KUKA Robotics Training Programme

Last week, I attended a training programme at KUKA Robotics Pune from the 2nd to 4th of May.

During the programme I learn’t how to jog and master the axes, calibrate the various co-ordinate systems and tools, calibrate it for different payloads and supplementary loads and also some basic logic programming.

The trip to KUKA was a bit long as the first day of the training programme coincided with the day of our return from a very long vacation. We took a flight from Amsterdam to Dubai, Dubai to Bombay and Bombay to Goa (with stop-overs) and reached home at 10:30 in the night. The very same night (at around 1:00 a.m.) we left for Pune by road. On reaching Pune at 9:30 the next morning, we drove to the KUKA Robotics Training Centre where the session had already begun. I was an hour late (and jet lagged) but soon caught up with what was being done. There were also three other gentlemen in the training programme who were from CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore.

Day 1:

Introduction to jogging the 6 axes of a KR16-2 KUKA robotic arm. The robotic arm is controlled using keys or a type of joystick from a handheld device called a smartPAD while jogging. There are 4 operating modes of the robot, namely T1, T2, Auto and Auto-External. Of these 4 modes, T1 allows enabling of motion from the smartPAD with a velocity limit of 25 cm/s. T2 does not have a velocity restriction, (so the safety door of the work area must be kept closed and nobody should be present inside) but programmes running in this mode also require motion to be enabled from the smartPAD. Auto mode allows the program to run without human intervention. Auto-External requires an external PLC to be connected, usually because inputs may be required from the operator in that particular program, but otherwise runs autonomously. I experimented with a gripper attachment on the robotic arm and learn’t how to master each of the robot’s axes with an EMD (Electronic Mastering Device).

Day 2:

Calibration of the robot for carrying a payload, supplementary load and tool. I learnt to calibrate the Tool and Base Co-ordinate Systems and also some basic programming for Point-to-point motion (PTP/Axis specific movement), Linear & Circular motion (Controlled Path movement). In addition to these, I also learn’t to archive and restore files in the smartPAD.

Day 3:

Usage of continuous motion and SPLINE movement and change of orientation for the same position (x,y,z) in PTP motion. Collision detection through changes in torque and synchronised output motions were also covered along with logic programming. There are 5 basic concepts in logic programming: inputs, outputs, timers, time dependant ‘wait’ functions and signal dependant ‘wait’ functions. Outputs can further be subdivided into simple outputs, pulse outputs and motion synchronised outputs.

These 3 days have been an invaluable learning experience.

Sincere thanks to Mr. Saurabh Gupte, Mr. Ravi Teja and KUKA Robotics for permitting me to attend the training programme.

KUKA training programme_group photo


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