Simulation, plus augmented and virtual reality, can help determine which processes are best for robots to handle. ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation yesterday announced the launch of its RobotStudio AR Viewer, an augmented reality app for its PC-based RobotStudio offline programming software.
“We know from conversations with SMEs [small and midsize enterprises] in particular that many companies are looking to implement some form of robotic automation but are unsure of where to start, stated Antti Matinlauri, head of product management at ABB Robotics. “RobotStudio is our intuitive digital tool that helps simplify the installation and use of robots.”
ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation is a part of Zurich-based ABB and said it has shipped more than 400,000 robotic systems. The division employs more than 10,000 people at over 100 locations in more than 53 countries.
Viewer intended to provide sense of scale
ABB said its RobotStudio AR simulation and programming software enables users to design, configure, and commission everything from individual robots to complete robot systems in a virtual environment. This allows for testing and refinement before such systems are deployed. With RobotStudio, manufacturers can install new product lines faster and bring them up to full speed without expensive surprises during commissioning, according to the company.
It added that smartphone app can be used to test any model created in RobotStudio. This enables users to get an idea of the size and scale of a robot or robot cell and how it can be deployed and fit around any existing production equipment on the factory floor, said ABB. RobotStudio AR overlays the modeled solution into the real-life manufacturing environment and can scale it to full size and rotate it through a variety of angles to achieve the best orientation.
AR Viewer extend to being able to watch the model in action. A timeline feature makes it possible to check the cycle time and go quickly to a certain point in time in the animation. Users can thus find ways of enhancing performance or pinpointing a potential issue, ABB said.
RobotStudio AR is currently free
The AR Viewer is ideal for companies that are new to robotic automation or that have previously lacked the time or resources to start to plan an installation, claimed ABB. In addition, the app provides a safe and easy way of visualizing an installation that can be used by individuals or groups, with none of the potential concerns over complexity, hygiene, or nausea that can occur with VR-based alternatives, it said.
“Our new AR Viewer tool makes it even easier for customers to access the huge capability of RobotStudio, helping them to see how robots can be introduced into their production and how automation can improve the productivity and flexibility of existing process, before they commit to any investment,” Matinlauri said.
RobotStudio is available free of charge on the Apple Store and Google Play Store until Dec. 31, 2020. It is viewable on any compatible smart device, from iPhone 6s, iPad Pro or onwards, and Android 7.0 onwards with ARCore support. A free training course is also available for the app.