5 Quick Ways to Speed Up Robot Programming

Robot programming can be one of the biggest time-consuming jobs of any robot deployment.

How can you reduce the time it takes to program your robot and win back those valuable hours?

There are several things you can do to speed up your robot programming. Some of them are even quick to implement.

Robots have great potential to speed up your processes and improve your productivity. But, when the programming itself takes a long time, these benefits can start to seem less accessible.

All robot programmers have found themselves at least once in their career jogging the robot for ages to try to move it into position. Every minute lost to programming your robot by using such inefficient methods is time that the robot could have spent doing productive work.

Inefficient programming methods also make it difficult to make changes to the robot program later. Each time you want to update the robot to improve its program you have to stop the robot from doing its current task and go through the arduous task of reprogramming it.

Wouldn’t it be better if there was a way to program your robot quickly and accurately?

Why Improving Your Programming Skill Won’t Help

Some robot users think that the path to faster robot programming is to improve their level of skill. They think that if they just learn more about programming, they will be able to shave valuable time off their robot deployment.

Of course, increasing your programming skill is a good thing to do. Programming is one of the top skills you need to succeed with robotics.

Unnecessary Offline Programming Features

But, there is only so much improvement you can achieve with your programming skill.

In the end, you will always be outdone by someone using a more efficient programming technology than you are using.

How Robot Programming Tools Give You An Unfair Advantage

Thankfully, there are several great tools you can use to streamline your robot programming.

With modern advancements in programming technology, it’s now possible to quickly and easily improve your programming process far beyond what was possible in the past.

Some tools are purely software-based whilst others incorporate extra hardware to bring even more improvements.

Some products are only available for particular robot manufacturers. This can be quite restrictive. However, the best options can be used with any robot brand and with any setup.

In this article, we will only focus on those solutions that you can use whatever type of robot you choose to use.

5 Quick Ways to Speed Up Robot Programming

Here are 5 great technologies that you can use to improve your robot programming process. They can be quick to implement and can save you time and effort when deploying your robot.

1. Program the Robot Offline

One of the biggest problems with traditional online robot programming is that it requires you to take the robot out of production while you make changes to the program.

What if you could program the robot in a way that minimizes the lost production time?

Offline programming provides such a solution. As the name suggests, it involves creating the robot program offline and then downloading it to the physical robot only when the program is ready. When you program a robot offline, you can reduce the lost production time to a minimum.

Automated Inspection

2. Debug With a Robot Simulator

The most basic form of offline programming is to code the program in a text file using the robot’s programming language. The problem with this is that it’s hard to debug the program when you can’t see how it will affect the robot.

Is there an easier way to debug a program offline?

Robot simulation — when combined with offline programming — provides a powerful option for developing your robot programs quickly, easily, and accurately. You can see your program running on the simulated robot and can debug it before you download it to the physical robot.

3. Use Specialist Robot Programming Tools

The problem with many programming tools is that they are not designed for robotics. Many Software Development Kits (SDKs), for example, are created for other types of programming and they don’t make robot coding easy.

Wouldn’t it be better if you were using programming tools specially designed for robotics?

Pick tools that will help you to program your robot quickly and accurately. There are many options for tools that are supposed to help you with robot programming but only some of these actually make your life easier. For example, there are various qualities of an excellent robot SDK.

4. Pick Intuitive Programming Solutions

It’s surprising how many robot programming tools require you to jump through hoops to learn how to use them. Instead of helping you, they add to your challenges when using a robot.

Don’t you want to make life easier for yourself?

Find programming tools that are designed to be intuitive. This will require you to do a little bit of research as many companies will say that their solutions are intuitive when, in fact, they are not. A good option is to look at videos from the manufacturer — if they’re available — to see how the tool is used in practice.

5. Use TwinTrack

In an ideal world, programming a robot would be as easy as doing the robot’s task ourselves by hand. If the robot is painting, for example, we should be able to trace the painting path, tweak it in software — if necessary — and the program would be ready immediately.

Why isn’t there a robot programming tool that is easy to program like this?

There is!

The RoboDK TwinTrack is a quick, easy, and precise solution for programming your robot. It incorporates all of the 5 items on this list, giving you a specialist, intuitive robot programming tool with the power of offline programming and simulation.

Get Started With Faster Robot Programming

Want to find out if you could quickly and easily improve your robot programming?

Just get in contact with us and we’ll help you to find an option that will work best for you.

If you’re interested in offline programming, check out our offline programming page.

If you’re intrigued by TwinTrack, look at our product page.

In what way is your robot programming slower than you’d like it to be? Tell us in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in the RoboDK Forum.

Alex Owen-Hill

About Alex Owen-Hill

Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at CreateClarifyArticulate.com, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.

View all posts by Alex Owen-Hill

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