KUKA|prc – parametric robot control for Grasshopper


The trial version of KUKA|prc generates robot code and simulates the robot’s kinematics. However, several advanced features such as support for linear axes and more robots/tools are only available to members of the Association for Robots in Architecture. Members also have got access to up-to-date version that are uploaded at least every month, but frequently even more often. For support, please visit the Robots in Architecture forum or contact us!

KUKA|prc Features

KUKA|prc enables you to program industrial robots directly out of the parametric modelling environment, including a full kinematic simulation of the robot. The generated files can be executed at the KUKA robot, without requiring any additional software. Feature-additions are marked in RED. To download KUKA|prc, please enter your eMail address on the right and you will be provided with a download link.

Most recent additions

Support for linear and rotary axes (MEMBERS ONLY)
Support for a automated solver for linear axes (coming soon for rotary axes)
Greatly improved caching and general performance
Several new robots including the massive KR500, the new Agilus KR10 R1100, the KR5 Arc HW (Hollow Wrist) and several Quantec models
Virtual Robot functionality now included in the KUKA|prc Core component
One slider for both normal and smooth simulation
Increased simulation fidelity
New component for including own robot cell in the simulation
New components for setting analog and digital outputs
New component for simulation analysis
More interpolation options
Movement components now use planes as input by default (can be changed via right-clicking)

Previous additions

Improved NC-file support  (MEMBERS ONLY)
Added KUKA KR180 R2500 Quantec robot
New KUKA KR150-2 variant (access via right-click, variants)
Added new spindle as used at University of Sydney
Improved Command Weaver to work optionally with tree branches instead of items (use it e.g. to create more complex fabrication strategies)
Experimental new output in the Virtual Robot component sums up the difference of axis positions, can be used to spot singularities
New option for tool change command to just change geometry (e.g. gripper open to gripper closed)
Option to set the project’s initial LIN and PTP speed in “Advanced Settings:
Option for improved compatibility with older KRC2 (and KRC1) controllers (BAS PTP_PARAMS, etc.)
Option to represent robot positions in wireframe in Simulation Settings
Improved Spline and Circular functionality
Reorientation checking is working again
Changed a few tool icons
Custom Robot bugfix
Small UI change (e.g. faster fade, menu draggable via full upper bar)
Custom Tool tool-id bugfix
Solved buffering issues (changes that take a Recompute Solution to stick)
General bugfixes

General Features

Robot control file generation for nearly all KUKA robots, including the new KRC4 control unit
Full kinematic robot simulation
Built upon Grasshopper
Implemented as a fully compatible, parametric GH component
Improved graphical user interface inside Grasshopper
Does not require any additional software, files can be directly executed at the robot
All robot instructions in a single *.src file
Various robot types directly implemented (new additions: KUKA Agilus and KR125/2)
Generic component that can include any KRL code
Significant speed improvements (up to 400% after initial calculations)

Toolpath Generation

End-effector visualization at all toolpath points or at slider position
Mass customization option for the automated generation of numbered robot control files
Extra components for dividing curves into toolpath sets
Adjustable start- and endposition of the robot job
LIN and PTP commands now accept either 3 points or a plane
Collision checking
Various approach/retraction strategies
Default spindle with parametric tool
Fully customizable end-effector geometry for every command, e.g. open and closed gripper

Kinematic Simulation

Inverse and forward kinematic solver
Custom robot models for kinematic simulation
Kinematic presets for various KUKA robots
Reachability analysis
Large axis reorientation checking
Axis limit checking
Close approximation to the native KUKA kinematic solver
Adjustable custom base values
Adjustable custom tool values
Simultaneous simulation of multiple robots
Fluid motion interpolation
Support state bits (i.e. 8 strategies to approach a given frame) 

About KUKA|prc

KUKA|prc is a range of custom components packaged as a plugin for the parametric design software Grasshopper, which in turn is a plugin for the NURBS modeller Rhinoceros. The plugin has been tested with a variety of robots and PCs. Please note new versions break compatibility with older versions of the plugin, so when you open a file with an older version of the KUKA|prc plugin, the old component will disappear with an error message. Just put in the new component from the KUKA|prc tab and re-connect it!
If anything does not work for you, please send an eMail to robots [at] robotsinarchitecture.org and we will get in touch.

The current KUKA|prc version was tested with:
Rhinoceros 5
Grasshopper 0.9.0056/61

It may work with newer/older versions of Rhino and Grasshopper; when a new version of Grasshopper is released, we will update the plugin as soon as possible. If you do not yet own Rhino, you can download a free trial version from here, Grasshopper is a free download for all Rhino users. Please note that at the moment, neither Grasshopper nor KUKA|prc work on Rhino for Mac.


KUKA|prc is beta software that will expire after a few months, at which point we will post a new version on robotsinarchitecture.org. Everyone is welcome to try KUKA|prc, but if you use it for teaching and/or research, we ask you to become a member of the Association for Robots in Architecture. Student memberships are available upon request. Commercial use (i.e. any use other than research or teaching) requires a commercial licence, please contact us for details. As KUKA|prc is experimental software, you are using it at your own risk.