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How to get robots to talk to each other
06. December 2017 / By Sam Paxton / 0 Comments
With the rising popularity of vision systems and other robot-aiding instruments, it is now common to see robots take on more and more intricate tasks. This creates situations where robots are handing off parts to each other and in doing this, they need to communicate robot to robot to maintain efficiency and fast production times. Universal Robots have an arsenal of communication protocols to satisfy almost all new and old networks, including: MODBUS, ProfiNet, EtherNet/IP, TCP/IP, and XMLRPC.TCP/IP and Remote Control
The Dashboard server has much more functionality that just starting/stopping the robot. For more information on Dashboard Server commands and usage, see Article 15690 on Universal Robots support page.
Alternative Remote Control Servers
The Dashboard Server provides access to very high level functionality, such as loading programs, getting robot states, and turning it on and off. More specific functionality, such as moving the robot, is archived through the Primary (port 30001), Secondary (port 30002), or Real-Time (port 30003) Servers that also run on the robot. These servers listen for URScript commands such as:
Get the ebook on MODBUS
The MODBUS protocol, an industry standard, is used frequently throughout the robot industry. Although MODBUS is often times used along with a MODBUS controller, the protocol can be used by itself for yet another robot-to-robot communication method. Axis New England, a UR distributor, has created a convenient ebook that lays out how MODBUS connections are setup, and what is needed to configure communication between two robots. The ebook also introduces example programs using MODBUS registers to send coordinate information between two robots, complete with a download link to the example program and a video of the program in action.
Sam Paxton is currently finishing a co-op assignment at Teradyne Inc. and plans to finish his degree in Computer Engineering at UMass Lowell. At Teradyne, Sam benchmarked average times to create vision programs and researched ways to create a more approachable solution to vision applications, which included studying many different communication methods robots are currently using.