design focuses around three high-torque motors mounted to linkage bars that ultimately all meet at a center platform where an end-effector can be connected. A fourth motor either mounted on the platform or overhead allows the end-effector to rotate any product about the z-axis. The entire robot is designed to be mounted overhead of the work area to save on floor space constraints.