Robot programming software is a software solution that helps program or code a robot for its use or operation. Offline Robot Programming Software is also the same.
With the advancement of technology, Industry 4.0 is inching swiftly closer towards us faster than ever. Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is the age of digitization where every industry has digital technology at its core. Consequently, digital technology is continuously evolving. Today, it almost seems inevitable for industries to adopt digital technology instead of relying on the traditional approach to industry, manufacturing, and product innovation.
Robotic technology is also continuously evolving, with robots today more capable than ever in various fields and fronts, even unseen in the last decade. Moreover, with the complexity and sophistication of the robots increasing, they are constantly getting more and more complex to program, code, and even develop.
However, with increasing complexity in technology, it is also getting more and more adaptable, usable, accessible, and easy to use. It’s because newer bleeding-edge technological solutions help keep these complex problems and technology operable and functional with great ease of use and access. One of the similar problems regarding the increasing complexity is currently running alongside the robotic industry.
The Robotics industry is far more complex, risky, and resource-hungry than most technological undertakings out there. Due to the growing industry use cases for robot and their ability to fulfill these use cases. The nature of robotic technology is that numerous parts and systems converge together to form a single system unit that can perform various tasks and operations using these parts and systems. Due to this nature, alongside the already complex building blocks of robots, i.e., the components and different systems, integrating these building blocks to work in an efficient cohesion with each other is a huge undertaking.
For easing the difficulty of integrating different parts and systems, many state-of-the-art industries and companies are starting to use robotic computer simulations. Simulations are a great innovation of digital technology that can help develop robotics through research, design, development, and production. Moreover, even after production, robotic software can now help robot operations, maintenance, and programming with different robot programming software solutions.
What is Offline Robot Programming Software?
Offline Robot Programming software is an “offline” approach to programming or coding a robot. This “offline” approach takes the usual method of programming a robot, i.e., teaching pendants away while doing the “teaching” part through the software remotely. However, this remote programming of the robot takes away the need of taking the physical robot out of production; instead can program and code robots virtually through software.
Teach pendants the most common interface to program an industrial robot. The device helps control an industrial robot remotely and teaches them to move or act in a certain way. For example, these devices can program or code the robots to follow a specific path or perform a certain action in a particular manner. These devices also allow the operator to control and work with these robots without being physically present or in tether connection with the robot. It means robot programmers or operators get to control the robots and “teach” them remotely. Technicians usually use these devices for testing or programming, or coding of industrial robots. Hence, teaching pendants are a crucial part of industrial robotics.
Offline Robot Programming Software replaces this teaching pendant with a more elegant and efficient solution with the power of software and simulation technology. Due to the control over robots with software since robotic OLP or Robotic Offline Programming allows for uploading programs and codes through software updates. Furthermore, software developers and robot operators can generate these programs and codes through robotic simulation software in a PC rather than using the robot physically. OLP is, therefore, a more elegant, efficient, and more modern way to program industrial robots.
Why is Offline Robot Programming Software Important?
Even though these pendants are helpful and crucial to industrial robotic operations, they remain one of the bottlenecks of industrial robotics. Right off the bat, these devices are very slow and time-consuming. It's also very resource-consuming and requires personal at all times to operate. Furthermore, pendants also require the presence of the actual robot. They need the robot to be physically active in the teaching mode rather than doing other work during the teaching process, which is usually very long.
Hence, during teaching, the robot cannot be in production or be doing other functional tasks teaching process is very lengthy and tediously for the more complex robots with various joints or movement points and axes. The robot programmer has to program multiple joints and parts to code the robot manually, which is very time-consuming. The programmer will also have to take out the production robot during and until the teaching process. It will surely hamper the production line, and hence downtimes become longer.
In any industrial setup, the production line is the most vital part of it. So much so that the whole manufacturing or production plant usually is based around it. Holding such importance, the optimization of production lines is a very crucial task in any industry. Downtimes, irregularities, or faults in the production lines and components around it means it directly hampers the sector. Moreover, machines like robots, especially the ones with automation, are very crucial in production lines. Hence, production lines must not stop nor deter it due to the robots.
However, with robotic OLP, industries can remove and eliminate all these disadvantages and bottlenecks from production. Instead of teaching these industrial robots online, offline programming eliminates the downtime for programming these robots completely. With this power in their hands, production lines can now completely get rid of time for programming. Instead, industries can use all these times in the actual production and get better returns.
With OLP, automation comes one step closer in production setups. Offline Robot Programming software enables rapid prototyping to test programs and codes before uploading them to the robots through simulation software. Furthermore, simulations are now very technologically smart such that they can simulate all robot parts, mechanics, systems, and movements. With such capability in hand, robot programming and even robot development and the building will become very easy. Due to this, testing, training, and evaluating robots virtually become very easy through OLP. Furthermore, it allows for error detection and verification of programs and robot capability to perform tasks and operations even before they are physically present.
Apart from this, Offline Robot Programming software also increases the productivity of production lines and robot operators and developers. Furthermore, OLP also provides greater profitability and has a better Return On Investment (ROI). Moreover, with OLP, one can test and prove new and better project or concept ideas in their quotation phase without investing in physical resources.
OLP allows for not only training and testing but also helps in maintenance and repairs too. OLP can help to track down potential faults and errors even before they occur or after they occur. It further makes the production efficiency and without any downtimes possibly in future too.
Not only is OLP advantageous and beneficial for regular industrial robots, but it's also essential and can be a boon for some industries that involve high risk. For example, industries like aviation, nuclear, automotive are very high-risk industries. Testing robots in these industries is a sensitive matter. Hence OLP is a requirement in these industries to train and test robots efficiently. Furthermore, without, OLP it is likely not even possible and feasible for industries like the space industry able to undertake projects and accomplish them.
Offline Robot Programming software is generally seen as a technology with high complexity and requiring very skillful personals. But that is not the case. Various companies like FS Studio provide solutions when it comes to offline robot programming. Companies like these can help industries get started with OLP and thrive on enabling substantial new possibilities and opportunities. With decades of experience and expertise in fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Simulation technology, FS Studio, can provide companies with proper and efficient OLP solutions to propel their industries with more efficient, safe and effective production lines. With the advent of Industry 4.0 upon us, companies and industries now must look for better alternatives and modern approaches to the industry. Digitization of industries is the future where digital technology will be at the core of all industries with efficient and smart solutions. OLP with simulation technology enables rapid prototyping, testing, development, and superior research and development (R&D) along with faster and efficient programming or coding of industrial robots. Furthermore, industries can collaborate with different OLP providers to determine the best solution for their particular industry and production and help them integrate their existing robots and production for a more smooth transition towards Offline Robot Programming Software.
Computer Simulation of Human Robots Collaboration in the industries is closer than we think. The current industry is moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR). FIR or Industry 4.0 is the digital transformation of the existing industries to enable new ways of manufacturing & production with automation at its core. The digital world will effectively meet the real world at this stage, integrating them on a level never seen before. Human Robots collaboration is one of the significant parts of this integration. With transformative technologies like computer simulations, AR, VR, and digital twins, cooperation among humans and robots is an absolute path that the next generation of technology will take.
Computer simulation is a very crucial tool for industries like robotic research and engineering. With the increasing adoption of computer simulation in various industries, simulations are rapidly becoming a vital part of product innovation and R&D technology. It is especially true for the robotic industry since collaboration between humans and robots is an essential part of the human robot paradigm.
Where Does Computer Simulation Come into Play?
Some factors influence the possibility for robots and humans to work together and collaborate efficiently. One of the top priorities or factors that affect this collaboration is human safety. During the operation, development, or testing of this concept of computer simulation of human robots collaboration, human safety is a top priority and should never be compromised. For this, various safeguards or failsafe mechanisms, power limiting restrictions, tools to monitor for possible errors, and proper fallback plans can be helpful.
Alongside this, robots that are in use must be aware of their surroundings and environment. At the very least, the use case of the robot must reflect its awareness and capabilities. Furthermore, robots also must control and change their actions as per real-time feedback and happenings in their surroundings. Thus, it presents the robot research and development industry with another challenge of autonomy and the ability of robots to perceive their surroundings or environments efficiently.
Conversely, bidirectional communication among robots and humans may open the door to fulfilling all the requirements necessary for a safe and effective human robot collaboration. But achieving such a feat is also not possible without proper testing and massive investments of time, resources, and money.
Computer Simulations can solve all these problems and complexities with efficient and elegant solutions. Computer simulation technology provides a modeling system to visualize any complex system, even 3D digital space. For example, a robot consists of joints, motors, arms, actuators, sensors, links, controllers, and other mechanical and electronic components like a battery, processing unit, and networking interfaces. All these components and elements can be costly when they reach the level of sophistication a robot requires. Alongside this, integrating these components into a complete robotic system in which these components work together efficiently as a whole system is also a very complex and expensive task to accomplish. Nevertheless, this is where computer simulations come into play.
The advancement in computer simulation technology now allows for the simulation of all these components and elements in a fully functional robot. Alongside this, computer simulation software can also simulate various environments and conditions under which a robot may operate. Much like a natural environment, a simulation environment allows for multiple experiments, tests, and evaluation of a robot, except it, is without all the costs and risks present when testing the robot in the real world. Computer simulations also enable monitoring and assessing robots with a very high level of sophistication in virtually any environment or condition possible.
Why is Computer Simulation of Human Robots Collaboration Important?
The human robot collaboration is essential for the factories of the future and all the possibilities that follow. In a space where robots and humans can work together efficiently to complete different tasks, endless opportunities emerge. For example, robots allow us to perform precarious and dangerous jobs that require massive strength or skill, along with repetitive or requiring extra precision. Meanwhile, some jobs require human intervention due to either being too expensive or complex to automate and jobs that require critical thinking and human intelligence. Thus, it constructively allows industries to utilize the best of both worlds efficiently.
For instance, risky jobs like mining, exploration of unknown borders and areas, repetitive assignments, lifting heavy loads, etc., have more practical industry use cases for robot in the field, but they also require human intervention. Similarly, jobs that require extra precision, like in surgery, may be more suited for robots. Still, due to a lack of intelligence and critical thinking, it is currently unable to do so. Likewise, human intervention is essential in search and rescue operations, but it also requires scanning large and potentially unsafe environments that are more suited for robots or drones. Alongside this, all factories and manufacturing industries cannot generally use robots due to either being too expensive to automate the job or too complex for robots to perform. Hence, human resources are used in various factories and manufacturing sites, albeit the factory and manufacturing sites are dangerous and unsafe.
These difficulties are easily removable if computer simulation of human robots collaboration becomes very efficient and easy to realize. Moreover, if such cooperation becomes possible to achieve, one can reap potential benefits from both worlds. For instance, robot developers in health care organizations can utilize the precision of a robot and the critical thinking of a surgeon to develop a surgical robot to perform complex surgeries on patients.
Consequently, a collaboration between humans and robots that enables an open environment where humans and robots can work together to complete works with integration of benefits from both worlds is a very lucrative goal to achieve. Computer simulation opens the door to such a goal. Due to the numerous advantages computer simulations possess, various industries develop human robot collaboration systems.
Generally, robot development in computer simulation software starts with designing and prototyping the robot. It requires a massive amount of resources, cost, time, and multidisciplinary skills in the real world. Then, each prototype comes to its testing, assessment, and redesign of the system according to the evaluations and results. It also requires equally if not more massive amounts of resources, cost, time, and skills in the real world. For a complete robot consisting of all its features and functionalities and compliance with all the factors discussed above, this process of prototyping, redesign, and testing has to be repeated numerous times until the evaluation and results are entirely within acceptable terms.
However, with the help of computer simulations, all these processes become redundant. When robot development with computer simulations occurs, developers/manufacturers get a digital platform to perform rapid prototyping with testing, modeling, redesigning, and programming all within the simulation. With the help of the computer simulation, developers can design a robot with all the parts and components right from the start to get a robot model. This model can go through various experiments, evaluations, and assessments to ensure formal requirements compliance. If not, developers can make changes or even redesign the robot entirely without much effort since it's in a digital form.
Not only this enables rapid prototyping and development, it ensures that developers do not exhaust all their time worrying about resources or costs but utilize that time for better ideas and models. It also opens the door for creative minds to flourish and experiment with various designs and configurations of robots. Furthermore, since the initial design process starts with a digital model, developers can tweak, organize and play with different formats. Finally, it will ensure that the design phase outputs the team's accurate designs with an efficient and agile developmental process.
Moreover, testing and evaluation of robots in different environments is also possible with error reporting and monitoring systems working together to gather essential data. It ensures that all unexpected problems or errors that the developers may encounter during the physical build of the robot are taken care of and solved. Testing with trajectory planning, verifying algorithm operation and efficiency, verifying the integrity of the design, and overall working of the robot can all be done in simulations. Testing various fluid mechanisms, aerodynamics, mechanical integrity, and kinetic forces with realistic physics engines is also possible.
One of the most vital computer simulation of human robots collaboration is human safety. Simulations enable testing for human safety and protection in numerous conditions and environments. We can quickly test and examine communications, control, and safety mechanics inside computer simulations without ever having to put a human at risk. With technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and intelligent AI systems, humans can test these robots with immersive experiences in realistic environments without taking risks.
It will rapidly evolve the development of human robot collaboration with the power of rapid prototyping, innovative product development systems, and efficient R&D technology. Furthermore, with Industry 4.0 gradually moving from embedded systems towards the digital transformation of the industries, simulations can open the door to new ways of development and enhance the much sought-perfect cyber-physical system (CPS).
With the advent of computer simulations, robot development and research is moving away from machines with no or low-level intelligence towards a more autonomous, adaptable, flexible, and re-configurable system that can work efficiently with humans. With computer simulations, human collaboration with intelligent robots will be possible across various industries where the whole collaborative system will be efficient, sustainable, effective, and safe. And our approach of creating the computer simulation of human robots collaboration will be completed.