We are proud to announce a new version of KUKA|prc that is based on a fully rewritten robot-engine, opening up a huge range of new possibilities. First and foremost, KUKA|prc is no longer limited to linear-toolpaths, as needed e.g. for milling, but can work with a wide variety of motion commands with adjustable speeds: Linear motions, Point-to-point motions, and direct axis commands. Correctly utilizing these specialized movement commands can greatly optimize robotic jobs.
Another exciting feature is the addition of a generic KRL component that can include any possible KRL code, e.g. for communicating with external devices, as we did at the Design Modelling Symposium in Berlin last year. By attaching custom endeffectors to each command (e.g. an open gripper to the OPEN command and a closed gripper to the CLOSE command) you can see the results directly in the kinematic simulation.
The kinematic solver has also been greatly improved, and can now correctly interpret the state bits (see above), i.e. the eight different strategies how the industrial robot can approach a given frame (equivalent to a plane in GH). In the graphic above, the robot’s sixth axis is always in exactly the same position in relation to the robot’s base – only the other joints are differently oriented.
For your convenience we have also started directly including robot models inside the plugin. These components contain not only the chosen robot’s geometry, but also its kinematic data and axis limits. If your robot is not yet included, send us an eMail and we’ll try to include it in the next release. If you are a member of the Association, we can build you a special version of KUKA|prc within a few days.
Finally, we’ve included a new method for fluid motion interpolation. In the example above, the robot interpolates between two poses, just as it would do in reality. This feature is still under development, but already accessible in the “Experimental” tab of the kinematic solver settings.
Due to all of these new features, the new release of KUKA|prc is no longer compatible with older versions. We do know that many of you have ongoing projects with KUKA|prc and have therefore decided to offer two versions for download: A STABLE version, which is basically a slightly improved version of the previous release and fully compatible with your exisiting projects, and a BETA version, which contains all of the new features mentioned above.
You can download KUKA|prc from here – after entering your eMail address you will be provided with download links to both the STABLE and BETA version of KUKA|prc. The BETA download also contains a well-documented sample project that should show you how to use the new KUKA|prc features. You can alternatively download the project directly from here.
Many of the new features of KUKA|prc are the result of user requests – so keep that feedback coming!