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MotoMan NX100 Support

asked 2018-05-07 15:23:35 -0600

aswineha gravatar image

Hi, I'm very new to robotics, and ROS. My company recently purchased a MotoMan EA1900N with an NX100 controller for welding aluminum. I have been looking to see if ROS supports the NX100, but haven't found anything about that controller specifically. Is the NX100 supported? Would ROS allow me to write a program for my robot on my PC and upload it to the robot? Does ROS support vision systems for sensing with the NX100?


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answered 2018-05-08 04:40:31 -0600

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2018-05-08 04:48:48 -0600

If I remember correctly, the NX100 does not support running MotoPlus applications, and the MotoROS is a MotoPlus application. That means the NX100 is not supported.

Edit: just found this old thread in the ROS-Industrial Google Group archives. Ted Miller (one of the MotoROS devs from Yaskawa) writes this:

Unfortunately, the NX100 is limited in its communication abilities. As Eric mentioned, you have to use the Data Transmission function. Another option is to use the MotoCom32 library. This is a Win32 SDK (with examples and docs) that wraps around the DataTransmission function and exposes some higher-level API calls. However, each runtime copy requires a license and hardware dongle. If you implement the protocol directly, it does not require a runtime license.

The only other option is the RS232 serial interface. However, this is even slower than the ethernet commands and gives you less functionality.

If you need ROS for your controller, I would recommend upgrading to an FS100 controller (or DX100).


My above answer was with respect to whether MotoROS supports your controller. That would allow you to do on-line motion control of your robot from ROS. There are other options, but those would not be real-time.

Would ROS allow me to write a program for my robot on my PC and upload it to the robot?

This is possible/feasible, but will require you to do some work (ie: develop some software). A special component could accept JointTrajectory action goals (for instance) and convert those to INFORM code. That code could then be uploaded to the controller (using fi the functionality Ted Miller describes in his reply on the Google Group thread) and executed.

This would probably introduce quite some delay and would not be on-line/real-time-ish control. But it could be one way in which you could use ROS to do trajectory planning and all sorts of other things and then transfer the result to the NX100.

Does ROS support vision systems for sensing with the NX100?

This I don't know, but my immediate guess would be: no.

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Tagging @millete so he can verify my answer.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2018-05-08 04:42:02 -0600 )edit

Gvdhoorn is correct that the NX100 controller does not support the MotoROS driver that is available online. As said in [Edit2] above, you could use ROS to generate an INFORM job and send to the robot.

millete gravatar image millete  ( 2018-05-09 08:09:29 -0600 )edit

Regarding MotoCom, it doesn't have a motion interface. You would have to populate P-variables for a job to process in a loop. This process is slow. Plus, the motion speed will generally be capped at about 25% or so.

millete gravatar image millete  ( 2018-05-09 08:10:51 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2018-05-07 15:23:35 -0600

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Last updated: May 08 '18