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Monday 17 December 2018
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Robot Software

Image result for robotics in retail

Robot software is the general set of coded commands or instructions, which tell the robot the tasks to perform. It is important to have the correct software in place for the robot to be efficient and attain the desired results. This enables the operators of the robot to make the necessary pattern adjustments with minimal downtime thereby maximizing the robot’s capabilities.

When setting up a collaborative robot it is paramount to have adequate knowledge on the different software available and the functions they help the robot to perform. Software to a robot is similar to the fuel in car, for it to work one has to install the software relevant to the type of application the user want to accomplish failure to do so the robot will not be useful.

Fortunately, Universal Robots on their UR+ platform offer 18 software products suitable for a wide range of applications. The software helps the customers to customize their robots accordingly thereby enhancing their cobot’s experience. Here is two of the most commonly used robot software from Universal Robots.

  • Actin SDK

Actin SDK is a robotics control and simulation software that helps the UR robot achieve new capabilities such as increasing additional axes to the robots arm to extend its working space and   directing the robot to follow tool paths the operator defines in the CAD. The software ensures that the robot avoids self-collision and collisions with the surrounding environment and joint limits.

The software is suitable for use in the applications involved in these industries; assembly, machine tending, pick and place, packaging and palletizing, gluing, dispensing and welding. The features that make it suitable for use in these applications are its ability to allow configuration of avoidance zones, permit the graphical tasking of the robot, support safety assessments and enable online and offline programming.

The benefits of using Actin in powering the UR robot includes a faster time to market, minimal risk in the work place to the human employees, unparalleled control and a decrease in other software development costs. The software is compatible with all of the collaborative robots from Universal Robots including the e-series.

To achieve these benefits, here is a description of how the software works.

  • Design

Using the software Manipulation Director Interface, the operator drags and drops the building blocks to create the task scripts. The building blocks are the configurable waypoint sequences, sensor feedback and custom tool paths from the CAD.

  • Refine

To try a different robot arm or add an additional axis, Actin dynamically updates the motion sequence of the robot without the need to edit the task script.

  • Deploy

Before deployment, one has to make sure that the workspace, part placement and the robots’ configuration settings are in place before proceeding to run the hardware.

  • ARTIMINDS RPS

The Artiminds Robot Programming Suite (RPS) is simple on/offline programming and simulation software from Universal Robots. The software helps the user during the automation setup through fast programming and simulation of the robots to their commissioning. It is suited for industries with the following applications, pick and place; screw driving, assembly, lab analysis and testing.

This is how the software works for it to accomplish a fast configuration that takes place within 60 seconds.

  • Drag and drop

This task involves writing a sequence of templates to the software interface.

  • Teach key points

In this step automatic parameterization when online is done by guiding but when offline it is through the CAD.

  • Simulating executing and refining

One has to simulate and monitor the program in 3D, proceed to execute the robot script generated on the robot and then refine the solution.

After setting up the robot with the software, the user enjoys seamlessly switch from live teaching the collaborative robot and programming it offline using the 3D simulation, inspect the cycle times and easily connecting the PLCs and sensors using the digital and analog interfaces.

The software is suited for use by the three collaborative robots from Universal Robots (UR3, UR5 and UR10).