Case Study: Robot Interface

The development of a platform for the integration of the Robotics kernel functionality for an intuitive robot programming and simulation system is an ongoing project of L-One Systems.

How to make a robot listen to you

For this project L-One partnered with EASY-ROB Software GmbH near Frankfurt. The mission lies in the field of computer graphics and simulation. The task: to develop an open CAD-based robot path planning and simulation platform on top of the existing robotics kernel. The solution: The development of an open CAD-based robot offline programming system. As a partner of EASY-ROB Software GmbH the L-One team developed a CAD based platform for planning, simulation and programming of robot cells.

What we developed
The platform we developed works as a human-robot interface (HRI). It offers friendly interaction in an intuitive way, so that in few minutes with basic information, any user can generate a robot program from a CAD model and visualize, check and optimize the movement graphically.

CAD models load to define a task, extracting CAD information to generate a path, and checking the reachability of the manipulator. On top, we built a scalable, maintainable, and reusable object-orientated programming structure (OOP structure) for the platform.

»With the manpower of L-One we are able to pursue and realize new development goals.«

Stefan Anton, Managing Director, EASY-ROB Software GmbH

Challenges 
Situation before we entered the project: The customer used a standalone product that was used with an OpenGL library as visualization tool, without the ability to generate a robot path from CAD models. 

The goals we wanted to achieve:

    • Enable the user to design a complete robot simulation scenario.
    • Use of the open Open CASCADE graphics kernel (OCCT) as visualization tool.
    • Connect the OCCT libraries smoothly with the EASY-ROB robotics kernel.

Difficulties to cope with:

    • Adopting the very recent OCCT technology by using the most suitable packages for our use case.
    • The uniqueness of the project requires studying many theoretical concepts before implementation.
Enabling the user to design a complete robot simulation scenario based on the OpenCASCADE technology (OCCT)

How our solution helped
The platform allows the robot’s graphic representation as well as its additional and necessary equipment. Automatic extraction of the robot program from a CAD model and simulation of the program in the virtual environment can take place before mapping on a real system.

»High motivation, new ideas and a lot of enthusiasm enable us to progress successively and thus ensure the success of the project.«

Stefan Anton, Managing Director, EASY-ROB Software GmbH

Results, Future Plans
It is now possible to visualize scenes and fully integrate the robotics kernel in the virtual environment. The further development of OCCT libraries benefits from the results of this project. The next step could be to build standalone projects that support different graphic tasks in controlling and programming robots.