PC-based control industrial robot arm

Hi, How can using a stardard PC to control the movement of a real industrial robot, for instance:PUMA. Did I need some special library of this robot? If yes, How can I get one?

Tks. bruce

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Without direct experience, I'd hazard to guess that you'd ask the manufacturer of the robot for it.

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Joe Strout

I don't know what level of cofigurability and complexity you desire to handle, but here goes...

I think there is quite a bit that goes into a PC-based robot control station. On the hardware side, you will need a I/O board inside the PC with enough analog, digital I/O and encoder inputs. You will have to find a way to interface this with the robot controller. For example, I have used a servo-to-go I/O board

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with a TRC-205 amplifier package (see
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to connect a PC to a Puma560.

The tricky part is the software in my opinion. You will need to implement a real-time control loop - which may require you to develop the controller program on top of a real-time operating system such as QNX or RT-linux. You will also need to develop additional programs such as a teach-pendant, trajectory generator and so on. There might be motor amplifier packages out there that connect to a PC USB port (for example) and has the control-loop and trajectory generation in-built. In this case, you won't need to deal with the complexity of implementing real-time loop in the PC.

In addition, you need modelling parameters for forward/inverse kinematics and dynamics. This is where you will need support from the robot manufacturer. For standard robots such as the PUMA, these parameters are well known, and available in public domain. I don't know of a library that provides all this functionality out of the box. I was lucky to have worked on the design and development of such a software when I was a grad student:

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"Joe Strout" a écrit dans le message de news: snipped-for-privacy@comcast.dca.giganews.com...

Good luck, Unimation, the PUMA manufacturer, is out of business since the last eighties.

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Thank you very much! Vkc. The information is really useful for me to understand the pc-based robot control station,especailly the three website addresses.

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PUMAs I worked with in the 80's ran VAL II, and were controlled via serial link from a PC with the VAL software installed. It used an interpreted compiler to read programs and control the motors. It mostly did pick-and-place pre-programmed moves, but there was one mode, called ALTER, that could be used for real-time commanding or reaction to sensors. If you can find the VAL software anywhere, good luck. I believe Staubli is the company that now makes that style manipulator, and they may be of some help.

Mike Ross

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At the end of the last century, I developped a toolbox able to control a PUMA VALII, ADEPT/STAUBLI V+ or FANUC Karel robot from a PC.

It may be the Mike Ross approach.

I kept the original controller from the robot, but connected through a real time high speed channel to the PC. Most of the movement commands where implemented in the PC.

I wrote applications based on this toolbox, written in C , totally resident in the PC.

More than 100 robots are working that way, some doing pick and place, most of them doing finishing jobs like trimming and grinding

You can get pretty good used ValII robots from american brokers.


Alain Riaud CONCEPT'R

"Bruce" a ¨¦crit dans le message de news: snipped-for-privacy@y80g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...

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A Riaud

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