Getting joint values/axes coordinates in real time from the robot and use these values in a custom laptop program

  • Hey forum,

    i have the following problem: i have a kuka Kr 360 with a Kr C4 robot controller and i want to get the robots joint values/coordinates of the axes, preferably in real time, and then use these values in a custom program on my laptop.

    Therefore i need some type of interface to communicate with the robot and establish a network connection.

    What approach can i take to accomplish this? What is the best way to do this?



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  • I already read about JopenShowVar but the problem is that you have to install a client on the robot controller. I dont really want to do that.

    i will read into the Kuka Ethernet KRL now.

    Do you have any information about other ways? is it possible with the RSI?

  • SkyeFire thanks for the answer.

    i cant find that much information about rsi online. is it an extra option i have to pay for?

    and what solution would you suggest? is it possible to communicate over profinet (i would need a profinet network card for my pc) but it should be possible, right?

  • "i cant find that much information about rsi online"

    then internet, computers and programming are just not for you. you could read pinned topic READ FIRST and see how and where to get information. lots of it is on this forum and more can be downloaded from KUKA portal called Xpert. yes, 99% of all options are paid options. and RSI is expensive. some 4x the cost of Ethernet KRL but mere peanuts compared to FastSendDriver.

    getting ProfiNet card for your PC is one option but you still need ProfiNet for your KRC4 as well. that is a paid option of course and it may or may not work for you. need to check compatibility with any other options that your KRC4 may have.

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • did you try to google for "rsi"? you won't find related hits. but it you change search to "kuka rsi" you will get bunch of manuals in first few hits.

    read first topic contains info where to get info, including download section of this forum and how and where to get manuals from kuka. forum also has search function and RSI returns more than 250 hits.

    finally, one can also contact KUKA and ask for advice, quote and manuals. then you know the prices and get exactly what you need - even if you don't end up buying it.

    btw communicating with "robot" is really communicating with controller. type of robot arm has nothing to do with this but you may want to check what software is installed. you already mentioned KSS but not installed options. if you are i Europe, ProfiNet is very common. if you are in North America, EthernetIP is much more common. both use same resources and therefore cannot be used at the same time.

    also to get selection narrowed down, you need to be more specific about actual needs. is this one way or two way communication, how fast, how much data etc.

    there is plenty of responses with things to explore.

    1) read pinned topic: READ FIRST...

    2) if you have an issue with robot, post question in the correct forum section... do NOT contact me directly

    3) read 1 and 2

  • Thanks, i will contact Kuka in the next days.

    Yes i am in Europe and we use Profinet. But what do you mean with "both use same resources and therefore cannot be used at the same time."?

    i want a one way communication. just reading out the robot joint values and then use them on my PC.

    its no safety related program. i just want to visualize the robots movements and it should appear that the real robot and the visualization move at the same time. but obviously hard real time is not necessary

    i already read about some options to do this:


    Ethernet KRL


    OPC Server

    are there more?

    and all these things require to install something on the controller or are expenisve. is there another way?

    i thought about reading out the profinet connection but obviously i need a profinet networkcard in my pc for this.

    • Helpful

    RSI is "realtime" motion control. It can work over a TCP/IP connection, or over any FieldBus (EIP, ProfiNet, DeviceNet, etc) that has been installed and configured on the KRC. The KRC4 can support almost any of the common industry FBs, but they each require adding either software or hardware options. RSI updates every 12ms (4ms for some configurations).

    EthernetKRLXML (EKI) is the official KUKA option package to enable KRL programs to use TCP/IP (or UDP) connections. This is non-realtime interface, but a well-written SPS program can crudely approximate an RSI connection. For simple position reporting, this would probably serve.

    OpenShowVar is an unofficial 3rd-party option that operates rather like EKI. I've never used it, but my understanding is that it can "expose" global variables on the robot to a remote system over TCP/IP, without needing any paid KUKA options.

    OPC Server is a KUKA paid add-on that, in the robot, looks/feels like a FieldBus. The main difference is that OPC can work on regular PCs without requiring special hardware add-ons (unlike, say, ProfiNet). OPC's other big advantage is that it's an open standard that almost all automation brands support, unlike (for example) the Profinet/EIP divide.

  • Hi Julian
    It really depends on "how much realt time" you want.

    RSI can cycle at 4 ms, no lower than that.
    A much simpler way to do that is using EKI (ethernet Kuka inteface). Program the submit interpreter to read the $AXIS_ACT variable every cycle and send it via TCP.
    Clearly this second option is not hard real time. The cycle time of the submit is not fixed, but with few simple commands stays around 12 ms/cycle, but yes, is not fixed as the submit shares cpu resources with the robot interpreter so it may vary

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