Universal robots UR10 vs Kuka KR10

  • So i am working on a new project where i need a robot to load and unload and machine that makes plastic watering cans. For me the first choice is a Kuka robot. In this case Probably the KR10 R1420. But i was also offered a Universal robots UR10.

    The thing is i am a bit hesitant to use the UR10, moslty because i am unfamiliar with it in the sense that is know what it is and what its capabilities are, but never had any hands on experience. To compare i have been working with Kuka bots for over 7 years.

    So i want ask a few questions to people here who have had hands on experience with the UR10 (or another robot from universal robots) and don't want sell me a robot.

    My first question is about programming. What i can find on the internet and what the seller tells me is: it is super simple, you learn it within a hour. What i hear is that there is a user friendly interface you use to program, but with limited depth. I see it the same light as the Inline forms from kuka. Yes it is easy to use, but for complicated programming with base shifts and product measurement i prefer to write my own code. Does the UR software allow for more complex programming or are you stuck with basic functions? or are there enough functions that i dont need to worry about that.

    My second question concerns safety. One of the biggest advantages for the UR robot is that i dont have to fence everything off. well that is what the seller tells me anyway. I know it is not that simple (and sometimes differs between countries to make it easier). I think in my case i don't need fencing. i can probably keep speeds low and it is not like i am mounting a knive to it. But the last step is that watering can is placed on a table in front of an employee who preforms the more complex task that i can not automate (yet). That employee needs to feel safe working next to it, and that is a hard thing to quantify. To give an example with the kuka bots in normally work with (KR150) i am really happy that there is a fence between me and it. Even during programming at low speeds i am really mindfull of where it is and where it is going because i know that it wont stop if it hits me. Now this an extreme example because of the size of robot. But i have seen small robots move with high speeds, and i don't want to get near those. Basically what i am asking if people here have had crashes/accidents and how safe you feel working next to it. I know this is a bit of a vaque question, but i a really interested in this.

    Looking forward to your input/thoughts

    Every problem has a solution, that isn't the problem. The problem is the solution.

  • I'll list a few of the differences that I've noticed while working with both:

    1.) The UR robot has a very SIMPLE display that even nonprogrammers can understand within the first hour of dealing with it. As opposed to KUKA who has a somewhat unique feel to the software, where you have to kinda know where everything is. UR can get a little confusing as opposed to KUKA when it comes to opening subroutines and viewing them, in my perspective, due to all programs being on one screen while running the main routine.

    2.) Kuka is a little more "OPEN" in the sense of the type of instructions that you can use or just type in unlike UR who has a specific set of instructions that they try to push on you. KUKA has a full keyboard and WorkVisual is better for complex programming

    3.) Safety hands down UR takes the cake especially since people will be working around it. The safety features on the UR 10 are absolutely phenomenal especially with the protection against harm to an individual.

    But keep in mind you are comparing apples to pears.

    UR is a Cobot and KUKA is not.

    KUKA cobots are not the greatest and run on a different software than what you are used to I think it's called Sunrise.

    1.) I'm no expert.

    2.) I need advice/therapy

    3.)Have fun!! Live life!! :P :P

  • Thanks for the Information, It is always a bit difficult when i a seller or sales representative seams over optimistic about a product. What is definitely the case with the sales rep i got for UR. In the end it is probably comes down to if i want to build a cobot application or a traditional robot cell.

    If i only look at the cost, the traditional cell is the cheaper option, but with the cobot i can be lot more flexible if i need to be.

    Every problem has a solution, that isn't the problem. The problem is the solution.

  • Regarding UR, their simulation software (Polyscope) is free, and can be downloaded from their website. It works the same way KUKA OfficeLite these days. You will download a virtual machine, and You will have a virtual teach pendant running inside this virtual machine. You can take a look in the programming interface and even write some code.

    To handle complex tasks, UR also offers a secondary and more complex language called URScript.

    But as expertfisherman20 told on his message, a KR10 and a UR10 are very different beasts.

    I think an important detail to keep in mind is robot speed and cell cycle time. Cobots are normally slow (and looks safer to work by its side). On the other hand, a KR10 is pretty fast, so You can achieve better cycle times.

  • I have had a conversation with my sales rep from kuka, most of the conversation was about delivery time for a new robot. what at the moment seems to be a bit of problem. But i also asked what he thought about the situation. I could hear he tried to be polite, but i could tell he was not a fan of the Universal robots. He made a remark about the durability of the cobot vs there KR10. I know that mechanically the kuka robots are designed and build to last. We have 3 robots here that are almost 20 years old and mechanically they are still in great condition. (but i have to admit that in the controller we have had plenty of issues) and if you compare that to the UR10 wich is of course a bit lighter in build (because it can be, and probably because it needs to be from a safety perspective). So i can probably see that they probably wont last as long as a kuka bot. But in there defensive i can't find any stories of UR bots being of bad quality or last only a short time.

    That is the problem with sales reps (from both sides) the really like to sell me things.

    To make it easier for me is that my boss has already approved the higher budget for the UR10 so it basically comes down to what i think is best for this application. both will work but the UR10 will give me the flexibility to not have fencing and thus have a much lower required floor space.

    Every problem has a solution, that isn't the problem. The problem is the solution.

  • About the durability, I've see some UR giving up after some months of intensive tasks. But, to be fair, I think on most of these cases, the problem was more from project side than the product side.

    Other thing You must consider is that KR10 R1420 has a bigger reach than an UR10 or UR10e.

  • From what I've seen and heard: URs definitely lack the durability of a KUKA (or Fanuc, or ABB) in the same payload range. That said, if the task you're trying to program isn't arduous, and isn't pushing the robot hard for cycle time, it might well hold up indefinitely. URs also lack the raw strength of a same-payload non-Cobot, from what I've seen -- if your watering can tends to "stick" in the mold, a UR might not have the muscle to pull it free, where a KR10 might.

    The UR has a definite advantage in the "operator interaction" area. For a KUKA, you would have to add the SafeOperation package, define a safety zone for the operator, add an area scanner or lightscreen, , maybe a Safety PLC as well, and set the robot up to do a Safety Rated "position hold" whenever it and the operator were in the same area. Plus, when the robot is moving in/out of that area, the operator would have to stay outside the shared zone until the robot reached the "hold" position.

    KUKAs are definitely more programmable, but for a simple pick&place, the UR might well be fine. One thing to keep in mind: the URs definitely lean on their UR-Caps, pre-made packages for grippers, vision cameras, etc, that pre-package hardware and software together. If you can find a UR-Cap that fits your application, getting that with the robot might make your integration and programming that much simpler.

    I'd second the recommendation to download the PolyScope simulator and try it out. It's the best way to get a handle on what the programming environment is like.

  • Technically both would be new to me. But i have experience setting up (V)KRC2's with KR150's and KR210's. In case of kuka the "new" part would be the KRC4. The UR bot i have only seen in pictures and video.

    At the moment it looks like the project is a bit stuck in limbo, I at least have not worked on it for several weeks. I did however messed around a bit with the Polyscope simulator. which wasn't all bad. i am not a big fan of how it works, but i can work with it.

    Every problem has a solution, that isn't the problem. The problem is the solution.

  • Hi Leon,

    related to your second concern, if you want to use a UR you need to provide additional safety standards, such as radar, to delimitate worker zone and cobot zone,

    one advice, when you want to add a cobot within production, you need to be sure that all elements mounted on cobot are colaborative (even the manipulated part could be a reason to not get the Safety approval from Piltz per ex)

    from my exp, i will deploy kuka not a UR, ur is nor for play...almost same price.

    you can go further with Kuka + safety radar. and you eliminate the fances.



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