Cold weather and robot


I am facing some problems with a robot that i have installed.

The location of this robot is really close to a plant’s windows (less than 0.5 meters of distance). The plant is not heated, therefore it has a mean temperature of 10°C

The humidity of the location is about 82%.

During the month of December, everything worked smoothly.

During January, the temperatures keep going below zero during night and the robot is showing some problems.

Could there be problems related to the low temperature?

Thank you for your help

You should check the robot you have users manual as it should say the temperature range it can work in. For instance the UR10e has an ambient temperature range from 0-50C so it would run into issues below 0C.


i have already checked the manual and it says that the ur10 temperature range is 0-50°C .

I wanted to know if someone else had similar issues with these climatic conditions since it is the first time that this happens to me and i want to be sure that this could be one possible cause of the issues that i am facing

Here is an article I found for starting up the robot in colder environments and goes over a bit of why it would run into issues at colder temperatures. Cold Environments

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Thank you for your help!

I will keep this topic open so that we can get more information if someone has faced a similar problem

I have seen other customers test our robots at low temperatures. The only issue I’ve observed is powering up at 0C. Once the controller was powered up and left running it was ok (at near 0C). If you are having troubles it might help to keep the robot moving all the time or put a suit on it.


i just had a look at joint temperatures and i got the following data. I read that the correct working temperature of the robot is around 30°C.

Could these low temperatures have side effects?

As you approach 0 it’s common for the arm to throw protective stops if powered up after being off at the low temps. CB3 controllers do not like powering on at that low temp and can benefit from a heater or being left powered on when cold. We’ve found the arms so long as you leave them powered on when generally be ok but if they are left idle at those temps they will need to run a warmup program where speeds are slowly increased over a several minute period to allow the joints to reach normal operating temps.

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Thank you for your help!
Can you please give me some suggestions about the warm up program? do you need to move the joints one by one in freedrive mode and then perform some movements (like following a linear trajectory) starting from low speeds and increasing it gradually?

Do you know if universal robot provides some useful warm up programs (i am asking this because i was unable to find such programs)?

From the manual i have red that the suggested internal operating temperature is 35°C. In my day to day practice, i have seen that a suitable working temperature is around 20°C.

Do these information look correct for you?

We just wrote a program that moved all of the joints around and set the speed slider really low and then increased it programmatically every 15-20 seconds until we were running at 100% speed and saw that temps come up. Fortunately, we were operating in a pretty static temperature as we were in a climate-controlled room that was around 1-2C and 90% humidity so we did not face varying conditions with that installation.

We have current customers that have systems in buildings exposed to outside temps and what they have found is just leaving the robot turned on overnight with a radiant heater aimed at the arm has solved their problem. They come in and are able to just resume working. When we learned of the issue the ambient temp was below 0C (low 20’s F) and had them simply aim a heater at the arm until it warmed up some.

Another option is to leave the robot running a slow program overnight, it would not take much motion at each of the joints to let the motors stay warm

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What’s wrong with the robot? Protective stop?

The robot was behaving in an unpredictable way: when releasing the breaks, it was performing some rapid movements and the noise in the breaks release was stronger than the normal one.

The end user told me that the robot underwent a series of protective stops and that the movements were not as clean as they have been.

Now we added some insulation to the robot location and things have improved