KUKA robots

KUKA robots

RoboDK supports all KUKA robot controllers since KRC2, including KUKA KRC3 and KRC4 controllers. This documentation is based on a KRC4 controller. The KRC4 robot controller runs the Microsoft Embedded Windows 7 operating system. Previous controllers, such as KRC2, run Windows 95. The robot teach pendant shows an “HMI” which is a program that KUKA developed to run on Windows and it is the interface that the robot user must use manipulate the robot.

The following sections demonstrate typical operations using a KUKA robot teach pendant to prepare a new program in RoboDK and transfer it to the robot.

Transfer a robot program

Follow these steps to take a program form a USB disk:

1.    Insert the USB disk on the robot controller (it is much faster than using the teach pendant connection)

2.    If we don’t see the USB disk we must enter in Administrator mode

3.    Select the file from the USB disk

4.    Select EditCopy

5.    Select a folder in the KRC unit

6.    Select EditPaste

Robots KUKA - Image 1 Robots KUKA - Image 2

Start a robot program

Follow these steps to start a robot program on the KUKA KRC controller:

1.    Select a program from the KRC memory unit

2.    Select Select on the screen

3.    Select the button “R” (top) and Reset program

4.    Start the program by selecting green “Play” button on the teach pendant

Robots KUKA - Image 3 Robots KUKA - Image 4

Retrieving the TCP

The following steps allow creating or modifying robot tools (TCP, also known as $BASE in KUKA KRC robot programming):

1.    Select MENUStart-upCalibrateTool

2.    Select a tool and edit or retrieve the X,Y,Z position of the TCP.

Robots KUKA - Image 5 Robots KUKA - Image 6


Retrieving the robot joints

The following steps allow retrieving the robot joints:

1.    Select MENUDisplayActual position

2.    Select Joints mode and use the left column to take the robot joints

Robots KUKA - Image 7 Robots KUKA - Image 8

Tip: It is possible to retrieve the robot joints more accurately (5 decimal precision) by monitoring the $AXIS_ACT variable or simply using the RoboDK robot driver for KUKA and selecting the Get robot joints button

Administrator mode

Some menu sections require “Administrator” rights. The following steps allow entering in “Administrator” mode:

1.    Select MENUConfigurationUser group

2.    Select Administrator (or other).

3.    Enter the password if required (default password is “kuka”)

Robots KUKA - Image 9 Robots KUKA - Image 10


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.    (optional) Connect a keyboard and/or external screen (DVI).          
Reboot the controller if an external screen is being used.

If an external screen is being used with a mouse and keyboard, the screen will show a KukaUser windows login. Insert the following credentials:           
user:                kukauser        (or KukaUser)
password:       68kuka1secpw59

Robots KUKA - Image 11

3.    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)

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

5.    Unlock the port 7000 for the KUKAVARPROXY server (HMI):

a.    Select the HMI.

b.    Robots KUKA - Image 15 KUKAStart-upNetwork configurationAdvanced

c.     NATAdd portPort number 7000

d.    Set permitted protocols: tcp/udp

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

7.    (recommended) Next steps allow starting the driver automatically on the controller on reboot:

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. It is not unsafe to leave this program running all the time. 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 SRC program provided (RoboDKsynch.src) to the folder KRC\R1.

3.    Manually start the “RoboDKsynch.src” program to make the robot behave like a server that responds to move commands coming from the PC.

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