Some robot arms move continuously, and can stop at any point along the path. Others are able to stop only in specific places.When the end effector of a robot arm can attain only certain positions, the manipulator is said to employ point-to-point motion. The illustration shows point-to-point motion in which six stopping points, called via points, are possible.

In some robots that use point-to-point motion, the controller stores a large number of via points within the work envelope of the manipulator. These points are so close together that the resulting motion is continuous for practical purposes. Small time increments are used, such as 0.01 s or 0.001 s. This scheme is the robot-motion analog of bit-map computer graphics.

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