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Recommendations for a hardy, IP67 arm

asked 2016-10-26 13:34:36 -0500

AndyZe gravatar image

updated 2016-10-26 13:35:34 -0500


I'm looking for an IP67 arm for a mobile robot in a harsh environment. Some other wishes are:

  • ROS compatability
  • Small controller (must fit on a ~900mm x 900mm platform)
  • Reach >500mm
  • At least 5 DOF

So far, I've just found the Fanuc LR Mate 200iD and possibly an Oceaneering Terabot. But I think the Fanuc's controller is huge. Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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Not an answer, but the Fanuc R-30iB Mate controller would actually seem to fit your constraints: regular cabinet is 470x402x400mm (WxDxH) max, OpenAir is even smaller: 370x350x356mm (WxDxH) max. They're 40 and 20 Kg respectively. Which controller have you seen?

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-26 14:41:28 -0500 )edit

Control interfaces offered by the Terabot are way better than those for the Fanuc though. External motion control on Fanucs is not too good. But do ask Fanuc about that.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-26 14:43:54 -0500 )edit

Thank you for the advice, @gvdhoorn! I got a quote from Fanuc and the price seems good (better than I expected). Unfortunately the smallest controller is not available so it would be the 470x402x400mm one. Can you tell me more about the weaknesses of the ROS-I Fanuc driver?

AndyZe gravatar image AndyZe  ( 2016-10-31 11:06:07 -0500 )edit

It's not the ros-i driver per se: Fanucs just don't really have options for external motion control, when compared to vendors like KUKA, ABB, Denso, Mitsubishi, etc. All those vendors have 100Hz+ joint position control at least. The closest thing Fanuc has is something called DPM ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-31 11:52:03 -0500 )edit

.. Dynamic Path Modification. But that is Cartesian only, and is really limited. With sufficient time & effort, DPM could perhaps be used to create an external interface with sufficient performance, but even then, it would only be position control. Velocity, effort or impedance are not possible ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-31 11:54:54 -0500 )edit

.. at least not when you want to exert any influence over it from an external entity. Everything as far as I know of course, but I've spent some time looking into this. If you can prove me wrong, please do so, as it would allow me to improve the ROS-I driver as well. If you have the option, ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-31 11:56:29 -0500 )edit

.. and you want to control your robot externally (which I suspect you want to do, as you list "ROS compatibility"), then, if you want to stay with industrial robots, I'd go with any of the other vendors.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-31 11:58:05 -0500 )edit

An example: the KUKA Agilus (KR 3, 6, 10, etc) are IP67, and when used with RSI, have a proper (250Hz) position control interface. ROS-I pkg: kuka_experimental.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2016-10-31 12:04:04 -0500 )edit

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answered 2017-01-11 10:27:28 -0500

AndyZe gravatar image

I appreciate @gvdhoorn's advice. We were leaning towards a Fanuc LR Mate until finding that UR sells protective suits. And we already know and love UR's ROS interface, so I think we'll go with that.

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Thanks for letting us know what you eventually chose.

And we already know and love UR's ROS interface [..]

Just to clarify: you mean the ROS driver(s) that exist(s) for UR hw. UR had no hand in them :).

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-01-11 16:08:46 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-10-26 13:34:36 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 11 '17