The 7-axis robots are supplemented with additional rotary and linear external axes, which greatly increase applications. The robotic systems serve as a flexible, reconfigurable, motion control platform. A variety of tools can be mounted to the industrial arms, including filament and pellet based extruders, welding torches, hot wire cutters, etc. In addition to machining processes, the robots can perform assembly work using gripper tools.
If you have research that requires the robot, email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the application. Students currently and recently enrolled in introductory or advanced coursework with the robots may reserve time here.
All three robotic workcells vary in workspace limitations and tooling capacity.
KUKA KR120, Primarily used for research and advanced coursework, with high payloads up to 120Kg with a 2.5m reach. The robots are mounted on linear axes with up to 10m of range.
KUKA KR60, Primarily used for research and some coursework with medium payloads up to 60Kg with a 2m reach. The robots are floor mounted.
KUKA KR6, Primarily used for teaching introductory coursework with light payloads up to 6Kg with a 1m reach. A custom built workcell consists of a table and gantry with one inverted robot and one that is table mounted.
Due to the complexity of the kinematics and specialization of tooling, there is no simple answer for how large a workpiece can be; in general it must fall within the maximum reach limits of the industrial arms.
Robotic programming requires additional toolpathing information not found in typical CNC programming operations. For programming and simulating robotic toolpaths, the FABLab primarily uses a Rhino plug-in called SuperMatterTools (SMT), developed in house by the FABLab Director Wes Mcgee et al. Automation and control parameters are specific to each tooling process and are under constant research and development with every tooling prototype.
Applications of the robots are typically material driven for which a variety of specialized tools have been developed. Currently, fabrication processes involve carbon fiber, EPS foam, sheet metal, steel rod and glass
In general, use of the robots is limited to specific dedicated coursework taught in the FABLab. This coursework provides orientation on the operation of the robots. If you have research that requires the robot, email email@example.com to discuss the application.