With the rising popularity of vision systems and other robot-aiding instruments, it is now common to see robots take on more and more intricate tasks. This creates situations where robots are handing off parts to each other and in doing this, they need to communicate robot to robot to maintain efficiency and fast production times. Universal Robots have an arsenal of communication protocols to satisfy almost all new and old networks, including MODBUS, ProfiNet, EtherNet/IP, TCP/IP, and XMLRPC.
TCP/IP and Remote Control
One of the more popular communication methods used with Universal Robots is a simple TCP/IP socket connection via Ethernet. Why is TCP/IP popular? Many of the readily available Remote Control Servers that run on all UR’s, including a Primary, Secondary, Real-time, and Dashboard server, utilize the TCP/IP protocol. These servers accept various commands remotely from a client program running on an external device or another robot. In the case of a part handoff between two robots where the timing might vary depending on the previous task, the Dashboard Server can be used to start, pause, or stop the robot. For an example of the Dashboard Servers in action, watch these two UR3 cobots in action solving a Rubik’s Cube: