Robotic Programming

FANUC, ABB, KUKA robotic arm programming Software.  Robotic Simulation and Robotic programming Software from simple to complex tasks while maximising the robot's capabilities.

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Robotic programming refers to the process of creating software code to control and program robots to perform specific tasks. Therefore, there are various types of robots, and each requires a different type of programming depending on its functionality.

Training the Staff is a key to success

robotic arm programming

A Robot Integrator carries out some general steps involved in robotic programming, here are some of these tasks:

Before starting the programming process, it is essential to understand the robot’s physical characteristics, including the number of axes, payload capacity, and range of motion. This information will help in creating the kinematic model, which is necessary to program the robot.

Select a programming language that is suitable for the robot being used. Some commonly used languages for robotics include C++, Python, and Java.

Create a control system to enable the robot to perform its task, including sending commands to the robot’s motors and sensors. This may involve developing a custom control system or using existing software libraries.

Develop a kinematic model of the robot, which describes the robot’s motion based on joint angles. The model will provide the necessary information to program the robot to perform specific tasks.

Develop the code to program the robot to perform the desired task. The code should include instructions on how the robot should move, when it should stop, and when it should start.

Once the program is written, it is essential to test it to ensure that it works as expected. This may involve running simulations or testing the robot in a controlled environment.

After testing, the program can be deployed on the robot’s controller. This may involve uploading the code to the controller or integrating it with other software or hardware components.

Robotics programming is an ongoing process, and there may be a need to make updates or changes to the code over time. These changes should be documented and tested before deployment to ensure that they work as intended.

How to Program a Robot Arm?

Robotic arm programming involves specific coding languages to program the robot which enables a robot to detect its environment and execute the tasks.

There are ongoing views points on how to program a robot and which programming language is the best option. If you are a beginner, you could start programming robots in languages such as C/C++, Python and C and C++, but there is much to learn if you would like to become a professional in robotic programming.

Robotic engineers often develop a diagram of the robots. Moreover, besides the robot languages mentioned previously, the programmer uses other languages to program the robot such as Java®, and MATLAB® and software that acts as a bridge between an operating system or database and applications, especially on a network such as a robot operating system (ROS).

robotic arm programming
robotic arm programming

How to Identify Programming Errors in Robotic Arms

Proper programming is essential for a robotic arm to function correctly. Often, an error affects the entire workflow of robot programming. Identifying programming errors can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but it is crucial to ensure the smooth operation of the arm.

One way to identify programming errors is to review the code line-by-line to check for syntax errors, such as missing or misplaced semicolons and brackets.

Another method is to run simulations or tests to observe the arm’s movements. If the arm is behaving unexpectedly or not at all, there may be an error in the programming. Furthermore, robot software simulation helps to identify errors during simulation rather than in the production process. Additionally, simulating the system helps engineers to readjust the system’s design by tuning control parameters in a real-world environment.

It is also important to ensure that the programming language used for the robotic arm is compatible with the hardware, as incompatibility can cause errors.

Methods of Programming Robotic Arms

There are several methods for programming a robot. For example, the most common methods are:

  1. using the teach pendant,
  2. simulation/offline programming,
  3. and teaching by demonstration. 

However, according to the British Automation Association (BARA) currently, over 90% are programmed via teach pendant.

In the case of teaching with the pendant, the operator moves the robotic arm in jogging mode by eye to a point in space that they want as one of the waypoints for trajectory (or as a stopping point for an operation like a gripper action for instance).  Then the operator saves that position either as a point-to-point or linear move. When a complete trajectory has been built up, then the user can run the program through to confirm the correct operation.


robotic arm programming




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Robotic Simulation and Robotic Programming Software

Robot simulation software allows for programming the robot without necessarily having the actual robot to work on.  All the main robot manufacturers have simulations allowing the proving out of a proposed cell and permitting confirmation of reach and cycle time.   Also in the category of robot simulation, we find CAD-CAM software allowing the generation of the robot programs without the need for hand teaching.   In the case of CAM software, this will allow the importation of CAD files.  For example, CAD data of workpieces, end of arm tooling and the environment.

Types of Robotic Programming Software

Phoenix has simulation software for all robot manufacturers and we always carry out outreach testing and cycle time analysis when proposing a robot cell solution.  Likewise, we have many years of experience working with the main CAD-CAM programming software for robots such as Robotmaster,  KUKA Robot and Grasshopper, and ABB Robot Software just to mention a few. Contact us and request our Robotic Packages.

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Manufacturing Solutions

Phoenix provides solutions for all kinds of robotic applications. For example, Cutting, Painting,  Welding, Material Handling, Palletising, and Assembly robots use both new and reconditioned robots such as FANUC, ABB, and KUKA just to mention a few.  We also provide turnkey solutions to reduced-scope installs where the customer prefers to carry out some of the work in-house.

However, it is important to consider the Key Elements below before purchasing any industrial robot.

Robotic programming software

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