Send coordinates from PC to robot

  • Hello,


    I am working on a project in which a camera needs to send the coordinates of objects to a robot for it to pick them.


    I wanted to know from the experience of everyone in this forum what is the best method/software package to achieve this. The question is specifically about the sending and receiving data between PC and KRC4, not the further programming needed on both ends. Also, consider that the robot needs to preform a cycle every 1 second, so it's not real time control but communication needs to be fast.


    I currently have the EthernetKRL package on the robot we have in the lab and it works fine (with some issues sometimes when opening and closing the server) but for this new project I am open to use an alternative if it has advantages. For example, in this project I will also be using Profinet, is there a way to send data through Profinet from a PC?


    Thank you

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  • you need to be more specific...


    if you have EthernetKRL and ProfiNet, KRC is able to use both. Which of those can be used by your PC depends on what software you have on your PC.


    Why is there a PC? Are you using some off the shelf product or developing something yourself?

    Most vision systems are integrated with camera and able to communicate so there may not be a need for a PC.

    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

  • Hi panic mode,


    I'm asking for a new robot which initially doesn't have any of these options. I've only tried EthernetKRL for this purpose so I wanted community feedback for others such as OPC UA, ProfinetIO, etc, for this kind of application.


    As far as I've read the difference between EthernetKRL and the others is that in the others the communication is through mapping IOs instead of reading from a buffer into variables, but I don't know if there are any advantages to it.


    We're developing the vision system ourselves so we'd be using a PC to process the images and communicate with the robots.


    I'm asking because I assume it's a common application of robots and vision systems together, so there may be a better solution than what I'm doing.

  • well... it is also a common applications to use vehicles and roads. essentially they always serve same purpose but that does not means they are the same.


    standard KUKA solution when it comes to vision is to use VisionTech. Under the hood it uses Cognex software for processing (runtime runs on KRC or external PC). It communicates with robot via EthernetKRL.

    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

  • So, your homebrew vision system is PC-based?


    In that case, the real question is the best way to connect your PC application to a KRC.


    EKI is probably the most "open" way to do this. Given that it uses open-standard TCP/IP or UDP, opening a port and sending/receiving packets on the PC side, in any programming language, is pretty simple.


    It's possible to add ProfiNet to a PC, but it usually requires an expensive license, and moving data between your vision application and the ProfiNet driver may not be as simple and well-supported as using basic TCP/IP -- a lot will depend on the specific vendor you buy your PN driver from. PN on PCs used to require dedicated special PCI cards, but I think there are software-only implementations these days.


    I've used a KUKA that has EKI running in the SPS, using UDP for a constant stream of data from an "always active" vision system, and it works quite well. The vision system was only transacting data every 250ms, but a single data exchange was down in a few tens of ms, so reducing that cycle was probably entirely possible. It does require careful programming -- for one thing, open the port and keep it open -- but it is provably feasible.

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