Universal Robots: Top 10 FAQs

Universal Robots: Top 10 FAQs

Andy Larson | February 28th, 2013

Photo from Forbes.com's story by Jennifer Hicks 2/10/13

So Why the Universal Robots FAQs?

Answer: Because, thanks to your reading, I've had ample opportunities to receive questions from people interested in this product!

I've been getting a lot of attention and questions regarding the Universal Robots series of Collaborative Robots (cobots), the UR5 and UR10 and it's because of you guys!

So, to help you with your research decisions, I've decided to put up a quick Top 10 FAQs regarding the Universal Robots that we've been featuring. These FAQs are both commonly asked questions that I've fielded on the road and questions that I think should be asked. If you're new to the Universal Robots Collaborative industrial robotic solution, then check out my other posts in the UR series at the bottom!

Top 10 Universal Robots FAQs

Q1. What makes the Universal Robot collaborative (without additional safety equipment or hard guarding)?

In short, the controller will continually monitor and limit the amount of force that the arm is exerting to 150 N. Based on your risk assessment, this may be the only safety precaution necessary. According to ISO safety regulations, a Risk Assessment must be done by the party taking responsibility for the integration of the robot, so you must figure out what is acceptable for you.

Q2. Collaborative and Cage Free mode is interesting. Can any application be collaborative?

No, while collaborative technology is great, it isn't for every application. However, approximately 80% of Universal Robot installations are operating safely without additional guarding. Based on the results of a Risk Assessment, some form of additional safety guarding may be required (this Risk Assessment is the responsibility of the party integrating the robot). But 80% is pretty good and provides a ton of opportunity to save time and money!

Q3. Is the Universal Robots controller compatible with machine vision systems?

Yes, the Universal Robots controller can be configured to talk with almost any industrial device that communicates via Modbus TCP or Ethernet TCP/IP Sockets.

Q4. What motor and reducer technologies are used in the joints?

Each joint contains a Brushless Servo Motor and a Harmonic Drive Reducer.

Q5. How many revolutions are the joints capable of rotating?

All of the joints are capable of +/- 360 degrees of rotation (two full revolutions).

Q6. What type of hardware is the controller based on?

The controller is a compact Industrial PC that runs a Linux based Operating System.

Q7. What is the max speed capability of the Universal Robots 6-Axis arm?

The 6-Axis arms are capable of speeds up to 1 m/s.

Q8. Can I do force control applications without any additional hardware or software?

Yes, the Universal Robots controller can be programmed to do "Force Moves" where the amount of force the arm is producing in a given direction is limited.

Q9. How is the robot programmed?

The Universal Robots solutions are able to be programmed in three modes:

  1. Simple Teach Mode - this is where the robot is taught 'waypoints' by moving the robot into position by the operator - see our video below!
  2. Teach Pendant - via the teach pendant, just about all of the robot's capabilities are accessible through a well written program in a very intuitive point and click environment
  3. Scripting Language - for very large or complex programs, it may be more efficient to program via the robots' full featured scripting language.

Q10. Can I edit a program offline?

Yes, whether a program was developed using the Teach Pendant or written in the scripting language, it can be edited offline via any standard text editor.

Once again, thank you all so much for reading. We've gotten a lot of positive responses from this and we'd like to continue to do our best to help people make the best decision for their company. If you'd like to talk to me about the Universal Robot (or another robot), shoot me an email by clicking below! Let me know if you'd like me to cover anything in particular.

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Andy Larson

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CrossRobotics Business Manager with Cross Company Motion Solutions. Specialties include all things robotics, machine design, electro-mechanical systems, servos, automation, mechatronics & manufacturing. Follow Andy @AndyCrossCo.