Once in a while I need to call someone to hold the Free Move button while I position the robot. We have another robot here whose name i won’t mention that allows you to use both hands in Free Mode (there are buttons on the end of the TCP that you can hold down to use Free Move).
UR is not going to physically add this type of interface to the TCP but they might be able to get around it by having a toggle button on the move screen. There is already a button on the screen that acts the same as the physical button for Free Move, it could be re-purposed to act as a toggle button instead of having to hold it down with one hand and move the robot with the other.
There are probably safety concerns with that option.
You can wire an external free drive button Universal Robots - External Freedrive Button. I also recall seeing a UR+ product that attached to the tool flange and had a free drive button but can’t seem to find it again.
One thing we do for our welding systems (in addition to adding a button to the tool flange) is to include a foot pedal tied to one of the inputs. Any toggle switch would work for this application, but the foot switch is very nice for allowing full use of both hands while free-driving.
If you’re willing to accept the risk of injury, you can probably just jump one of your outputs into an input set for freedrive and just toggle your output on and off to toggle the freedrive. I’d be careful with this, as a bad payload setting can sometimes cause the tool to accelerate quickly when entering freedrive, potentially pinching/crushing you.
There are safety concerns with everything I do in machine shops.
IMO, an excess of safety concerns has turned CNC machining centers into CNC daycare centers. With the tech we have today it should not take longer to do setups than it did 3 or 4 decades ago, but it does.
Probably wouldn’t be hard to add a push button to the tool flange. I’ve already got a custom air nozzle on one of them, I could attach it to that.
I like this idea better than a floor peddle because the peddle would keep you tied to a single spot around the robot. That would work 90% of the time but I have to work all around the robots so would not be the best option.
@eric.feldmann, this sounds like I could toggle an I/O on the TP without any physical hardware (except a jumper cable), is that correct? If so, that is exactly what I was thinking about.
My COG and Payload settings are pretty solid so that is absolutely an option.
Correct. I just verified this on my robot. Just ran a piece of scrap wire from a digital output into a digital input configured for free drive. Toggling this output via the teach pendent then put the robot into free drive. Toggling it back off took it out.
Again, there is a slight concern with a bad payload, as you’ve probably seen before, so I wouldn’t recommend toggling it on while you’re in any position that could cause crushing
Excellent! Thank you so much.
:edit: That worked perfectly.
With the Robotiq option, you can double click the button to engage a ‘locked’ freedrive.
as for safety concerns; in free drive mode the robot can not move with a program, so it should be as safe as any controlled stop.
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