Easier, Faster KUKA Robot Programming With Our New Driver

KUKA robots are some of the most commonly used industrial robots in the world.

RoboDK has supported KUKA robots for many years. But now, with the help of some incredible work by one of our newer team members, we are proud to announce an updated driver for KUKA robots.

The new driver, named KUKA Bridge, makes programming KUKA robots faster and even easier than it was before.

The new KUKA driver has several key improvements and new features. These can help you get up and running quickly, save time when programming a robot, and provide a more reliable connection to KUKA robots.

Let’s introduce you to Dmitry and the KUKA Bridge…

Introducing… Dmitry Lavygin and KUKA Bridge

We continually add new features to RoboDK to improve its functionality.

Where do we get our ideas for new features? Usually from our users. They suggest features they would like to see in the software.

However, sometimes a user takes a step further… and with impressive results.

In early 2022, a researcher using RoboDK developed their own driver and posted it in our forum. His name was Dmitry Lavygin.

In the RoboDK forum thread, Dmitry said “First of all, I would like to thank the RoboDK team for a great product. I appreciated the features of your program. I have some thoughts about connecting RoboDK to KUKA robots.”

He noticed that the old RoboDK KUKA driver controlled the robot “blindly.” Like all talented programmers, Dmitry sought to improve it himself. His project became C3 Bridge, the precursor to our new KUKA Bridge driver update.

We contacted Dmitry a few months later and started talking. We noticed he had brilliant suggestions to improve RoboDK — for this driver, KUKA robots in general, and around other topics. He also asked if we were hiring.

We hired Dmitry, and he is now part of our development team!

KUKA robot milling with rail and turntable

9 Amazing Benefits of Our New KUKA Bridge Driver

The new KUKA Bridge Driver is a significant improvement on the previous driver in RoboDK. It has various advantages that will make programming KUKA robots easier than ever.

These benefits make it easier than ever to program KUKA robots with RoboDK. With the new KUKA Bridge Driver, programming is more automated, faster and more reliable.

Here are 9 amazing benefits of the new driver:

1. Faster Response Time

The new driver is faster and more responsive, as it is based on an asynchronous network socket event model.

Practically speaking, this mean that programs execute faster and with fewer errors than with the previous version.

2. Better Error Handling

The new driver also handles erroneous states better than the previous version.

It constantly checks that the controller actually executes the commands it was sent. This way, you can be sure the program runs with no issues on the actual robot.

3. Direct File Exchange

One limitation of the old driver was that it didn’t support direct file exchange with the robot controller. The new driver supports file exchange (both downloading and uploading) between the KUKA robot control system and the RoboDK software.

This will make it easier for you to manage programs and other related data.

4. Automatic Configuration

With the new driver, it is also possible to auto-configure the robot control system for use with RoboDK.

This makes it easier to set up and program KUKA robots with the software, with fewer manual programming steps.

5. High Fault Tolerance

The driver has a high fault tolerance, as confirmed by professionals who have used the C3 Bridge Interface.

One user of the interface told us: “Over the past few months I was introducing C3Bridge to a bunch of people and everyone loves it. And based on my own evaluation, it really is a solid product, very robust and reliable. I have yet to see it crash or fail and I tried so many things (wrong ones too) but it just keeps on running… Impressive.”

6. Easy Installation

To install the new driver, all you need to do is copy one file into the robot control system and run it.

There is also an installer that will automatically install the correct version of the KUKA Bridge Interface depending on your KUKA control system version.

7. High Technology Compatibility

The driver has high compatibility, allowing you to control older systems such as KRC2 running on Windows 95.

8. Even More Flexibility

RoboDK is already a very flexible programming tool. The driver offers even more flexibility in configuration and debugging, thanks to a detailed operation log.

This will allow you to quickly troubleshoot any issues that arise during programming.

9. Automated Robot Search

This option will be added in the near future.

With this update, the setup of KUKA robots is more automated than ever before.

For example, it includes functionality for automatic robot detection, meaning that you no longer need to enter the IP address of the robot manually. Instead, the driver will automatically search for the robot and connect to it. It also introduces other automation steps, like automatically verifying the program content before running.

Will RoboDK Still Support Older KUKA Versions?

Compatibility is extremely important to us here at RoboDK. As such, the software will continue to support the older KUKA drivers in addition to the latest driver, ensuring that our users won’t be left behind by advances in technology.

These previous driver versions were based on KUKAVARPROXY, which was created by Massimiliano Fago and Davide Rosa.

If you have been using KUKA robots with RoboDK for some time, don’t worry. Your programs will continue to work as normal!

The Impact of a More Reliable Connection

In all, we have improved the KUKA driver to provide a more reliable connection between RoboDK and the robot. It removes many of the manual steps that used to be required, providing an automatic process that takes care of the configuration and program transfer.

This automation significantly reduces the time it takes to get your KUKA robot up and running, meaning you can spend less time programming and more time getting results!

How to Use the New KUKA Bridge Driver

The new version of RoboDK already includes the KUKA Bridge Interface and future versions will include it as standard.

This means you just need to download and install the latest version of RoboDK to use the new KUKA bridge driver.

Once you’ve got your KUKA robot connected and online, you can begin programming it with ease from within RoboDK.

Have You Got Ideas for RoboDK Improvements?

As Dmitry has shown, many of the best ideas and improvements to RoboDK come from you, our users. If you have any ideas or suggestions to make RoboDK even better, we’d love to hear them!

Just open a new thread on our forum and let us know how you think we can make programming KUKA robots easier and more intuitive.

Like Dmitry, you might even be inspired to implement some of your ideas yourself – and if you do, we would be more than happy to help.

And, if you’re looking to join a dynamic team of passionate robotics experts, then why not apply to join the RoboDK team? We’re always looking for new members who can help make programming KUKA robots easier and more intuitive.

Which new feature of KUKA Bridge will be most useful to you? Tell us in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in the RoboDK Forum.. Also, check out our extensive video collection and subscribe to the RoboDK YouTube Channel

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