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ROS support for industrial robotic arms?

asked 2011-10-18 09:41:16 -0600

lucasw gravatar image

I would like to purchase a 4-6 axis industrial robotic arm with 3 to 6 kg payload and in the $50K range. Is there ROS support for any from the major manufacturers, e.g. Kuka, Fanuc, ABB, Motoman, or Denso? Even Linux support would be acceptable and I could develop the ROS software myself.

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answered 2011-10-18 10:22:06 -0600

AHornung gravatar image

Motoman seems to be developing ROS support:

There is also a ROS integration of the KUKA LWR:

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This is the SWRI project page: - wiki and source is 'coming soon'.
lucasw gravatar imagelucasw ( 2011-10-20 02:28:56 -0600 )edit

answered 2011-10-20 23:06:01 -0600

Mimax gravatar image

What is the application or rather how complex is it and what function of the robot controller do you need?

In my application i only need to tell the robotic arm which pose it has to move to and retrieve status values for joints/currentPose/forceValue.

It is probably not a very good solution. At least it is a simple one;). I'm using a tcpConnections to my arm which sends Pose values and gets the status values. This would probably applicable to most other arms that support tcp sockets.

Btw, I’m using a Universal Robot. Unfortunately it's payload is limited to 5 kgs. However the price is definitely less 50k.

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Actually that might be a very suitable arm. I haven't heard of this company or the UR5 before but it looks very interesting, is it available in North America? Do you have any source code available or a project page describing your own work with it?
lucasw gravatar imagelucasw ( 2011-10-24 10:33:15 -0600 )edit
I don't think that Universal is selling arms in the US yet (lacking regulatory certification). But I'm interested to hear how well it works, and would also like to see a pointer to the ROS integration code.
Brian Gerkey gravatar imageBrian Gerkey ( 2011-10-24 11:30:16 -0600 )edit
+Brian Gerkey I have word that certification is expected 'early 2012'. I feel like a lot of the cost of some of the arms are driven by precision/repeatability capabilities I don't require- I think the UR5/6 may be less repeatable than others but that's great for me if it brings the price down.
lucasw gravatar imagelucasw ( 2011-10-26 03:18:07 -0600 )edit
Unfortunately I don’t have any information online (yet) neither code nor project information, but I can contact you via email. Regarding the ros integration code, as I said, till now it is quite simple. My ROSNode just sends Pose Values to the UR through TCP/IP socket and the UR moves to that pose.
Mimax gravatar imageMimax ( 2011-10-26 20:03:36 -0600 )edit
As I’m not using all of that fancy motion_planning stuff I’m not sure whether it makes sense to publish such a simple node. I know that the real leverage of ros in terms of hardware integration would be a lower integration of the UR(based on ROS motion_planning).
Mimax gravatar imageMimax ( 2011-10-26 20:03:58 -0600 )edit
But for my purposes the current solution is fine enough. One of my co-worker has worked with both robots. I’ll ask him about pros &cons.
Mimax gravatar imageMimax ( 2011-10-26 20:04:25 -0600 )edit
Mimax I don't see a private message capability here, but my gmail address is just my user name here backwards (wsacul).
lucasw gravatar imagelucasw ( 2011-10-27 09:32:43 -0600 )edit

answered 2011-10-18 09:47:44 -0600

David Lu gravatar image

There is ROS support for the Kuka youBot.

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Comments Interesting. The payload of the arm is far too small to be useful for me but it's nice that it exists. But it seems like the arm ought to use a similiar interface as a larger Kuka arm, and there is
lucasw gravatar imagelucasw ( 2011-10-18 10:03:43 -0600 )edit
I wouldn't call the youBot an industrial robot ;) But I have seen the KUKA LWR in a couple of ROS-enabled robots already.
AHornung gravatar imageAHornung ( 2011-10-18 10:18:42 -0600 )edit

answered 2014-01-08 06:36:51 -0600

130s gravatar image

DENSO is now supported.

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Asked: 2011-10-18 09:41:16 -0600

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Last updated: Jan 08 '14