RoboDK driver for KUKA

Robot drivers provide an alternative to Offline Programming (where a program is generated, then, transferred to the robot and executed). With robot drivers, it is possible to run a simulation directly on the robot (Online Programming). More information available in the Robot Drivers section.

A connection between RoboDK and the KUKA robot can be established to move the robot automatically from a connected PC using RoboDK. This allows using the RoboDK Run on robot option for online programming and debugging. The connection can be established through a standard Ethernet connection (TCP/IP).

Follow these steps to set up the RoboDK driver for KUKA:

1.Connect a mouse (optional, but strongly recommended).          
It is possible to plug USB devices to the teach pendant or the controller (reboot is not required). 
Alternatively, it is possible to establish a remote desktop connection.  
These steps can also be accomplished using the teach pendant’s touch screen and the virtual keyboard.

2.Using the KUKA HMI application it is possible to open the main menu using the KUKA button Robots KUKA - Image 12, at the top left of the screen:

a.Robots KUKA - Image 13 KUKAConfigurationUser group choose Administrator (password: kuka)

b.Robots KUKA - Image 14 KUKAStart-upServiceMinimize HMI (the windows screen will appear)

3.Copy the KUKAVARPROXY folder on the Desktop (or somewhere in the controller PC)

4.Allow port 7000 for TCP/UDP communication (this step is not required on KUKA KRC2 controllers):

a.Select the HMI.

b.Robots KUKA - Image 15 KUKAStart-upNetwork configurationAdvanced

c.NATAdd portPort number 7000

d.Set permitted protocols: tcp/udp

5.Start the KUKAVARPROXY.EXE program on the robot controller (running on Windows).

6.The following steps allow starting the driver automatically on the controller on reboot (recommended):

a.Create a shortcut of the KUKAVARPROXY.EXE file

b.Select Windows STARTAll programsRight click startupOpen

c.Paste the shortcut in the startup folder

The KUKAVARPROXY server is now ready. You can leave this program running. This server allows exchanging global variables from the KUKA controller to the remote PC.

The next steps are to set up the main program that will handle the robot movements:

1.Add the declaration of the following global variables:        
To do so, locate and modify the file “KRC\R1\STEU\$config.dat” (or in “KRC\R1\System\$config.dat” for KRC2 controllers). The folder “KRC\R1\” can also be accessed from the C:\ drive at the following Windows path: “C:\KRC\ROBOTER\KRC\”.












2.Copy the KUKA SRC program RoboDKsynch.src to the folder KRC\R1. The name of the program may contain the version number in the name (example: RoboDKsync50).

3.Manually start the RoboDKsynch.src program to make the robot listen for commands coming from the computer.

If the RoboDKsynch.src program is not running, RoboDK will still be able to read the robot joints if the KUKAVARPROXY program is running in the robot controller.

External axes

You should be able to use the driver with KUKA robots even when you use external axes. On the other hand, it is recommended to use a numbered coordinate system or a coordinate system you have defined on your robot controller. By following this procedure, you don’t need to perfectly match the kinematics of your external axes in RoboDK.

For example, to be able to use the RoboDK driver by default, the kinematics of your external axes defined in the robot controller should match the kinematics created in RoboDK. Also, if you have a turntable, the root point of the turntable should match the position of the turntable defined in RoboDK.

Follow these steps to use the driver using a known coordinate system:

1.Select ToolsOptionsDrivers tab.

2.Check the option Provide Cartesian coordinates with respect to the reference.

Robots KUKA - Image 16

3.Replace the $BASE variable of your RoboDKsynch.src program file by the coordinate system you want to use.

For example, if you want to use the base reference frame number 5, the RoboDKsync.src file should look like this (the first line is commented, you should find it around line 25):

; $BASE = {FRAME: X 0,Y 0,Z 0,A 0,B 0,C 0}


This coordinate system must have been defined in the KUKA robot controller and RoboDK will not override this value.