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Gripper control via ABB IRC5 controller (and IRB 120 robot): drivers?

asked 2018-01-18 05:27:41 -0600

yamuna gravatar image

updated 2018-01-19 07:35:18 -0600

I am working with an ABB IRB 120 robot controlled by an IRC5 compact controller. I was able to correctly install the ABB drivers and to move the robot using the provided ROS packages, via the Ethernet connection between my pc and the IRC5.

Now I want to mount a gripper (I have not choose the model yet) on the wrist and I am wondering if there is a chance to connect and control the gripper directly via the IRC5 controller.

In other words: is it possible to connect the gripper wires directly to the port on the upper arm of the robot and control it in the same way I do with the robot joints? Do drivers exsist for I/O of the IRC5?

Or should I provide a direct connection between my pc and the gripper and then manage the gripper implementing a dedicated ROS node?

EDIT: thankyou gvdhoorn, I will work with a two-finger gripper and I am still considering programmable vs simple open-close options. I saw that some grippers provide a RS485 serial interface. In such case, would you suggest me to connect the gripper directly to my pc (via RS485-USB connection) or to try and connect the gripper to the IRC5 I/O ports and then control the IRC5 output via the Ethernet connection (that I already use to control the robot positioning)?

Thankyou

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I think any answer will be greatly dependent on the type of gripper (simple open/close, or 5 finger anthropomorphic with each digit individually controllable, etc) and the interfaces of the grippers control (DIO, full blown fieldbus, some custom protocol, etc).

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-01-18 06:02:03 -0600 )edit

Do drivers exsist for I/O of the IRC5?

Yes, but (at least for the package that I'm thinking of) they are currently in closed beta.

If you can expand your question a little, I'll see if it would be possible for you to join the beta program.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-01-18 06:03:27 -0600 )edit

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answered 2018-01-19 06:32:48 -0600

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2018-01-19 06:44:33 -0600

I will work with a two-finger gripper and I am still considering programmable vs simple open-close options. I saw that some grippers provide a RS485 serial interface. In such case, would you suggest me to connect the gripper directly to my pc (via RS485-USB connection) or to try and connect the gripper to the IRC5 I/O ports and then control the IRC5 output via the Ethernet connection (that I already use to control the robot positioning)?

After your edit this seems like it is only partially a ROS issue. Your question leans more to the "how do I connect (insert brand) gripper to an IRC5"-side.

Simple digital / analogue IO based grippers can be directly connected to an IRC5 (the controller should come with the necessary input/output facilities).

As to other interfaces (RS485 fi as you mention) those are typically not available on IRC5 controllers, and will depend on what sort of interfaces you can procure. I'm not up-to-speed with the types of interface modules that are available for ABB controllers.

As to software interfaces to these hw-interfaces (and ultimately your gripper(s)): simple digital / analogue IO can be controlled from ROS (using the same 'ethernet connection' if you want to put it like that) using the drivers that I mention in my comment.

As to everything else: I don't know of any packages that implement interfaces to such devices. Integrating grippers like that is typically done directly from your ROS PC.

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Thankyou gvdhoorn, my question was about the existence of IRC5 drivers to be specifically used to control the IRC5 I/O via ROS. If the answer was "YES", then I will find a hw solution to connect the gripper to the IRC5 I/O. Otherwise, I will just try a direct pc connection.

I exceeded with details

yamuna gravatar image yamuna  ( 2018-01-19 07:42:04 -0600 )edit

If with 'I/O' you mean digital and analogue IO (ie: 1-dimensional on/off/value), then the answer is yes (but in closed beta).

If you want arbitrary complexity (ie: higher-level abstraction message exchange, so including serial), then right now I think the answer would be no.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-01-19 08:43:28 -0600 )edit

Yes, I mean digital and analogue IO. I'm sorry I wasn't clear. So, final answer depends if it would be possible for me to join the beta program :)

yamuna gravatar image yamuna  ( 2018-01-19 08:48:16 -0600 )edit

I've spoken with the developers, and apparenty a new version will be released in a matter of weeks. They'd rather that new beta participants wait for the upcoming version than work with the old one.

If you can ping me in about 2 to 3 weeks, we can see what the status is.

Just post a comment here.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-01-24 14:38:58 -0600 )edit

ok, thankyou gvdhoorn. In the meanwhile I will buy the gripper. I will give you more details about it later, if you want.

yamuna gravatar image yamuna  ( 2018-01-24 17:48:04 -0600 )edit

Hello gvdhoorn! I wondered if there were any news. Ty

yamuna gravatar image yamuna  ( 2018-02-08 02:48:26 -0600 )edit

Unfortunately not yet. I've been told that it will still be a few more weeks. Nothing I can do unfortunately :(

if you need something earlier, I can only suggest that you try to find some alternative.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-02-08 02:59:03 -0600 )edit

Hi gvdhoorn, thanks, I figured out that connecting my new Robotiq gripper to my pc via USB was probably my best option. I will continue through that way. Thank you, anyway.

yamuna gravatar image yamuna  ( 2018-03-20 12:16:34 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2018-01-18 05:27:41 -0600

Seen: 995 times

Last updated: Jan 19 '18