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Kuka says its augmented reality ‘makes new robots easier to start up’

Kuka says its new Kuka.MixedReality software visualizes the environment of robot cells live on smartphones to “support fast, safe and intuitive robot start-up”.

The mobile app displays tools and interference geometries to enable early detection of potential hazards so users can eliminate them before a robot starts work.

Augmented Reality enables intuitive robot startup. It connects the real and virtual worlds to enrich the environment of the robotic cell with clear, uncomplicated digital information.

Users can detect and correct errors quickly, which accelerates installation and increases safety. For example, the software can simulate robot motion with a virtual gripper.

To prevent damage to the robot or gripper, any potential collisions that show up in the AR environment can be prevented early in the real environment.

The software can be used to simulate robot movement with a virtual gripper, for example. If potential collisions are detected in the AR environment, they can be prevented at an early stage in the real environment so that neither the robot nor the gripper is damaged.

Kuka.MixedReality consists of the Kuka.MixedReality Assistant app and the additional KUKA.MixedReality Safe technology package, which is installed on the robot controller.

Kuka.MixedReality is easy to set up and operate: Users install the free Kuka.MixedReality Assistant on their smartphone or tablet via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

All relevant information about the robot transmits directly to the mobile end device via WLAN through a router or access point (not a Kuka product) and displays visually on the mobile device.

No AR headset or additional hardware is required. Simply install the Kuka.MixedReality Safe technology package on the robot controller as a data source, along with one of the Kuka.SafeOperation technology packages to use with Safe functions.

The Kuka.MixedReality Assistant app graphically displays all relevant variables directly on the robot in real time, including Cartesian or violated monitoring spaces, safety-oriented tools and tool spheres.

Users also can view the corresponding configuration parameters of the spaces or tools. Interested parties already can download and test the free application. The integrated demo mode enables function testing without a real robot.

Roland Ritter, portfolio manager simulation at Kuka, says: “Augmented or mixed reality is a future-oriented topic that also offers promising opportunities in robotics.

“Kuka.MixedReality makes robot installation more user friendly and safe. This benefits customers at all levels of experience in the field of automation.”

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