The programming for the demo was done on a PC, using custom software made possible by the Universal Robots’ open interface SDK. This allows third parties to easily develop their own software tools for creative applications and make them available through the UR+ ecosystem. Once the photos were scanned and input to the computer as vector graphics, the program broke the image down into sequences that were streamed to the robot with ordered trajectories to trace the path. To maintain the surprise of the portrait emerging, the trajectories were deliberately sent in what looked like random order so that the demo appeared to be the robot simply writing equations—until the portrait was completed.
While this appears to be a one-of-a-kind application, it represents the powerful programming capabilities of the UR robots. While many cobots are implemented in repetitive applications such as machine tending or pick-and-place, new, more complex applications are emerging every day. Those may include changeable operations such as gluing or welding parts with different shapes and different required paths, which can be programmed similarly to this demo.
Einstein himself wrote: “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.”(The Evolution of Physics, co-authored with colleague Léopold Infeld.)
This “genius” example using a Universal Robot shows just how possible those advances are.
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