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Robot Arm

Discuss graphics hardware, computer hardware, and input/output devices to use with TouchDesigner

Robot Arm

Postby tonyschuite » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 am

So... a topic has come up for me to research: Robot arms in theater.

I know of the Kuka robots (even found a guy that can sell me a few) and their ability to be programmed for complex movement. I also know that some people are controlling them real-time. Through TD even.

I work at a university and I have to dive in to this topic, in order to see the viability of purchasing one.

now is there anyone that can link me to some info to start with?
so far I know there is the Kuka FRI (Fast robot interface) that can potentially control the arm real time. it is (to my knowledge) split into to protocols: one for slower commands, one for faster commands below 4ms.

I would really like to get started on this, with the end goal of linking one to our Mocap System to actually start interacting with it.

who can help me?
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:15 am

Re: Robot Arm

Postby harveymoon » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:38 am

I worked on this a bunch a few years ago.

We got it to work by repeatedly feeding a coordinate to the kuka. The program on the KRC4 looped and we would change the coordinate in real time over the network.

This was workable however it didn't include any speed control or anything specific about it's motions. We had feedback from the location variables also over the network. I can confirm that this was < 4ms but not too bad.

In the end we pre-programmed the motions on the controller to move the robot in the way we wanted, then used that motion path in Touchdesigner to render the real-time visuals.
We had a projector on the Kuka at the time and calculated the projections dynamically.

I think the FSR was the eventual better way to go but we never got there. Keep me posted!
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Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:42 pm

Re: Robot Arm

Postby tonyschuite » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:56 am

Well, the project will go further however the Kuka I could get was a KR150 with a KC1 controller. so far I have come to understand that the KC1 is a no go.

If/When I can get my hands on a KC2 (10K€) I can use jOpenShowVar to control it. should not be hard to feed OSC data in to that program and pipe data from TD to jOpenShowVar.

The project has shifted towards using a different brand of arm right now. also it is a little smaller. Going to get the specs on that and see if I can control it, with the ultimate goal being realtime interaction.

I will keep you guys posted and thanks for thinking with me.
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:15 am

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