Can't wait to get my robot home. I've been interested in robots ever since Chrismas of 1977 when I got a Robotron from Radio Shack. Remember those? Anyway, I run a small CNC machine shop and want a robot to load/unload parts. I simply don't have the room for a long bar feeder, so robot loading is the next best thing.
I'm looking for any and all software I'll be able to use to communicate, configure, program, and even simulate. And yes, I've seen the "free utilities" thread, but I have plenty of editors already.
First and foremost, I'm looking for communications software so I can write the code on my PC, then transfer to the MRC via ethernet. I have since learned (after writing a cheque to the local Motoman distributor here in Canada) that software isn't free, and isn't something they can give out just because I bought a robot from them. Yeesh. Give me a break.
What can I say - I'm a small business trying to save a buck here, and can't afford to spend thousands on software packages. I can obviously program from the pendant, but I'd like to do more interesting stuff affix the robot with a spindle/endmill and carve 3D objects on a rotary table (4D milling). Not something possible with a pendant. That requires feeding the program in a stream, or at least uploading copious lines of code over a network.
Next, is the Motocom DLL. Is the DLL a chargeable item? You'd think Motoman would give away the DLL to encourage developers to write software and interfaces for them. It's an Open Source world now. Why not avail of it?
Actually, I'm interested in any software that could be used ... affordably. Is it common (or even possible) to buy a USED copy of software and its corresponding USB key? (For example, when a robot or controller explodes explodes and its owner doesn't want to fix it, can they sell their software? Is this unheard of?)
Anyway, I chose the SK6 and MRC over an older K6 + ERC because of three things:
- Wanted the performance
- Wanted a newer design, esp controller
- MRC was the first series to allow "offline" programming via PC software.
- The newer style looked better. Non-essential, but important to me.
Too bad I didn't factor in that everything Motoman sells costs money - no freebies, and their software is expensive.
Anyway, I'm located in Canada if that makes a difference.
I'd like to hear how others have arranged to communicate with their robot by means other than the Motoman software suite, or if I'm mistaken about how expensive everything is, to become informed.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for any information you may offer.