Hi everybody, I'm new here!
I'm an high school teacher from a tech school in Italy. Our curriculum include automation, electronics and control systems courses and we are going to expand it including robotics. We need a solution from some of the vendors out there including:
- small robot
- controller and teach pendand
- software licences for 30 PC for simulation and offline programming
to use it in a school lab for theory and practical activities. We took basic courses with Yaskawa and ABB last year but we still haven't choose the right solution for our particular scenario.
We looked at cobots first because:
- we need a small robots with negligible payload
- it must be as safe as possible (no cage and people near it)
- we need to be able to move it easily (no 400V, lightweight, wheeled base)
Offline programming is important because we'll be using the robot two people at a time while the rest of the class works at the PC. This considered, while auto learning, free drive waypoint setup, and teach pendant programming is fine, it can't be the only solution available. It's too limiting. Moreover each vendor has its own closed platform. We need some solution that's not too far from what's in use in the industry (bigger industrial robots), at least programming wise.
I've personally talked to UR and got a quote for an UR3E education kit but I'm not convinced it's the right solution because offline programming is klunky at best. We also asked ABB and we're going to hear from Yaskawa soon. While we ask for cobots we plan to use the same software used for industrial robots programming. ABB's single arm Yumi could be a good choice, considering that the smallest product from Yaskawa is quite big (10Kg payload, 1,4m reach). We could also ask from other vendor of course. There are many more factors to consider: documentation, training courses and support for example. Form the programming standpoint I can't recall what's best/easier to use and that's important too. Lastly we're told Yaskawa is leading the market share here in Italy and that japanese solutions are the future while ABB is losing market share. Is that right?
Any advice form you people?