What it is: A blend is a motion that uses a series of waypoints to create a smooth motion to multiple points in the workspace without having to stop at each one. Blends navigate the robot arm from one position to another through a busy workspace.
- A Blend is the best way to navigate a workspace that is full of obstacles or that uses a large area of the arm's workspace.
- The advantages of a blend:
- Complex motions appear as single block on the TaskCanvas.
- Motions occur fluidly as opposed to stopping/starting at each waypoint.
- Adjusting the blend radius will smooth out the motion (higher value), or more closely move to the waypoints within the blends (lower value).
- When making a motion that requires a 180+ degree rotation of a single joint, make sure to program multiple waypoints along the path of the rotation so that the blend goes in the correct direction.
- Blends are useful for complex motions, such as pulling a part out of a hopper, or pressing several buttons on a control panel.
- When pressing buttons or performing an operation where the robot arm must fully travel to the waypoint locations within the blend, set the blend radius to zero.
- Use a blend to lift a part from a hopper while simultaneously pulling it away from neighboring parts, or to place a part in a vice by pushing an edge against the vice jaw and then rotating around that edge to fully seat the part.
- The 02 button on the TeachMate programs blend moves when pressed from the TaskCanvas. While in a blend generator, each successive press will place the location of the arm as a waypoint.
- Rapidteach is useful when programming waypoints with the robot arm fully extended away from the Forge monitor, or when rotating the arm long distances around the base joint.
- Use Rapidteach to create coarse waypoints from the TeachMate and then return to the monitor to modify them and make fine adjustments to create the final desired position.
- Because the robot arm will always try to move in a straight line between two waypoints, a blend that covers a large rotation without intermediate points will likely result in hitting a singularity or a collision with the robot arm itself.
- Set "move straight" to OFF to force the arm to move in rotational paths instead of straight paths, thus avoiding singularities.
- Note that this often slows the speed of the motion.
- Occasionally, a blend will omit a waypoint entirely if it calculates that it's unnecessary along the blend path. If the waypoint location was important to avoiding an obstacle or interacting with an object in the workspace, lower the blend radius.
- if the blend radius automatically lowers to a smaller value than desired, it means some of the waypoints are too close together for a higher blend. Either eliminate those waypoints or separate the blend into two blends between the large motions and small motions.
Picking and placing parts
- Creating a parts grid is one of the easiest ways to present parts to the Forge/Station in a repeatable pattern that eliminates the need to align or reposition the part on the gripper
- By creating an orthogonal grid (axes at right angles to each other), you can use the grid block to program all of the waypoints in the physical grid.
- The block creates the waypoints after the user defines three corners and the number of parts along each axis.
- Pay attention to the diagram in the block as it relates to the orientation of your parts in order to program the correct number of parts along each axis and the correct corners for the waypoints.
- when using a mechanical alignment socket, remember that the further the associated waypoints are from the socket, the greater the chance of error on realigned waypoints.
- If your parts grid is associated with an alignment socket, having the socket closer to the grid guarantees that the waypoints will be more accurate when realigned.
- If you plan to realign often, sacrifice a grid position close to the center of the grid and put the alignment socket there instead, centered within the grid waypoints.
- Or have the alignment socket attached directly to the surface of the grid, just outside of the grid.
- Always test the waypoints within the grid after a realignment by opening the block, selecting the waypoints, and pressing "Move To".
Custom grid order
- Not all grids have to be executed in the default order of the grid block, nor do they need to include all the waypoints created by the block.
- Within the grid generator is a dropdown box for "custom order" which allows the user to edit the order of the grid. two orders are already provided (default and zigzag).
- By adjusting the coordinates in the text field, you can remove individual points (for example to make room for an alignment socket), remove groups of points (to program a non-standard grid from a larger grid), or rearrange them (for example, to start on the second part in the grid).
- If you make a complex grid order that you want to reuse in other tasks, export it in a container.
What it is: Jogging is the motion by which the arm moves along or around a primary axis. The user can jog the robot arm to precise positions while programming the task or can program jog motions to execute during a task. Jog motions in a task can use the force sensor as well.
- Moving the robot arm in Teach mode is good for coarse adjustments but it can be difficult to position the arm precisely. Jog is the best way to make fine adjustments.
- Position the arm close to the desired waypoint in Teach mode and then use jog to make the final adjustments.
- Use jump for motions of known distance.
- The jog frame can be changed from the control panel. Jog in stand frame to move within the coordinate system of the stand, or in waypoint/landmark frame to move within the coordinate system created when a waypoint/landmark was made. Waypoint and landmark frames take the coordinate system of the tool at the point where the waypoint or landmark was created.
- Jogging in a frame other than tool will allow the arm to move independent of the orientation of the end-of-arm tooling.
- To snap the orientation of the tool to the selected frame, use snap Z or snap all.
Jog to contact
- Jog to contact is a more precise motion with force than Move to Contact. It moves very slow to guarantee higher precision in force feedback.
- Use this motion to bottom out parts in a chuck or against a fence, or to find the top of a part when picking it from a stack, grid, or alignment tray.
- When trying to pick a part from an imprecise location, use jog to contact to push the part against a fence or into a corner.
- Jog is useful in grid programming to create a series of pick and approach locations based off the grid waypoints
- Because all pick/place operations need an approach position, use the grid to create the waypoints for the approach
- stand-off the approach position from the pick position along a primary axis of the tool
- Place a jog block after the grid block and after the gripper on block in the opposite direction.
- this creates an approach position (the grid block), a pick position (jog down to the part, with contact optional), and a return to the approach position (jog away from the part) without having to program separate waypoints for each
- Note that jogging in tool frame from the RCP and jog blocks on the TaskCanvas are all affected by the tool center point specified in the Setup Tool screen.
- For a gripper off-axis from the TeachMate, adjust the TCP so that jog motions take place along the axis of the gripper.
- Programming precise gripper locations is easier if the TCP is placed at the endpoint of the gripper, allowing rotations to pivot around the endpoint gripper instead of the robot wrist.
- Using jog to contact too often in a task can affect cycle time. For moves that do not require precision, consider move to contact.
- Do not stack multiple jog to contacts in succession without relieving the stress on the robot arm or you may force a protective stop.
- Programming programming
- Cautions here.
What it is: What is it?
- Programming programming
- Cautions here.
- Use a vector like a jog for situations where the motion is more complex - requiring both linear and rotational motion - and needs to be performed at multiple locations.
- Cautions here.