when it comes to programming user friendly... FANUC or KUKA?

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  • I've done plenty of that also. Just curious: what is your favorite choice of robot brand for this level of work?

    My personal choice is KUKA robots. But I spent 20+ years doing high-end programming on them, so I'm probably biased there.

    KUKAs are, in my experience, the most "hackable" of the Big Five, and handcuff you to KUKA the least. The flip side of that is that KUKAbots are probably harder to learn -- if Fanucs are Macs, then KUKAs are Linux.

    Unless you start getting into realtime motion control (which would require the RSI package, or some serious hacking on the Function Generator), you can do almost everything on a KUKA with a simple text editor. Fanucs, you pretty much have to write everything on the pendant, unless you buy a RoboGuide license, which is (as far as I know) the only "offline" IDE for writing TP or KAREL. There are some command-line utilities that can be scripted to compile TP or KAREL code, but I'm unclear on whether you can get them without RoboGuide.

    (to be fair, RoboGuide is a better integrated package than the KUKA equivalent)

    If you're doing small, physicall "light" applications, URs would be worth looking at. URs are not up to the physical standards of "normal" industrial robots, but they do offer a built-in telnet-ish interface that's rather unique, and also allow you to program in Python in addition to their "pendant" language. And they're the only manufacturer that offers a fairly complete free "simulator" as a virtual machine. OTOH, their tech support is rather thin -- you'd have to lean on the user community and forums if you have detailed technical questions.

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