Robot Programming

According to the consistent performance by the robots in industries, the robot programming can be divided in two common types such as:

  • Leadthrough Programming Method
  • Textual Robot Languages

Leadthrough Programming Method:

During this programming method, the traveling of robots is based on the desired movements, and it is stored in the external controller memory. There are two modes of a control system in this method such as a run mode and teach mode. The program is taught in the teach mode, and it is executed in the run mode. The leadthrough programming method can be done by two methods namely:

  • Powered Leadthrough Method
  • Manual Leadthrough Method

a)   Powered Leadthrough Method:

The powered leadthrough is the common programming method in the industries. A teach pendant is incorporated in this method for controlling the motors available in the joints. It is also used to operate the robot wrist and arm through a sequence of points. The playback of an operation is done by recording these points. The control of complex geometric moves is difficult to perform in the teach pendant. As a result, this method is good for point to point movements. Some of the key applications are spot welding, machine loading & unloading, and part transfer process.

b)   Manual Leadthrough Method:

In this method, the robot’s end effector is moved physically by the programmer at the desired movements. Sometimes, it may be difficult to move large robot arm manually. To get rid of it a teach button is implemented in the wrist for special programming. The manual leadthrough method is also known as Walk Through method. It is mainly used to perform continuous path movements. This method is best for spray painting and arc welding operations.

Textual Robot Languages:

In 1973, WAVE language was developed, and it is the first textual robot language as well. It is used to interface the machine vision system with the robot. Then AL language was introduced in 1974 for controlling multiple robot arms during arm coordination. VAL was invented in 1979, and it is the common textual robot language. Later, this language was updated in 1984, and called as VAL II. The IBM Corporation has established their two own languages such as AML and AUTOPASS, which is used for the assembly operations.

Other important textual robot languages are Manufacturing Control Language (MCL), RAIL, and Automatic Programmed Tooling (APT) languages.

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