Teaching made easy with the TracePen

More flexibility

Flexibility and speed are playing an increasingly important role in global trade. This applies both, to us humans and to machines. In the future, robots will have to be able to switch easily and cost-effectively from one application to the next. The simplicity of programming is becoming a decisive factor for modern production. The TracePen is the smart solution for this challenge.

Applications

The TracePen can be used for various applications. Five applications can currently be simplified using the various attachments. Those can also be easily extended via software updates.

Glueing

Deburring

Inspection

Polishing

Pick and Place

Teaching robots has never been this easy

Generation of fully integrated automation scripts

Platform-independency

Ten times cheaper than classical programming

Robot programming within minutes

Features

With the TracePen it is possible to teach a robot in a matter of seconds by simply showing it the path to be learned by moving the TracePen. This movement is visualized almost simultaneously in the app by the Wandelbots software and can be further refined by defining individual points (keyframes). The keyframes can be adjusted in the sub-millimeter range via the app. Define whether the robot should move from point-to-point, linear or circular between the defined points. The built-in joint control allows the user to directly control the individual robot joints and even define a safety area by allowing the robot to act. Teaching complex motion has never been so easy!

Teaching with the TracePen

With the TracePen even laymen can teach a robot for a task within minutes – without any programming knowledge. In combination with the specially developed app, the user moves from setup to executable code in just five simple steps.

Step 1: Setup

At the beginning the hardware components are installed. This includes Lighthouses, TracePen, Tablet and if desired the industrial computer. The Wandelbots platform is connected to the robot controller as the control center for the TracePen. Alternatively, we also offer this solution in the cloud.

Step 2: Calibration

The Lighthouse stations are used to calibrate the TracePen and determine its exact position in space. To do this, the pen is fixed to a holder on the robot. Depending on the robot, different adapter holders are available. The single-point calibration using infrared light patterns runs fully automatically and is completed in less than 30 seconds.

Step 3: Teaching a Skills

Now the actual programming begins. However, it is not programming knowledge that is important, but a process understanding of the task. The operator selects the appropriate attachment for the TracePen and starts the app. The respective activity is simply executed with the TracePen in your hand. The software simultaneously records the data to the nearest tenth of a millimeter. The exact teaching sequence can then be viewed in the app. This has been specially optimized for intuitive operation by non-programmers.

Step 4: Finishing Process

In the next step, the respective skill can be further processed. By setting keyframes, the recorded path can be adjusted in detail in three-dimensional space. Frequently used skills can be reused, modified and implemented in new skills using the keyframe selector. Thus, it is possible to split keyframes and to insert
signals, loops or a new path (e.g. a standardized movement from A to B).

Step 5: Generating Code

In the last step the code for the robot is generated in the respective programming language (e.g. Karel, UR-Script). This happens fully automated within seconds, so that the robot can perform the task  instantly afterwards. The generated code can also later be edited manually. This process is compatible with all common certification and simulation processes.
If desired, the code can then be transferred to other robots independently of the robot manufacturer and thus of the robot´s programming language.

Interested in a demo?

Release Mid 2020 with a limited availability.
Pre-order your TracePen now!

Technical Details

Functionality

Robots in Motion

Trajectories with any number of keyframes. Can be parameterized for any waypoint: movement type (Point to point, linear, and circular), speed, blend radius, and various tool and workpiece coordinate systems can be configured.

Inputs and Outputs

Read and set digital/analog robot control inputs and outputs

Program Structure

Loops, conditional branches, and jump branch

Program Execution

Adjustable override speed, gradual execution, user dialogues, visualization of robot movements in the 3D model of the application

Standard Application Packages

Deburring, picking and placing, inspecting, polishing, welding and glueing

Miscellaneous

Controll of robots, visualization of teaching processes, process editting

Existing Interfaces

Robots

KUKA (LBR iiwa), Universal Robots (CB Series and E Series) until end 2019
ABB (IRC-5); KUKA (KRC-4) and Denso (planned for end Q1 – 2020)
FANUC (R-30iB) (planned for Q2 – 2020)

Miscellaneous

Integration of camera systems for 2D robot vision (planned for end 2019)

Optional Function Packages

Additional Application Packages

Grinding, screwing, painting, and surface testing (planned as of Q2 – 2020)

Force Control Guidance

Function blocks for force control movements via an additional one-axis force torque sensor in the TracePen (planned as of Q2 2020)

Operator Feedback

Vibration feedback from the TracePen to the operator (planned as of Q1 – 2020)