Program Your Industrial Robot With an iPad

New app for Comau robots makes child’s play of pick and place programming

Manufacturing is becoming more and more digitized, and for robot programmers, whose role is already digital, this shift seems to translate to evolution in user experience design for robot programming.

With the aim of creating a more intuitive, easier and faster way to control industrial robots, Italian robot manufacturer Comau has released PickAPP, an Android application to program “Pick and Place” operations.

Typically, robot programmers are skilled technicians who used a teach pendant device (robot remote control) to interact with the robot. Comau aims to replace this scenario with this new app.

Image courtesy of Comau

Image courtesy of Comau

PickAPP is an Android application for an 8- to 10-inch tablet, configured with graphical operations designed to improve the overall user experience. According to Comau, anyone familiar with smartphones will be able to move a robot and create a pick and place process by preparing a list of waypoints, without having to learn robotic programming language. The user moves the robot manually by pulling and pushing robot joints, or using the interface in a similar way that is used for remote control cars or drones. Additional configurations, like the type of movement or actions related to a gripper can be added.

The application has been developed by multiple users with a different approach than the one usually used for standard industrial processes. A sample group of testers, ranging from expert technicians to young people who play games on a tablet, were able to perform the programming required for a Pick and Place process in just a few minutes without prior training.

PickAPP is available for Comau low payload robots, such as Rebel-S (SCARA), Racer3 and Racer5 (3 to 5 kilogram payload), and will soon be implemented for the entire Comau robot family.

For further information, visit the Comau website.