In previous articles on this subject, the software solutions included various modes, mostly incremental and absolute modes. Many software languages permit the use of both these modes but they are rarely used together. If you want to action a robotic device from its current location or manipulate it in some way, a special command must be used to achieve this. Input parameters must be entered to allow the software to achieve meaningful goals, as without meaningful input the output would be random.
Robot actuators use commands that are interlinked with other executable instructions, to aid them in completing the most complex of tasks. A huge repository of commands exist which allows the programmer to complete various tasks and gives them fantastic scope when trying to overcome complex automation problems. Time delays for the actuators are set in seconds which allows the machine to function at precise intervals. Delay commands such as these are a common feature in many robotics software programs used today.
These routines have a standard approach to dealing with pallet machines in the world of industrial robotics, so general commands can be used in place of more complex commands. There are many constants assumed when manipulating pallets on a large scale, all of which must be accounted for before the software is developed. Column spacing and row spacing have a prominent role in how these objects are picked up and then transported from one location to another. Corner points of the pallets must be defined for the machine to be able to interact with it. If this data is not available, then the automated devices won’t be able to carry out its function.
The locations representing the predefined points in the command definitions must be entered as variables in the program. Some software programs will look at an abject as beginning on the left and then moving across to the right. In these cases, rows are considered to be horizontal, while columns are considered to be vertical. The last item is then seen to be in the upper right hand corner in each sequence, with this logical approach adopted across the board. The terms horizontal, vertical, left and right are only relevant with respect to the robotic plane of vision and the pre-defined orientation. In a real-world example, any object being manipulated would have vertical rows and horizontal columns.
During this entire process the software keeps a log of all the positions on the object that the robot has manipulated. This log is referred to as the objects or parts indicator. This log is then used by sub-routines further down the software code, to enable them to carry out the same actions on the object. This is probably one of the most difficult subjects I have blogged about and you may need to read this article a few times to fully understand this concept. Robotic devices are very complex and the software that controls these machines is even more complex. There are signs that programming approaches are using more basic routine which can be executed more efficiently but at the moment this subject matter not suitable for novices.