Cloud Storage for UR Robots yields Seamless Backups and Innovation
by Josh Crane, on May 20, 2020 4:37:48 PM
How many times have you wanted to go back to the previous version of a program? Trying to place a new thought in a college essay only to realize that the previous idea was a better fit? Adding new code to a program and then seeing that it was unnecessary for the project? Getting halfway through an engine rebuild on your classic car and realizing the bolts planned for re-use, were actually for one time use?
Even if you have never found yourself standing alone in the garage surrounded by the fuel pump, oil cooler, and cylinder heads of your car, you may be familiar with the feeling of wanting to go back to the last working revision, or the way that your project was before you had that last ‘great’ idea. You need to back up and restore your previous work.
Purposes for Backing Up a Robot
At Hirebotics, we backup all the software that goes on our robots in the field. The parameters specific to our machine tending partners, the weld flows specific to our welding partners, and even the basic programs on these robots themselves are all saved to the cloud through the Hirebotics mobile app. We use these as we are in the field and making changes, and also as we provide remote support. If a partner wants to revert a mechanical change made recently, we can revert our software as well.
This ability also helps us as we tune robot motion and points. Occasionally during an installation we adjust points in different ways to determine how the robot responds and to establish a baseline behavior. During this time we will find what works well and what causes the robot to suffer. We establish a baseline very early, and can keep that as a reference. As the process continues we may find a better baseline and keep those settings. That point gets backed up to the cloud as well. In the future, we can return to the first baseline, the second baseline, or any other snapshot in time that has been saved.
Users Keep their Work Close at Hand
Today, Hirebotics uses our app to make the cloud work for us. We edit and control the version of the Polyscope program that is on the robot, as well as the URScript that is running under the hood. This same functionality is already available in the Hirebotics URCap today.
The Hirebotics app is free on the App Store and Google Play Store. Once the URCap is installed on your e-Series or CB3 Universal Robot, you can see your files in real time on the app within your phone or tablet. Files are automatically backed up as they are generated, and can be restored from within the app. In addition to undoing a program mistake that was saved, this functionality can also be used to switch over quickly, as a robot may have multiple tasks. Rather than restoring after an error, parts associated with different robot programs can be loaded and run quickly with one tap.
Since the app is cloud connected, it does not need to be near the robot of interest to conduct a change or retrieve a file. This means that a fleet of more than one robot can be controlled from a central place, as there is no need to visit the robot cell. Retrieving and sharing files is also done remotely meaning that there is no need to pull files off the robot using a thumb drive - simply send the file to your computer, phone, or business partner.
Hirebotics uses file backups in the cloud to serve our partners faster. We also share settings and programs right from our phones, which increases effective communication and decreases surprises in the field. With these same abilities in our new URCap, and more being released soon, all users of Universal Robots can have the same power to be closer to their production floors from farther away.